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Trivia Tuesday: The Yale SOM Grading System

gradingIt’s time again for Trivia Tuesday, in which we examine the distinctive elements that separate the leading MBA programs from their peers. This week, we’re taking a peek into the Clear Admit School Guide to the Yale School of Management in order to share with you an excerpt about the program’s grading policies and grade non-disclosure.

“Rather than using numerical or letter grades as a measure of a student’s performance in a course, Yale SOM’s grading sys­tem is more closely akin to a pass/fail model. Professors can assign students one of the following four grades: Distinction, Proficient, Pass or Fail. The highest, Distinction, is reserved for unusually high-quality work and is awarded to no more than 10 percent of students taking the course. Meanwhile, Proficient denotes a normal level of achievement in course­work and comfort with the subject matter. Though a grade of Pass is a positive signal at most schools, Yale’s reflects perfor­mance that did not meet the level of proficiency, yet was not so lacking that it warranted a failing grade. Finally, the grade Fail reflects a level of performance and effort so unsatisfac­tory that it cannot be counted toward the 72-credit graduation requirement.

“To move into the second year of the SOM program, a stu­dent must receive a grade of Proficient in at least 22 units of coursework and credit in at least 30. In the event that a stu­dent fails a core course, he or she must retake the class, pass a proficiency exam if one is offered, or reach an agreement for making up the work with the instructor. The student will be dismissed from the program if he or she does not remedy the failing grade in or before the next term in which the course is offered.

“Unlike schools that mandate that each grade be assigned to a certain percentage of the students in a course, Yale’s grading policy puts the implementation of its grading system in the hands of individual instructors. This allows faculty members to assign the grades they feel best reflect a student’s mastery of the subject matter, and the system eliminates the pres­sure on students to outperform each other to make a certain grade. These measures are designed to foster collabora­tion and encourage students to focus on the learning process rather than the end result.”

To read about Yale SOM, be sure to check out the Yale SOM’s School Profile on Clear Admit.