To grade or not to grade on a curve

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What is the first thing you think when a professor tells you your grade will be based on a curve? Do you worry or smile? Or do you just move on? “Curved grading” is a somewhat-controversial subject among students, but in all honesty grading on a curve fosters a better learning environment for students.

I have been a student at BYU for a few years now, and I have had many classes that were based on a curve and many classes that used a basic point structure.  Over time, I have come to realize that the classes that I have taken that were based on a curve pushed me to work harder and learn a lot more.  That is the main purpose of school, to learn, right? The first class I took that was curved, I worked really hard because I knew the grade I was going to get in the class was based off of how well I performed relative to the other students in the class. I got help from tutors on campus, and I even hired my own personal tutor, which I had never done before.  I did not end up getting the grade I wanted in the class, but I do know that I would not have learned as much if the class was not graded on a curve.

There are ups and downs to every grading structure, but “curved grading” is a better incentive for students to work harder.

Brycen Robison
Sandy

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