P. 1
Semester System

Semester System

|Views: 62|Likes:
Published by uhope
relative grading in semester system
relative grading in semester system

More info:

Published by: uhope on Dec 15, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Semester System: Competition or Rivalry

If not recent, the not-so-old change in the examination system of UET, Lahore has transformed the environment of classrooms. Implemented in 2006 at undergraduate level, semester system is known as one of the modern systems of education which has the ability to engage students in continuous learning and a day-by-day evaluation of their performance. In comparison with annual or term system, it does not judge students on overall percentage but each subject score is given its own weightage which forces students to work hard for all the subjects. But the question is: are we having a win-win situation by adopting the system?

Even in an absolute system of grading, students tend to compete with each other beyond what is called as healthy competition. The root cause of this tendency seems to be the traditional schooling sytem where higher marks are granted to those who can individually cram the course material and reproduce it exactly the same way as written in the textbooks.

Outcomes of Relative Grading
The most peculiar situation develops during the paper checking sessions after the examinations. Even if a student is satisfied on how has he been evaluated in an answer to a question, he worries why others have been given more marks who, as he believes, have answered in almost the same manner. Another strange behavior of students is their demand of a little increase in marks not on the basis of what they have done but merely to improve their relative grade. A classroom where students look at each other as barriers rather than helping hands can hardly result in creative learning. Apart from the huge benefits of semester system, relative grading is something which, in my opinion, must be replaced by absolute grading, making students a team instead of rival competitors

“Are we having a win-win situation?”
The evaluation criteria of semester system involves relative grading which sometimes result in interesting situations like a B+ granted to a student who secured 75% marks in a subject. Even when there is a normal distribution of marks in a particular subject, where 50% of students are at lower side of class score & the rest on higher side, relative grading almost always put students in a state which is more than competition. Grading on a relative scale, I believe, has resulted in an unavoidable yet a strong atmosphere of jealousy & rivalry in classrooms. Instead of helping each other regarding different academic problems, students try to work secretly on their own with an impression on others that they aren’t studying. Teachers have been asked the same questions over and over again from the same topics of study by different students at different periods of time in off-classroom meetings. The frequency of questions has decreased in class which creates boredom.

The curve above shows what a normal distribution is. The left side shows the lower marks range (below the average) and the right side shows the higher marks range.


N.B. This article has been written on the basis of critical observations by the writer. No research work has been carried out. You may agree or disagree with the article’s content.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->