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Plus and minus signs coming?

Seniors may find it hard to imagine a world beyond the As and Bs of school. In the future, all students may find it hard to remember a world with simple As and Bs.

An idea to switch to a plus/ minus grade system has recently been brought up to the College of Arts and Science. If implemented, students could expect to begin seeing a plus or a minus next to their grades.

Tony Wagener, chief administrator of Undergraduate Student Government, said there is yet to be an actual written proposal to move to this grading system. In fact, he said the idea was only randomly brought up at an Arts and Science forum.

“A change like this would be a University-wide change,” Wagener said, “This affects the whole campus.”

With no actual plan presented at all, this system would take years to implement, according to Wagener.

“There’s no way to say how it would work,” he said. “It would have to go through various areas of research.”

But there are other universities that use this kind of grade system.

Universities like North Carolina State and Georgia State have a 12-level scale with a one-third point difference between each grade. The scale starts with an A or A+ at 4.0. An A- is valued at 3.667 and so on.

Jessica Taylor, a freshman, said she believes it wouldn’t benefit students at all if the system were to be similar to the 12-level scale.

“If someone were to get an A- then they wouldn’t get a 4.0, Taylor said. “I think getting any kind of A is a big deal and we should be rewarded with a 4.0 point value.”

Toni Donato, junior, thinks a plus/minus grade system may actually benefit those students who earn 98 percent or 99 percent.

“It sets people apart. You are not given your grade, you earn you grade,” Donato said.

Wagener believes grading is the first and foremost thing the University does and adding the plus or minus would be a major change.

“There is nothing wrong with the system now,” he said.

Taylor has similar feelings.

“It is already stressful if you have a borderline A,” she said, “This new [system] would make me start worrying about whether or not I had an A or an A-. I like how it is now.”

Whitney Smith, sophomore, said if this new system were implemented, it may encourage students to work harder for a plus.

“The system definitely puts more pressure on getting an ‘A+’,” Smith said. “It helps motivate me because I know GPA is important.”

With this plan years away, students can continue to enjoy the simplicity of an unmarked A.

Wagener said he is more worried about the other pressing issues in the University’s master plan.

“Right now there is no movement to do it,” Wagener said, “It’s just not in the pipeline.”

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