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Essay on Grades

            In the essay, “A Young Person’s Guide to the Grading System,” Jerry Farber argues his points of view about the effectiveness of giving grades.
             Farber, first, begins with discussing how grades reflect the gaining of knowledge. He starts with stating the obvious, “Academic success, as everyone knows, is something that we measure not in knowledge but in grade points” (333). Just because someone received an “A” in a class does not necessarily mean that they are anymore knowledgeable on that subject than someone who failed. Much too often, grades are given for accomplishments that really have no relevance to what a person has actually learned on a subject. For instance, my health teacher graded us on the organization of our notebooks and, as a result, I received “A’s” for it. However, I couldn’t tell someone what foods contain what vitamins and what those vitamins do for the human body. Furthermore, I have received good grades for my attendance and my ability to keep a calendar and at the same time I scored poorly on tests proving that I knew little of the subject. I see many of the grades I’ve earned as pointless and having no reflection on what knowledge I have actually gained. At the same time, cheating can get a person an “A” without them even having to know the material. Whether it is copying a friend’s homework assignment or looking over at a neighbor’s test, as long as it is done correctly, that person will receive an “A” and, consequently, be noted as knowing the material. Nonetheless, there are many instances where people get by with decent grades and have actually retained very little of what the instructor taught.

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