Should Colleges in America Use the Grade Scale or a Pass/ Fail Scale?

ShouldColleges in America Use the Grade Scale or a Pass/ Fail Scale?

Agrading scale or pass/fail grading system is whereby students receiveeither a passing or a failing grade as a way to rate their academicachievement. However, the topic of how well or poor a studentperforms in a particular subject based on grading remains a debatableissue. Grading is beneficial because it reflects how students aredoing in the course. According to Barman,Pranab, and Dibyendu (200),the primary purpose of colleges in America is to educate students, aswell as give them the necessary skills to succeed in their careersand daily life. This essay addresses teachers, administers, and othereducation stakeholders to show them the reasons why colleges inAmerica should use grade scale or a pass/fail scale.

Firstly,grading helps students to work extra hard in their class work inorder to get good grades. It is every learner’s goal to attain ahigh Grade Point Average (GPA). Miller(842) argues that if colleges stop grading, students will notaccomplish their assignment as much. Nonetheless, why should anyonestudy hard while at the end it does not make any difference? Besides,the grading system encourages students to pay more attention inclass. For instance, if grading also consists of class attendance, itmeans students will attend more classes hence, they would learnmore. Studies show that students perform better in schools wherethere is pass/fail grading is in use and vice versa (Miller842).

Moreover,grading is beneficial for colleges in America because it encouragescompetition among students. It does not only show how a particularstudent is performing, but also how others are performing. This way,a student can compare him or herself with others. Additionally,grading encourages students to attain better grades compared to otherstudents in the same class so that they can rank top. People believethat if you have high GPA, then, you are more likely to get a betteropportunity than when you have low GPA.

Further,the grading system is beneficial for colleges because it allowsstudents and tutors to evaluate the amount of material learned. Ifthere is no grading, it is impossible to tell where a certain studentneeds additional explanation (Barmanet. al. 202).Professors evaluate their students’ understanding through examsthus, help them in the areas they need extra explanation. Exams showthe strong and the weak areas of a student. Grades are a sign that astudent is familiar with a certain course, as well shows where he orshe needs improvement and specialization. For instance, a student whoperforms poorly in English would be placed into advanced classes toimprove on the same. Grades show the definite growth of a student,and it allows tutors to suggest classes that are suitable dependingon the student’s need.

Onthe other hand, a school system without grading system isinefficient. It encourages laziness due to lack of competitiveness.Correspondingly, this affects students’ performance. For instance,compare a student studying two units whereby one is graded and theother is not. The student is likely to pay more attention and workhard in the graded unit, and relax on the other. At this point, it isevident that a school system without grading is a failure.

Overall,colleges in America definitely need grading system. They areinstitutions where students seek to gain more education. Therefore,grading is a perfect way to figure out the amount of knowledge theyhave acquired. Without grades, students will have nothing to show howmuch they have learned. Additionally, they would turn into lazymorons. Without pass-fail grading, there would be no incentive towork hard to attain good, better and best grades. This would beunfair to the hard working students because they will never getrecognition for their work. Therefore, students need to be tested andgraded.


Barman,Pranab, and Dibyendu Bhattacharyya. &quotA study on the attitude ofteachers and students towards the system of pass-fail in schooleducation.&quotAsianJournal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities&nbsp2.11(2012): 198-209.

Miller,Bonnie M., et al. &quotCan a pass/fail grading system adequatelyreflect student progress?.&quot&nbspVirtualMentor&nbsp11.11(2009): 842.