Four Point Grades


In high school, everyone knows the traditional grading scale. Now high schools are trying to implement a new grading scale called the four-point grading scale. The four point grading scale is untraditional because it is out of four points instead of out of 100. For example, on the four point grading scale a four is an A+ and a 3.0 is a B. The goal of this grading system is to clarify learning goals and assess students on their progress towards meeting those goals. San Marcos, along with other schools in the district has not fully switched yet and given teachers the option to use it. 

Image courtesy of Creative Commons

The first reason why I prefer the four point grading scale is that it keeps grading more consistent. You can do the same amount and quality of work in separate classes and the grades are inconsistent but when the four point grading scale is used all around it is very consistent for the quality and amount of work you get credit for. It seems like the only difference is that it grades out of four points instead of 100 points, but it seems like the two are pretty similar, just that systems have slightly different meanings. Students also feel that it is much easier to make up work off of a four point scale. The scale eliminates giving students a 0 on assignments. Instead the students are given incomplete sentences.

Holdt Gore, a junior at San Marcos, really likes the switch to the scale, “I really like the approach that this new scale takes, and I feel that the changes allow me to set better goals, and feel better knowing my actual comprehension in my classes.”

Some people do not like this new scale. One reason is that the four point scale will still be converted to a 100 point scale in the end anyway. The main con is that some people do not see a big difference and do not understand why it should be changed. They do not understand that it is less stressful and makes it slightly easier for students to set goals and understand how they are interpreting the content better. 

Mr. Sifontes, an AP Biology teacher at San Marcos thinks that the four point grading scale is good for certain assignments. But for tests he thinks that if teachers use the 4 point scale, they need to scale it to each test accurately because standard grading would make it easier to get a better score.

In conclusion the four point grading scale is not a huge change but it has many slight benefits that will help students learn more and set more goals. It gives students something to reach for that is not a grade because each number in the four point grading scale means something.