Should the only thing put in the gradebook be tests?


Connor Larsen

An algebra student’s homework. Taking away the grade associated with homework can also take away the incentive to do it, but students are finding, especially in classes like math, that not doing the homework makes taking the tests difficult.

With finals week upon us, questions, concerns, and complaints are surfacing on what schools and teachers should be doing to prepare their students for their lives. Though some of these are the opinions of stressed teenagers who don’t know what’s best for themselves yet, there are some important topics and valid points that should be addressed. 

One of those topics is whether your final grade should only be test scores and any other type of summative assessment. The topic is controversial, all though it could have a place in high school.

Only having tests count for your grade means that your workload can be gauged to how much you need to know on a topic to get a good score in a class. This can be good for students, because class assignments can be treated like practice and study guides, and assistant teachers could become of use to encourage independent studying. 

However, it could backfire on a student if they don’t have as much understanding on a topic as they thought they did. If the assignments they are given aren’t graded, it takes away the incentive to even prepare for a test at all, and leads to students beginning to slack. 

Either way, there will be pros and cons to switching to a grade system where the only things that matter are tests. However despite there being flaws in today’s grading system, there is no denying that it is extremely effective and has worked for the majority of students.