The Impact of the 90-10 Grading Policy

As September begins to wrap up, students are managing to adjust to the new 90-summative, 10-formative grading policy that has been implemented in Annandale. This new scaling is a largely dramatic difference to last year’s policy that primarily focused on 60-formative and 40-summative as students came back from almost a two year pandemic.

“What we were looking at was that the grades kids were getting in class wasn’t an accurate indicator of their learning,” principal Shawn Derose said.

While this grading policy continues to be in effect some students have felt the negative impacts of the policy as they see sharp decreases in their grade, whereas prior years there wasn’t a large drop because of the weighted difference. More students may feel anxious about doing well on summatives because of the impact they now have. 

“I went from an A to a C, and I don’t like that. I find it odd, I mean, last year it was working out fine. I don’t understand why we changed it,” junior Kenny Trang said. 

“I have mixed feelings about it because last year a big problem for me was not turning assignments in on time. So, it’s cool that assignments are counting less and tests are counting more.” Said Nhi Nguyen. “But at the same time it is irritating because for summatives that are worth 5 points or something, if you get one question wrong, it immediately drops your grade.” 

Work habits of students also have mixed reviews. Some say that it has helped them to become more productive because summatives are the only priority for them. 

“I tend to focus more when it comes to tests. I won’t fret on homework as much as a test because homework barely matters” junior Rana Bahr said.

However, other students have mentioned the struggles that they are facing because of the new grading policy being pressurizing. 

“I find myself studying a lot more. I’ve sacrificed a lot of sleep to work for the grades I have. I understand why we have the 90/10 policy but it is extremely stressful,” junior Madison Mum said.

Looking ahead, students who had adjusted to the previous grading policy expect that this year may come with its difficulties, and necessary adjustments will have to be made to ensure that they are exceeding in their classes while also trying to keep up with everything else happening in their lives. 

While there are some students who believe that the grading policy is beneficial to them, all students will eventually have to adjust to the new grading policy. Although it is a demanding change in expectations compared to last year, teachers and staff hope that with this new grading system the grades will better reflect a student’s skills in comprehension through summatives. 

“Students will have to work harder for better grades. I will have to start prioritizing school more if I want to keep up my grades.” Mum said. “I hope students have a good balance between school and activities outside of school because it will burn you out.”  

“The emphasis on summative grades also makes it important that our assessments are valid,” Derose said.  “Administrators and Instructional Coaches are working closely with teachers to ensure that our assessments are indeed accurate reflections of student learning, and that our instruction sufficiently prepares students to demonstrate that learning.”