The action of the French department in abandoning all examinations in three courses is worthy of imitation in other branches. It marks the beginning of a movement which, it is to be hoped, will end in the partial or total abandonment of the much-dreaded finals and mid-years. In the foreign universities, the only examinations are those required for a degree; and even these are not answers to a paper, but consist of carefully prepared theses. In those courses here in which theses and special reports are required there is no excuse for the present system, and several instructors have already realized this to such an extent that they give no mid-year papers. The evils of grinding are too well known to require mention, but the instructors can hardly be a ware of the actual state of things. Cases are frequent in which a man who has worked faithfully throughout the year gets a D; while a man who has not read the text-book at all, but who has been tutored or has used "trots," gets a C or even a B in return for a few hours of work. A system which permits such rank injustice as this has no excuse for existence. The new marking system has been tried and has proved a failure. Many instructors mark in per cent. as before, and only reduce the marks to letters for the use of the office. The injustice of the system is intensified by the different standards of the various instructors, one says that his D equals 74 per cent., and another that it is equivalent to 65. No temporary palliatives will suffice; a radical change is needed, and it will come sooner or later. The present arrangement is not in harmony with our elective system and it must be altered. A number of the instructors are going abroad this year, let the faculty ask them to investigate other systems and report, and meanwhile give the system of doing without examinations a fair trial here. Then careful and wise action can be taken, and a permanent system can be established which will last unaltered for several generations at least. This is the next question which must engage the attention of the faculty after the settlement of the athletic question. It is nearly as important for the welfare of the college, and so let no time be lost in attacking the problem.
NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED
August 04, 2015