Research Papers

Grade Inflation Research Paper

The nature of the grade inflation is the trend when students are progressively awarded higher marks for tasks that would have received lower grades earlier. It is most often mentioned in the context of education and training systems in the United States and United Kingdom. However, it is also later was mentioned as a problem in other countries of the Western Europe.

The existence of the phenomenon is not proven scientifically until today. It is only apparent from statistics showing that the average grade has improved in some areas over longer periods. In the United States is A-grades are on higher education has gone from 15% to 45% since 1950 to the present day. In Europe, the average high school scores were 2.8 in the 1970s, and 2.5 in the 1980s. In 2008, the average was 2.32 already. The statistics makes, however, no statement about the cause of this development. The phenomenon could be on the one hand due to a procurement of better scores for the same performance and thus a grade inflation, on the other hand, it is also possible that improved classes resulted in actually better academic performance.

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Many different reasons can be cited as a reason for the grade inflation as there is no secure evidence. Teachers may feel pressured to give higher grades for fear of students’ or their parents’ complaints, or to help them to have the grades to get into a specific training with a high average admission requirements. In most cases, the nature of inflation shows itself as an increase in the proportion allocated to high marks, and a corresponding decrease in the proportion allocated to low grades.

The most common explanation is the presumption that schools and universities respond to the growing pressure on the labor market since the 1970s. According to this hypothesis, teachers and professors give better marks their students to improve their chances on the labor market. Such an approach may not lead to success, if it is widely practiced.

More conjecture refers to the area of the education bureaucracy. According to this assumption, education institutions try to prove the quality of their work to be good through good grades. Therefore, there is a pressure on schools and colleges to be tend to give always better grades to be able to point to successes for the Ministry of culture and science bureaucracy.

The result of the grade inflation is a devaluation of the marks. So, many universities justify their claims, in addition to graduating perform aptitude tests, among other things with the argument that the Abitur grades can be viewed no longer as a guarantor for the studying ability. A similar phenomenon is reflected in the education market. Many training companies see no sufficient evidence in a good testimony of the suitability and ability to go successfully through an apprenticeship. They also lead a supposedly existing grade inflation as a reason for recruitment tests.

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