With four weeks left in the semester, it is now crunch time for students who want to lock down their grades. But with only a stray letter grade or two in Albert, how are we to know where we stand in our classes? In high school, this process was often fairly easy as many schools constantly updated grades online and even gave quarter grades. While college grading is obviously completely different, knowing where a student stands grade-wise is still extremely important for their learning process.
At NYU, all professors were supposed to post a current grade on Albert by Nov. 7. As a naive freshman, I thought this policy would be strictly adhered to. After all, it is on the academic calendar alongside other extremely important dates like finals and winter break. However, after navigating through the confusing and out-dated disaster of a website that is Albert, I discovered that only half of my professors had posted grades. In fact, in two of my classes, I really have no idea where I stand going into finals season.
Furthermore, this trend seemed to be true with everyone I spoke to, no matter their major or year. A large part of this has to do with the nature of many college classes, in which grades are based on a few large assignments. In other words, it is understandably hard to give an estimate based only a few graded assignments. Nevertheless, students should be able to at least have a grasp on whether they are performing as well as they hope to be. Grades can motivate students into working harder as the semester nears its end, and it troubleshoots classes to which students should devote more of their effort. For example, if a student knew they had a borderline grade in one class and an extremely high grade in another, they would know to focus their attention on the class with the borderline grade. For the ridiculous amount of money NYU students are paying, this is not too much to ask. After all, we are the ones doing the work, and our grades should be constantly updated to reflect our performance.
One of the first things parents always seem to ask when they call about college is, “How are your grades?” Unfortunately, many people I know cannot give their parents a quality answer. My parents don’t even believe me because it seems ridiculous that after three months of hard work, professors could not even give an idea of where we stand overall. However, this is the reality in far too many NYU classes. The administration has a system in place to prevent this, the midterm grade deadline, and it is time it is finally enforced.
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A version of this article appeared in the Monday, November 28th print edition. Email Andrew Heying at [email protected]