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Varying Outcomes of Pass and Fail Grading

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  • “Pass-fail grading also reduces competition and supports collaboration, and fosters intrinsic motivation which is key to self-regulated, lifelong ...learning.” (p.469)

  • “In line with this scenario, students expecting a graded test increased their confidence and absolute accuracy of confidence judgments to a greater ... extent from mid-term to final test than students expecting a pass-fail test (Study 1 and 2). Moreover, the graded group decreased the bias of their confidence judgments more than the pass-fail group. Consequently, the graded students outperformed the pass-fail students on these measures in the final tests in all three studies.” (p.138)

  • “The grade point average score among students choosing the Pass/Fail scale is somewhat higher compared to students who choose the A-F ... grading scale. Reduced stress associated with writing the degree project motivates those who choose the Pass/Fail grading scale. Enhanced motivation to do a good job on the thesis work and perceived good chances of receiving an A grade motivate students who choose the A-F grading scale.” (p.1993)

  • “Students on the pass-fail system did not show any significant effects from first exam grades, but overall they received significantly lower grades ... than those on the traditional grading system.” (p.71)

  • “Results indicated that student performance in a postgraduate psychology course was graded at a lower level under pass-fail marking, compared ...with a grade-based marking system. Students’ course marks were lower overall and were also significantly lower, based on the pass-fail scheme for one particular assignment that focused on students’ administration, scoring and reporting of a test of intellectual ability.” (p.59) “Although a reduction in performance was evident, students continued to demonstrate excellent achievement of the course learning objectives with the change to pass-fail assessment.” (p.57)

  • “Pass-fail grading may reduce stress and increase group cohesion in medical students compared with traditional 5-interval grading.” (p.1443)
  • “We examined how achievement (learning and performance) goals and academic self-efficacy predicted three achievement-related outcomes in a ... college sample. Self-efficacy tended to moderate the effects of (learning and performance) goals on number of courses taken for a letter grade as well as achievement in letter graded and pass/fail courses. Thus, learning goals better predicted choosing letter grades when self-efficacy was high than when it was low. In contrast, performance goals better predicted choosing letter grades when self-efficacy was low than when it was high. Through their prediction of the choice to receive letter grades, these interactions predicted achievement in pass/fail courses.” (p.495)

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