Percentages don't make the grade 2

November 24, 2006

In my view, the inflation of marks ("New class proposed to end 2:1 bonanza", November 9) is not a result of the number of classifications available but the wide range of marks constituting a first.

I've never understood why a third, 2:2 and 2:1 cover 9 percentage points respectively (that is 40-49, 50-59, 60-69), whereas a first covers 70-100 per cent. There was a time when marks above 75 per cent were awarded only in very rare cases. Nowadays, many universities insist that lecturers use the full range of marks, which means that marks can go up to 90 and beyond. The result is thatJa student whose profile includes six marks in the lower 2:2 category needs only two marks over 80 per cent to gain a 2:1 overall, hardly a true reflection of the overall profile.

I would therefore suggest the following marking range: third 60-69 per cent, 2:2 70-79 per cent, 2:1 80-89 per cent, first 90-100 per cent. I would also find it a lot easier to jus-tify such a system to students.

Ricarda Zoellner.
Leeds

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