Op-ed: STEM students are subject to arbitrarily harsh, mentally taxing grading schemes by Lovelyn Saini

In her Op-ed, Human Biology and Society student, Lovelyn Saini, discussed the daunting grading system for STEM majors, the limited data on departmental differences in grading and the need for an innovative grading system from which students can benefit and develop a positive experience in their education.

“This curving system creates a concerning atmosphere in which STEM students want to beat each other rather than work​ collaboratively. On top of this hostile environment, the curving system creates an academic-success gap between North and South Campus students. No wonder in the 2001-2002 school year, UCLA students from the materials science and engineering department averaged a 2.70 GPA compared to a 3.80 average from Slavic, East European and Eurasian languages and cultures department.

UCLA desperately needs to close the grading-system gap in each department and modify the plus-minus system to alleviate student stress while facilitating a much more positive learning atmosphere.

Although there is limited data highlighting departmental differences in grading, student narratives indicate the gap is extensive.

“There is definitely a difference between each department,” said Priya Kohli, a human biology and society student. “It may be due to the nature of courses, but still, I encountered having many science classes with a preset curve compared to my humanities courses.”

Her experiences ring a bell with many other students on South Campus, including myself.'”

To read more of Saini’s article, please click here.

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