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Current Grading System Already Provides Enough Distinction

Current Grading System Already Provides Enough Distinction

The Tech received a copy of this letter addressed to the intermediate grades electronic mailing list:

As a freshman who would be greatly affected by the implementation of a new grading system, I have a completely negative reaction to the intermediate grades proposal.

A grade of A is intended to mean that the student has mastery of the material. Therefore, there should not be a distinction between those who receive high A's and those with low ones. If there exists a difference in the mastery level of between the two levels, then, obviously, the lower A should have been a B.

A B is supposed to denote a good understanding of the material. A C is supposed to mean satisfactory understanding.

The grades are distinct from one another and require no distinction within themselves.

Most often, the difference between a high A and a low A (when there is no grade inflation) is either an illness or a few careless errors on an exam or problem set. Implementation of intermediate grades is unnecessary and will only hurt students. We are here to learn, not compete. Many of us are already trying very hard to earn good grades so that we may enter graduate school or medical school.

In truth, an A- is not any different from an A in a school without grade inflation, which I know MIT is not. Thus, any new intermediate grading policy has absolutely no place here.

Pavan K. Auluck '98