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Plus or minus

A change in the consistency of the grading system at Georgia State could occur in the future, depending on student viewpoints.

Georgia State’s current grading system, according to Adriana Macchione, Student Government Association Vice President of Academic Affairs, could make a move to a standard policy of either a consistent use of plus or minus in grading or no use of plus or minus in grading.

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“We’re thinking to just establish a consistent policy throughout the University which means that all professors have to use the plus/minus system or not,” Macchione said. “If students like the plus/minus system then what we’re going to push for is consistency which means no matter what class you have, no matter what department a 91 to a 93 will be this, for an example.”

Currently, the grading system in place allows professors to use plus or minus in grading at their discretion and allows them to decide what would be considered an A-, A or A+, for instance.

“For example, if you get a 93 in a class and a professor uses the plus/minus system and they say a 93 is an A- and then you get a professor who doesn’t use it (plus/minus system) and you get a 91, it’s just an A,” Macchione said. “So that 93 is actually less than your 91.”

Before making any definite decisions to go on with this proposition, SGA will survey students on whether or not they feel the change is necessary.

“We just purchased the pro version of Survey Monkey, so now we can survey unlimited numbers of students and get their feedback and hopefully get started on that today,” Macchione said last Wednesday.

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SGA is aiming for 10,000 student responses to the survey, which will be administered through email, though SGA will also put in some footwork to get the numbers.

At this semester’s first SGA meeting a possible alternative mentioned was a 100 point system, but now consistency seems to be an important factor in whatever students want.

“We’re not pursuing that (100 point system) as an alternative anymore,” Macchione said.

Macchione, who met and discussed this with the Chair of University Admissions and Standards Committee, explained that opting for a 100-point system would require a lengthy process of going through the Board of Regents. A change for

Georgia State would cause a change to all universities in Georgia and prestige: most colleges and universities do not use a 100-point system.

“Whatever seems to be fair is what is probably going to take place,” Macchione said.

While a change may not impact professors as much, students could see positive consequences.

“I think [the grading system] should be uniform and every professor should use a plus/minus system so that it works better for students’ GPAs,” said Taylor Burns, a senior at Georgia State.

When asked her opinion on the matter, Dr. Cynthia Hoffner, a Communications professor, said that she does “not have strong feelings about it either way.”

At other Georgia universities, such as the University of Georgia, all professors are required to use plus/minus in their grading, but they may decide how to assign grades in each class. Also, plus/minus grades are never considered when transferring to Georgia universities.

Currently there is no set time for when, if any, changes to the grading policy will take place. A tentative goal of Fall 2013 is set, though the process could take years.