Enough has been told about the dark side of the grades by educators.
Here is a blog that gives 3 reasons grades are bad and restrict students from innovating or becoming an independent thinker.
It has been criticized to encourage “teaching to test” style of teaching, and grades become the end goal rather than learning.
No matter how much it is criticized, the status quo of grades has hardly changed.
It became a century, but students are still judged only through their grades. Innovation on improving grading procedures has continued in many isolated parts of the world, but it’s never done in scale throughout most countries.
In India, reason can be the hierarchical rigid political, and bureaucratic system, that hardly gives any choice and training to the schools to innovate. They want everything to be filtered by grades, whether through board grades or entrance scores.
Grades have become a source of filtering, rather than providing equity to the disadvantaged.
But many solutions to the problem of grades exist:
Like low stake topic or chapter wise scores, where students can repeat the chapters till they score above 90s or A grade in it.
Boards like CBSE do allow reappearing exams to improve grades, but that is impractical to students, as they have to appear the whole subject exam rather than the topic they are weak at. Appearing the whole subject is too tedious, can take a year, makes them repeat the topics which they have already mastered.
Topic-wise exams help them to master each topic and students master the complete subject without a learning loss.
Students can learn each topic at a time at their own pace, without getting overwhelmed by the curriculum of the complete subject.
Here is a form of simple rubrics to grade students.
The problem is not just grades but curriculum and question papers. How sound the question design has been done? Whether it encourages critical thinking or rote memorization.
Without an effective curriculum, it’s pointless to have exams.