Objective-based grading: helpful or harmful?


Keegan Honig

Logan Abell aces his objective-based Biology quiz.

Keegan Honig, Editor

Objective-based grading has been making or breaking students’ grades at St. Louis High School, but is it really a beneficial grading system? The concept of objective-based grading is that quizzes are graded on a 10-point scale. If you get everything correct on a quiz, then you get 100 percent as your score, but if you get one or two questions wrong, regardless of the number of questions on the quiz, you get 85 percent as your score. The more questions you get wrong, the lower your score, with 55 percent being the lowest you can receive other than zero percent. This can be frustrating for students because they could hypothetically get a mere one question wrong on a 50-question quiz and receive 85 percent as their grade instead of 98 percent.

However, teachers who use objective-based grading have agreed to allow students to retake any objective-based quiz as many times as needed to get the score they want. This helps so many students, and it has definitely helped me tremendously. Only the science department in the high school uses this grading system so far, but other classes may start using it as well.

Sophomore Jen Brown stated, “I love the objective-based grading. I enjoy being able to retake quizzes, and I love the organization. It helps ensure that the student knows the material they are learning. It is hard at times when I’ll get one point off and have to retake it, but it’s all worth it.”

The success of the grading system may depend on the teacher using it. For example, some teachers could be extremely organized and could make the system easy for students to succeed with, while other teachers may be unorganized and not make it clear to students that they can retake their quizzes.

Logan Abell shared, “I personally find objective-based grading to be rewarding and easy for those who put in the time and effort toward achieving a good grade in objective-based quizzes. However, objective-based quizzes can also be quite stressful for students who strive to have 100 percent on every quiz, and if they don’t realize they can keep retaking these quizzes, they might end up with a grade less than what they want to have.”

Objective-based grading is a very beneficial system for students as long as the teacher is organized and willing to keep up with students’ quizzes. The fact that students can retake quizzes as many times as they need is a very helpful perk of this grading system, and it also causes students to be responsible for their own grade. This system also causes students to really learn the material because they have to get every question right to get 100 percent. Overall, it’s a very helpful and beneficial way of grading if students are informed about what is available for them.