The Reality Behind The Curved Grading System


the bell curve or the curve grading

system is one of the most interesting

yet controversial systems of grading

nearly all major universities use a

system including both UBC and SFU but

it's usually just not distributed evenly

over all departments we turn to us a few

students to learn more about what the

curving system is curving system how it

works is in a class of say a hundred

only a certain percentage of people can

get in certain mark so for example the

first ten percent will get an a range

and then the next 30 or 40 percent will

get a B so if you are in that top

percent of your class then you'll get an

A so say your class even if your whole

class fails and you guys are doing like

around forty percent if you are doing

like a 50 percent you would be at a

range because you're at the top 10

percent of your class a grade is not

just a grade this may sound

inconspicuous but there are multiple

layers faucets and factors to a final

grade as a few students we attempt to

uncover the complexity of grading in

order to understand how it works how we

can make it work for us and make

transparent the seemingly fairness or

unfairness of the system we work hard

and pay big money to be a part of four

really high-performing classes it can

affect students because everyone's doing

really well so you're really fighting to

be in that top ten percentage so if

everyone's marks are within ninety to a

hundred percent even if you did really

well but you're at ninety and someone

else is at ninety five you could be

below average so you could be at a C

mark even though you're quite a good

student yeah so when I'm marking

assignments I just say it's out of a

hundred I just I just mark per

assignment and give them whatever mark

they deserve and then I guess at the end

of the class depending on like

everyone's grades there'll be an average

and then they'll also be like Oh

everyone's like at this rate they'll get

an a little gotta be it's not like I'm

marking it and I'm like okay there's ten

people in this class so only some people

can get an A so

get whatever like when I'm marking

assignments every single person in my

class could get a good grade like I

could all mark them like eighty or

eighty out of eighty or whatever but

then it depends how it plays out and

like the entire class I think people

that do just okay benefit the most the

reality is whether an individual cares

about their grades or not they're still

working towards a certain grade a high

performance student may be looking for

that a to a plus while a student just

looking to pass and earn their degree is

still looking for a C or C - I don't

think it's fair I don't think it's

unfair because in science we have

courses that are really really hard and

you end up getting a D because you have

a C but if they were to curve it you

would probably have a better grade right

but then also again B D do you get a

ninety percent and then you still have a

C so I don't think there's a fair system

and it's pretty difficult for the school

to kind of come with something that

suits both everyone right I feel like if

someone is doing well well enough to get

an A if you're getting eighty percent

why should you end up getting a C

because they're people doing better

right you're good at something you

should get an A in my opinion like put

the power in the students hands don't

take the power right instead of you know

making the exam easy and then they take

the power and just decide okay I deserve

a C maybe make the exams more

competitive that way like it's very

clear like who is an A student and who's

a B student actually just a week ago I

met a friend she's taking business 3:12

right now and she said she had 89

percent and she was told that it was a C

and she was very frustrated was she when

she got her grade she was very happy

just like oh my god I have a CA like I

have 89 percent given when she told us I

did eight nine percent well Dan just

goes no it's C so like that kind of like

unhappy how I was like on that said but

in my head I was also like I thought

about it I'm like mmm like when I it

makes sense that

maybe to see because maybe other

students are doing well and then I even

asked him like you should ask your

professor to make the exam harder than

that way if you get a 70% e-2c and you

accept it you don't get an 89 and you

told it this he doesn't make sense my

opinion is that it it looks like it's it

will kill you but sometimes it will

actually save you cos like for some 300

courses it's really hard like I'm taking

the MIS course this semester and what

happens is there are only four problems

which you're not able to do them you're

not able to finish them exam time so if

it is not curved it is marked by the you

know the distribution thing then

probably half of the course wolf will

fail because like the average was around

50% I remember it was so with the curve

system it will save you like you'll just

have to do a little bit better than the

average like you would just have to

finish that question then you can get

something like a b-minus or likes B or

even like a branch something another

thing is like if it's the course it's

really easy for example there is of

course does that is required by the

economics and business students which is

a statistic one so that course has a

really high average which is around 80

percent which means that even if you

study very hard and you know you know

how to do the problems you're not going

to get the expected marks and I think

another reason that is affecting the

average is like there are some problems

involving such as the test Bank thing

and the tutor off campus because like

everybody is focusing on that average on

that mark too much in my opinion

honestly like I would sometimes rather

have a conversation you solve my courses

for example I write a paper and you know

it's not good enough to get an A out of

ten but it's not too bad I'm not going

to get me a seven out of ten but I put a

lot of effort in that and eventually

just get it just gave me an eight or ten

and it out of it is fine looks like good

grades for how various like every

eight out of ten like there's no

distinction between me and my peers but

sometimes I feel like if being better

than other people in my grades really

reflected the amount of effort that I

put in to my schoolwork and academic

career so I really wish sometimes if we

could have a chrome assist and then even

if my work it's not good enough to get

an out of time but it's like relatively

higher than average I think in

convocation is just really difficult to

find a way to improve your score and

mark because everything that you do it's

sort of subjective and there's no

correct answer to it the journey through

post-secondary education presents many

obstacles and learning curves self-paced

work late nights heavy workloads and

balancing school with work a social life

and the newly found responsibilities of

being a young adult whether a student is

pursuing higher education to further

their skills work towards a certain

degree or because of external pressures

and expectations there is one common

stress the stress of getting the grade