Frustration with ‘dark’ grades

Dear Editor,

As the pending closure of grades is upon Archer I would like to address the resurfacing issue of grades going dark without students knowing where their grades stand. The struggles of grades, knowing what they are, assignment that aren’t in yet and all that entails comes to light at the end of each semester as people start reviewing for finals.

A common argument is, “Well why would you not try your best for all of your finals?” My response is, to be an effective manager of time and energy, prioritizing subjects based on difficulty is key. If you have a 98 percent in one class and an 89 percent in another, it makes more sense to put more effort into the grade where you do not have as much leeway.

The other argument, “Why would you let your grade get that low anyway? Doesn’t what you have done so far reflect the grade you should have?” Everyone has a bad day, a bad test, a bad something — that doesn’t mean they should not be able to work hard to get it up. However, it is really hard to do so when you can’t see where the numbers fall.

The last argument I will address is the “Teachers have a lot of stuff on their plate you are not their only concern.” Inputting grades before the class grades go dark will, again, help students prioritize and organize when it comes to effective finals study.

The purpose of closing grades is not the overall problem here. The problem is that when grades close they should reflect what a student has done up to the final. Teachers have a lot of stuff on their plate between planning, writing and helping students with the final, but it is reasonably frustrating to students when some teachers are up to date and others are not.

Going back to consistency, how is a student supposed to effectively prepare for exams when the grade is not truly what they are getting. What if those assignments that aren’t in effect are the subjects or topics in which one reviews more in depth?

I am not offering a direct solution to this problem, however I think the conversation/communication between administration, teachers and students should be more fluid in this issue.  This is an expression of frustration that I know many of my classmates share and I hope it will promote this conversation.

This is also not a shot at any teacher or the administration in anyway, my goal is to raise awareness of the problem and hopefully relieve some of the stress from my Archer sisters who might feel like they are alone in this situation. In the end being more confident and less stressed going into finals is what will let us do our best and I believe that the uncertainty of grades does not contribute to less anxiety and confidence that we need.


Marcela Riddick