GPA goes wrong

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The University’s new grading system offers no comfort to Queen’s students. The Grade Point Average, implemented in May, hurts the student who cares about the one per cent difference that can make or break a post-secondary career.

A grade between 77 and 79 per cent is equivalent to a 3.3 GPA, while an 80 per cent at one per cent higher marks the new bracket of a 3.7.

Though it might be theoretically useful, in reality the system discredits hard work and impacts student mentality and work ethic.

Any student who has ever put sleepless nights into an assignment knows that a 77 and 79 per cent aren’t equivalent and shouldn’t be treated as such.

This system completely undermines and devalues student work and achievement. It assumes that two students who receive different grades are deserving of the same GPA label. It maginifies the difference between a 79 per cent and an 80 by placing them in different brackets.

I also have to question what added strain this will have on scholarship recipients.

First-year students with renewable entrance scholarships are given some leniency and are permitted to have a 3.3 GPA rather than the expected 3.7 — which would correspond to the 80 per cent average previously required.

However, nothing on the Renewable Awards Policies outline speaks to upper years with renewable scholarships and the struggles they’ll now face in their attempt to remain in the required GPA bracket.

Concurrent Education students have it rough. A mandatory class they endure is marked on a pass or fail basis. With our old marking system, the effect wasn’t too dramatic.

However, with the new GPA system, a pass means little reward in comparison to the significant drop they’ll face if they receive a fail. It means adding a 0.0 grade point to the average.

Interestingly enough, if passes were made before the new system was put in place, they aren’t counted in a student’s GPA. The same can’t be said for fails.

The GPA system unfairly represents students. Our education has turned into a rat race for that one per cent more to bump you into the next bracket. A GPA might sound fancy, but it can’t replace a fair and just educational system.

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