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EDITORS DAILY CRIMSON: Your references to the new mode of marking examinations have been so uniformly favorable in tone that I think the other side of the question should be presented. The following are, I believe, the principal arguments for the new classification system: First, the class limits are so large that an instuctior can in general easily determine in which class any man belongs. The old way of expecting an instructor to decide within one per cent. of the value of a man's work was absurd. Second, the new system will do away with the pernicious practice of working "for marks."
The first of these arguments is plainly weak. It is easy to see that an instructor might find several examination books (say, for example, four) the difference in worth between any two of which might not exceed one per cent., yet of which the best clearly belonged in class a, the worst in class b. He must then decide into which class to put the two intermediate books. Whether he puts both in a, both in b, or one in each of these classes, he has to make a distinction quite as fine as any under the old system. The result, however, is to make the books apparently differ 10 or 15 per cent. in value, instead of the 1 or 2 per cent. which the old system would correctly show. Wherein, then, is the new system fairer than the old?
I admit that the new system may stop men working "for marks," but is this, after all, an advantage? Under the old system men who worked merely to learn worked quite as faithfully, I will venture to say, as they do under the new. If the men who used to work "for marks" no longer do so, the presumption is that they do not work at all, or at least work much less than before, Now, when they worked harder they must, I think, have learned at least a little more than they do now by working less. It is better, then, that they should learn less than before merely because to gain good marks is not in itself a high object.
I know that many other students agree with me in this matter. They not only think the new system no improvement, but they thing it in every way inferior to the old.
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