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Pass or fail grades could be beneficial to students

By Paityn Viall
On April 5, 2017

Many students dread the day midterm grades are released, as they may or may not be a true reflection of how a student is actually doing in a class. 

A student may have forgotten to turn in a recent paper or did poorly on a midterm exam and their grade has plummeted suddenly just before grades are released. 

This makes their midterm grade essentially a useless way of charting their progress toward completion of the class.

Kirkwood Community College’s currently policy ensures that all instructors post a student’s midterm grades online using a system called “Talon” by a certain date, whether they accurately reflect a student’s current work ethic or not.

If this policy were to be reconsidered and students were given either a simple “Pass” or “Fail” for midterms, this could allow them less stress and anxiety during an already difficult time. Many are already dealing with large amounts of stress both inside and outside of school. 

Since midterm grades hold less meaning than final grades, as they do not count in any way as a finalized grade, it would essentially not harm the midterm process already set in place at Kirkwood.

Using simple words like “Pass” and “Fail” is more blunt and direct, which can be good for students unsure of their standing in a particular class. 

Letting students know that they are simply passing or failing can be better than a grade that is on the verge of being one or the other.

Having a “Pass/Fail” system would also benefit instructors. They would not have to spend extra time at the computer entering in specific grades, but would simply have to type in one word for each student, allowing for more time spent creating lesson plans or otherwise bettering their class environment.

A “Pass/Fail” system could be beneficial to both students and instructors. It would not only save time, but could also allow less stress for students during an already busy period of time. 

This would allow for a more positive school environment during a time of such high stress.

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