Students Prefer Grades to be Kept Private

Ari Stein, Staff Writer

After taking a test where you may have guessed on more than half the questions, the last thing you want to do is have your score made public. Your grade is supposed to be for YOUR eyes only, not others. We should have a choice whether we would like to share our test scores with the whole class, some people, or no one. Unfortunately, some teachers don’t give us that option.

Whether it is tests being spread out on a table, a TA passing them back, or the students with the highest score having their name written on the board, it is still an invasion of privacy. Not only that, it can put even more pressure on the students to compete academically. There are always those students who feel the need to make sure they got a better grade than others or simply need to check out other students score’s.

Having their grades exposed can make some students feel self concious. Even some students who do well on tests, do not like sharing their test score. It is hard to comfort a friend who did badly on a test when they know you just aced it.

Although teachers may think laying tests out on a table for the students to take is efficient, it can actually cause a delay in class or even embarrassment for some students. Students will linger around the table for a few seconds, even when they have their test, just to compare their scores with others. It’s a natural impulse of students to be curious, but teachers shouldn’t be facilitating this.

When you do not want to share your score with a competitive friend, you hope the decision will be up to you. Your friend will come up to you and ask what you got, yet they already know. If you always ace tests, this might not be a problem, but for the students who don’t and would rather keep it on the down low, it is not fair.

Some teachers write student names on the board who got the best grade. Although your score is being shared for a good reason, it is still your grade.

Some students are embarrased by this. It adds even more pressure than there already is, and promotes competition to get a better grade. If a student is always on the board, there is pressure to stay on the board. If a student’s name is never on the board, it can lower your self esteem. “I am not a huge fan of the board system because I think test grades should be kept personal. And it is humiliating to the people who do not get on the board, especially if they usually are or people expect them to be. It puts unnecessary social pressure in an academic setting,” said an anonymous Miramonte student.

Teachers may also think that returning tests upside down by rows is helpful, but in reality, students have a tendency to flip their classmates’ tests over and look at the grades before passing them back.

Other teachers ask for student volunteers to pass back tests. The volunteers get to see everyone’s scores, and sometimes will share what other people got with their friends. Often times it’s not the student who will do anything to help a teacher, but the student who is academically competitive who volunteers.

Also, many students would just rather not have anyone know their score, whether it is an A or an F. Teachers need to take that extra minute to walk down the aisles of desks and individually hand back their tests.

From there, students can decide whether they want to share with peers or keep their grade disclosed. It should be the teacher’s responsibility to keep their student’s grades private.