Exams Weight Less For Final GradeTuesday, December 15, 2009 By Trisha Sanichara
If you typically do better on your class grade rather than your exam grade, this recent news may make your life better. The School District of Hillsborough County changed the way final grades will be calculated. Starting this year, exams are now worth 25 percent of your final grade instead of 33 percent. Originally, your class grade weighted about two thirds of your grade. This year, both grading periods combined will equal 75 percent of your final grade. Your final grade is important because this is the only grade colleges will on your transcript. The county decided to change it to help ease the stress of students returning from winter vacation. The change was also made in hope that the rate of students that graduate would increase. Another thing the committee discovered is that 27 other counties surveyed uses 20 or 25% of your final grade for an exam grade. Assistant Principal Van Ayres said students should have a better grade for their transcript. “It relieves stress from the exams, but pushes students to do better in class,” said Ayres. “Students need to know that the final grade is the only thing that shows up on their transcript for college,” he added. Even though this change may be advantageous for most of the students, this may be work as usual for others. Freshman Destiny Martin says she already studies hard and makes good grades. “It wouldn’t change that much,” she said. “I would still study a lot.” Exam exemptions were also canceled earlier this year. The only students that are allowed to exempt are seniors, and they can only use their exemptions in the last semester exam. This disappointed the rest of the students, who are not seniors since there is no incentive for those who make it to school every day. This raises another issue. The District, in the past, has rewarded students for their attendance by allowing students to exempt exams if they met qualifications. And now, there are no more exam exemptions. “It’s like a catch-22. The people who study because of exemptions are going to take it as a ‘slap-in-the-face’ because they don’t need to study as hard.” says Junior Izzy Snow. All in all, some see it as a tradeoff for the grading policy. No, students can exempt exams this year, but they’ll perhaps make better grades. An example of how the grading system works now is if you received a B the 1st 9 weeks, an A the 2nd, and for your exam, an A, your final grade would be an A. The B and the A from the 9 weeks combined is 75% of your grade. The A from your exam is 25%. As you can see the exam affects your grade lightly, giving students a better opportunity to pass with a good grade.