How to Discuss a Grade with Your Student

Association of Educators
December 12, 2013 — 1,045 views  

Exams and grades are some of the things that most students dread. Also, it is not just the fear of passing a test, but the fear of an unfair grade that can scare students. No matter how fair you are with your students while grading their performance, there will always be a few cases of students coming up and complaining about getting a lower score than they expected. As a teacher, you obviously cannot consider every student that comes to you and send them off with better grades. You have already done your job of grading your students fairly, but how do you convince your complaining students about accepting their grade?

Discussing Grades with your Students

Discussing with your student about low grades can be a little tough especially if you are dealing with much younger students who may fail to understand your side of the story. But you will have to put forward your point in a manner that does not hurt the student or reflect on his/her self-esteem.

Every teacher has a different way of evaluating students. Though the common ground of being fair and objective remains the same, every teacher tends to gauge students on various criteria. For some instructors it can be all about getting the answer exactly the way mentioned in the class or book while for some others the answers may be fine as long as they are clear enough. Some teachers may rank creativity with some extra points while some others may consider precision to be the tool.

Guiding Them with the Grading System

This can make it a little difficult for students to analyze which way he/she needs to answer the test. To make sure that your students are clear about the way they need to take the test, you can guide them in the beginning itself as to what will help them in scoring better. Teacher guidance can help a lot in this case as it makes students understand what exactly the teacher is looking for.

Also, one thing you need to be strict about while reconsidering the grade is making sure that the students are graded solely on the quality of their answers. You cannot go weak just because a student pleads to you. There are chances that once you get a little lenient with a certain student, others may also consider the idea of getting their grades improved. So be firm with your approach and reconsider your decision only if you find the request to be genuine.

Teacher feedback is another important aspect that can help students in learning where they went wrong and what is it that is preventing them from scoring better. One thing that teachers need to keep in mind is that they should never differentiate between their students or compare them. This can bring down the morale of the students and affect their grade seven more. Teachers and students can compromise on certain matters like reducing the syllabus for the test and so on.

Association of Educators