I don’t know about anyone else, but I find it extremely frustrating to work my butt off for a class and end up with the same grade as other people who barely did any work at all. Teachers who do not use pluses or minuses are usually at fault for this frustration.
If the students voted to have the plus-minus system put in place on campus, it must have been for a reason.
The argument I hear is that we already have five designations for grades; there is no reason for 12. There is a reason for twelve though when students can do more than five levels of work and teachers refuse to bump grades up for hard work.
An argument against the system usually comes from people who get grades with minuses, but I don’t agree that just because someone gets an A minus instead of an A that the entire system should be trashed. I have had many instances in my educational career when teachers gave me A minuses, and I was just as angry as the next person, but in most cases I didn’t work as hard in those classes as I did in the one’s I got A’s in.
The biggest complaint I have about the plus-minus system is that it is not consistent throughout campus. The system can be very beneficial to students, but only if all the teachers use it. It can completely screw with grade point averages if different teachers grade differently.
I think the system can be seen as a very positive for students. I am typically more motivated to work harder in a class that uses a plus-minus system, than one that doesn’t.
If people know they are going to get a B from the work that it takes to get an 80 percent as opposed to getting a B minus for that work, then they are not going to work as hard. I know I wouldn’t. Whereas, if they know they will get a B minus for only getting 80 percent they may be more encouraged to work harder.
In my BZ110 class I took my sophomore year, I worked really hard for an A in that class. My study guide for my final was 75 pages typed (before I found out she reuses the questions from previous exams). When all was said and done I ended up with an 89.7 in the class. The teacher gave me a B.
It made me angry because I know other people in the class who did not work as hard as I did, but got the same grade. Thus, I think the plus-minus system should stay. It can encourage students to work harder, instead of discouraging them from working hard.