This archived article was written by: Cj Jelsma
Taking tests is one of the most time-consuming and not to mention painful activities performed on a regular basis for students who are attending college.
Students spend 10 times as much time studying for tests than they do actually taking them while in school. With so much time spent on studying, you would think students’ brains would be far too fried to actually pass a test with a decent grade, especially with how difficult they are in some classes.
To help with those pesky low scores, some brilliant mind in the history of education came up with the incredible idea of grading on the “curve.”
For those who do not know what the “curve” is, it is when the highest score achieved on an assignment or test is used as the amount possible. This means if the test was unbelievably difficult and the high score was a 70 percent, all students would be graded as if the test was only worth 70 points. So those students who scored a 60 would have a 60 out of 70 instead of a 60 out of 100. This seems like an incredible idea.
This incredible idea means that students are graded on how well the class does together, not the students individually. If the class is difficult or the teacher does not teach very well, and all of students struggle, they still receive good grades.
All teachers should use this magical “curve.” For those teachers who teach extremely difficult subjects, students are able to get more out of the class than just a barely passing grade, but a sense of accomplishment.
Most students are not like those incredible straight-A students, with their 97 percent scores on tests, so the curve can be great for them.
Even the straight-A students get something out of the “curve.” They are allowed to still be the top student, but are also allowed to set the “curve” for the other students in the class to compete with.
Actually, there really is not a downside to grading on the “curve.” I do not know why all teachers or professors do not use it. It is almost a reward for the students when their professor grades them this way. Their grades are sure to go up if the “curve” is used in the grading procedure.
The incredible upside to this practice makes me wonder why all teachers are not required to use it. At least in college where classes are harder and tests are more frequent.
So if you are a teacher and you are reading this article, consider this, students will like you more and your test scores will increase if you decide to employ the “curve.” So just do it.