A Guide to Grading Exams

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175 Responses

  1. mystery prof says:

    As a professor, I’ve always used this method. You close your eyes, and take a pencil and randomly point to a spot on the page in the middle of the essay (I only give essay tests). If it’s a gradable letter (A, B, C, D, or F), the student gets that grade. If not, I move on to the next letter and keep going until I find a letter that corresponds to a grade. To assign pluses and minuses, in cases where I hit the letter grade on the first try, I look at the next letter. If it is a vowel, I give out a plus; if it’s a consonant, I give out a minus. And I forgot the last rule: if I miss the page entirely (after a couple drinks, you know?), or there’s a lot of blank space on the page and I land on a blank spot, the student gets an incomplete and has to do it over. Then I repeat this process for the “do overs” until it finally works out.

    So there’s my secret grading system that has worked for nine years, and hopefully will for the rest of my teaching career. And just in case you were wondering, students do occasionally complain, but for the most part, they just accept their failures and move on (the ones who do a terrible job and get lucky NEVER complain!)

  2. Yeah, this is kind of a scary post. Haha.

  3. Benjamin says:

    Lest anyone limit themselves to grading papers with this method, I’d like to mention it is exactly how my sister chose her husband.

    No, I wasn’t there, but his intellect confirms he was thrown down the stairs using the ‘bottom higher’ theory. It’s the only logical explanation.

  4. bluesprite says:

    this is so hilarious!

    i seriously think my teacher grades like this.

  5. McCool says:

    this is some funny shit!

  6. Teresa says:

    Love this and will add to my grading-methods repertoire. So far my most efficient method has been dog-related… not sure I want to go into it in detail so students won’t learn how to weight their papers in their own favor.

    This was a great break in all the grading. Now back to the 85 papers left. Does a staircase outside an office building work?

    Teresa

  7. Teresa says:

    Love this and will add to my grading-methods repertoire. So far my most efficient method has been dog-related… not sure I want to go into it in detail so students won’t learn how to weight their papers in their own favor.

    This was a great break in all the grading. Now back to the 85 papers left. Does a staircase outside an office building work?

    Teresa

  8. cameron says:

    This would certainly explain how my English prof this semester graded our papers. However, he added a couple of twists:

    1) Stand halfway up the staircase and scale appropriately. This gives all students very high grades, but for what reason I cannot fathom.

    2) To make it seem less obvious, he would rapidly scan the essay and circle any grammatical errors, then leave a generic note about how he “enjoyed the presentation” or somesuch at the end.

  9. Shon says:

    I have heard of someone using Excel to make a spread sheet with a random number generator that creates grades within specific parameters for however many students are entered.

    ::blink blink::

    I’ve never written one, nor would I ever use one. ::blink blink::