Positive And Negative Effects Of Grading System On Students

October 26, 2022

The effects of the grading system on students have both positive and negative effects as it is considered a distinctive level to measure students’ success and failure.

This system standardizes different achievements on different levels which terminate students to think outside of the box.

But that being said there is also a very significant role of the grading system on students as it somehow encourages students to perform well. In the absence of a grading system, students might not have any motivation to work hard and get their desired results.

Before we get into the positive and negative effects of the grading system on students let’s get familiar with the grading system itself.

What is the Grading System in Education?

The grading system can be considered as an evaluation system in the assessment process that provides proficiency levels across teachers, students, learning experiences, content areas, time and much more.

According to the Yale University Historian George W. Pierson, the first grades were issued at Yale in early 1785. 58 seniors were examined by President Ezra Stiles where the evaluation was made.

Today, the grading system varies from country to country. As of today, almost every nation has its own grading system and those nation’s institutions follow their own grading system.

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Even today the traditional grading system is recognized universally and is most in use. In the traditional grading system, A-F letter grading scale is used which is used as follows:

A = 90-100%

B = 80-89%

C = 70-79%

D = 60-69%

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Types of Grading Methods

The grading method usually addresses a single attempt of grading. It measures the varying level of achievements in different courses that a student studies. As there are seven different grading methods, different countries and institutions follow different grading methods.

Now, let’s get familiar with seven different grading methods that are followed in the world at the present time.

  1. Narrative Grading: In this grading method, the instructor provides feedback about their student’s performance in certain lines and paragraphs. They also address students’ fortitude and areas of improvement in a suitable way.
  2. Standards Grading: In this grading system, a student’s performance is compared with the pre-established standards. In this grading system, a student’s capability is identified on the basis of academic performance that is not influenced by any kind of non-academic factors.
  3. Percentage Grading: Percentage Grading is a grading that is expressed in the term of percentage. The percentage grade is provided from 0-100% on the basis of the student’s performance during exams.
  4. Letter Grading: In letter grading, grades are evaluated based on A-F with A being the highest and F being the lowest.
  5. Norm-Referenced Grading: In this grading method, different students are compared to each other on the basis of letter grades.
  6. Mastery Grading: In Mastery Grading, students are graded as “masters” or “passers” when they obtain marks as per the specified level.
  7. Pass/Fail Grading: In this grading method, the scale Pass or Fail is used to address students’ performance.

Positive Effects of Grades on Students

In this part of the article, we will get familiar with all the positive effects of grades on students:

  1. Self-Evaluation: One of the best parts about the grading system is that the students will be able to find out their improvements, mistakes and areas they can work on.  Knowing self-worth will always help a student to find out their own strengths and weaknesses. This way students will also be able to build self-analytical skills.
  2. Universally Recognized: Grading systems are universal in nature. The grading system will help a student to analyze and figure out where they stand in the world on the basis of their grades. Also, most of the top universities and Ivy League schools prefer students with good grades which encourages students to study hard and bring positive results.
  3. Comparison: Comparisons are not always wrong if they are done to bring some positive result in the lives of students. In the presence of a grading system, teachers can analyze and find out how the students are learning. Moreover, they use different skills and teaching methods if students are obtaining poor grades.

Negative Effects of Grades on Students

Everything in this world has both pros and cons. With that being said, let’s get started to know some of the negative effects of grades on students:

  1. An Inaccurate Representation of Knowledge Gained: Just because a student has passed exams doesn’t mean he/she has gained all the necessary information. Grades cannot only be considered as a factor to measure the amount of knowledge that an individual possesses.

There must be an evaluation of extracurricular activities which enable a student to think out of the box and face and solve real-life problems. 

  1. Lack of Incentives: The grading system can be downgraded as a student scoring B will always try to obtain A. This way they will focus just on memorizing the book context rather than being creative and exploring things on their own.

This will completely stop a student from trying out new things on their own and develop               new concepts, ideas and theories of their own. Students might just evaluate themselves on the basis of their scores which can be misleading.

  1. Affect Mental Health: Many researchers have studied and found out that the grading system brings comparisons and pressure among students which degrade their mental health. If you want to stop this, make sure that you make children understand that grading is just a measure for evaluation, not comparison.


  1. What is a Grading System?

Grading System is a standardized method through which teachers and professors evaluate the performance of their students on the basis of the marks they obtain. The grading system varies from country to country.

  1. Why grades are important?

Grades are important to evaluate the performance of students. It also helps the teachers to find out whether the students are learning the subject matter as they need to or not. Moreover, good grades will open the door for students to study at their desired colleges and universities.

  1. What is the Traditional Grading Scale?

The traditional grading scales are A+, A, A−, B+, B, B−, C+, C, C−, D+, D, D− and F. Likewise, A+ is considered the highest and F is the lowest.

Wrapping Up:

As we should know every system has its own pros and cons. When it comes to the grading system it is no different as this system as well has both positive and negative effects on the students. Moreover, there will be no issue if grading will be considered more for the evaluation of students rather than comparison.

We must equally understand that if a student performs poor in exams doesn’t mean that he/she is a failure. It simply means that there is more space for improvement. On the other hand, students as well must not be demotivated, instead, they should try to find a way for them to perform better the next time.

Moreover, if you have any kind of thoughts on the positive and negative effects of the grading system on students you can share your opinion with us in the comments section below.

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