The Pros and Cons of the Plus/Minus System

The Pros and Cons of the Plus/Minus System

 
It’s no secret that RIT administration has been rocking the boat with several major changes over the past few years, most recently with the switch from quarters to semesters that was met with significant opposition. Now, RIT is implementing another major change. This time, it is the introduction of plus/minus grading. Traditionally RIT has graded on an A, B, C, D, F grading scheme corresponding with grade points of 4.0, 3.0, 2.0, 1.0, and 0 respectively. The campus-wide response to this has been polarizing.
 
Accurate grading
Those students who were always just a few points shy of that A or B will finally have some reprieve. Instead of a B that makes someone just shy of an A and someone who had their grade bumped a point to be a B look the same, there will now be the distinction of B+ and B-. 
 
Consistency
Come on, it'll be nice to finally not have to explain to friends and family that RIT has a different grading system than most schools.
 
Professors will have to pay more attention to individual grading
We’ve all had that professor who never hands anything back, doesn’t post grades, and seems to take a rough guess as to what your grade should be. With plus/minus grading professors will have to keep their grades to the organized and exact. 
 
 
There is no A+.
While many will rejoice in the B+ and C+ being part of the grading scheme, there is still the lack of an A+. At many other universities an A+ earns a student 4.3 grade points, giving some a chance to cross the 4.0 mark. It appears RIT isn’t going to allow that. 
 
Goodbye 4.0's
Like a 4.0 wasn't hard enough to get in the first place. Now all of your grades will need to be A's- no A-'s.
 
RIT isn’t ready for more changes.
Let’s face it: RIT had a tough time with the semester conversion. Many professors had no idea how to pace their classes for 15 weeks as opposed to 10 weeks. Some professors taught material too slowly and too drawn out, others decided to keep the intense 10-week pace for 15 weeks, driving many students near insanity. So many changes around the same time just feels like a recipe for disaster.
 
There is no clear-cut winner in favor or against plus/minus grading. Only time will tell if students will come to accept the new grading scheme or will continue to 
voice against it.

Salutations! I am Emily Kessler, a 2nd year Microelectronic Engineering student at Rochester Institute of Technology.