In academic contexts; what would the word "grade" mean in different varieties of English? Examples: In BrE, would it be understood as (A, B, C, ... etc) as (Excellent, Very good, Good ...etc) or as both? In AmE, would it be understood as (A, B, C, ... etc) as (Excellent, Very good, Good ...etc), as points (33/40 for instance) or as all of them? Thank you!
Sep 3, 2018 1:34 PM
Answers · 3
In the United States, the answer is "all of them." In the United States, nothing about education is really standardized. Furthermore, when it comes to grading exams and papers, it is common for individual schools to have their own system... and for an individual teacher to use their own favorite system in the classroom, and convert grades to a different system when reporting final grades for the semester. Here are a few of the common systems. I have personally encountered every one of them. All of these systems are called "grades." When the grade is a number, the word "points" is also used. When the number ranges from 0 to 100, the word "percent" is also used. 1) "Letter grades," A, B, C, D, augmented by F (for "failing") and possibly others (such as "I" for "incomplete") 2) Letter grades with the addition of plus signs: A+, A, B+, B, C+, C, D+, D, F. 3) Letter grades with the addition of both plus and minus signs: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F. 4) Number grades on a scale of 0 to 100, with some number designated as "passing," often 60. There may or may not be tables for converting them to letter grades, e.g. 95 and up = A+. The word "percent" and the percent sign may or may not be used. 5) Number grades on other scales. Many universities use a scale of 0-4, with several decimal places to express fine gradations. Thus a 4.00 or "four-oh" might be the highest possible grade. The university I went to used 0-5, however. 6) Word grades, often "excellent, good, fair, poor, failing." These are obviously the same as A, B, C, D and F but some teachers and schools for some reason feel that using words is better. 7) Pass/fail. No grades are assigned, you either pass the course or you do not. In the United States, the word "grade" is also use for age levels; classes for 6-year-olds are "first grade," 7-year-olds in "second grade," and so forth. I think the British may call these "forms."
September 3, 2018
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