An experimental method of grading students is tested in China, where those students that fail an exam can borrow points in order to get a passing mark.
The system works as a ”grade bank”, where points can be borrowed, but there are terms and conditions.
The students that borrowed grades must pay an interest – they must get even higher scores on a future exam.
Students can also do extra work in the form of lab experiments or public presentations to repay the bank.
The system have been put into place as teachers came to realize that China’s education system is to heavily dependent on just a few major exams.
The pressure to perform lead to a rise in hi-tech methods of cheating.
Students have been caught cheating with spy cameras and radio devices hidden in jewelry, glasses, wallets, pens, rulers and even underwear.
“The purpose of exams are for students to evaluate, correct and improve their studies, not to make things difficult, punish, destroy student’s enthusiasm,” Huang Kan, a director a high-school that implemented the system told for the Yangtse Evening News.
Huang added that it is wrong for one test determine the rest of one student’s life.
The “grade bank” is currently only in the pilot phase, and so far only available for advanced students in the international departments.
One student, identified as Gui, recently used the bank to borrow seven points in order to receive a passing grade of 60 on a physics test, the Yangtse Evening News reported.
Most students usually need only one or two points.
“The difference in learning between a score of 59 points and 60 points is not large, but the psychological impact on students is huge,” said Mei Hong, a physics teacher.
Any students still in debt at the end of the semester will get a “red mark” on their record.