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OP-ED: Penn Should Let Students Choose Their Own Grade


Photo by Michael Pollack /  CC BY 2.0

I know I know. This whole debate over opt-in pass/fail, mandatory pass/fail, A/A- nonsense has been heard a million times at this point. Some people want the chance to bring their GPA up. Other people want to protect their grades from a beating during these tough times. Other people just want to know what it feels like to go to Harvard. Well, after weeks of weighing all the pros and cons of each side and spending hours perusing change.org petitions, I think I have finally come up with the perfect solution for everyone.

Why don’t we just all get to choose our own grades for the semester? Allow me to explain why and how this works before you all start singing my praises. You’ll never even have to see a P or F on the transcript and instead, you can decide what grade you think you deserve. Everyone knows that as students, we hold the honor code in the highest regard and that is why we will accurately and critically assess how we truly did. Professors can rest easy knowing that their class will still have a nice curve to it, with all students honestly giving themselves the grades they deserve. For the first time, we will actually be able to give an A for effort. 

That guy from your french class that never does any of the group work? He’ll happily give himself a C+. That girl from your chem class that had to get her eyes rinsed three times this semester? Definitely knows she deserves a B- at best. And for you, the one person in your class that actually gets your work done on time and perfectly crafts every essay and problem set despite being drunk or hungover the entire weekend? The coveted A+, reserved for only the worthiest of students.

Now that I have officially solved everyone’s problems, let’s get back to worrying about the things that really matter: cutting out some new bangs.