Teacher explains why he always rounds up grades that are close to an A: ‘We focus way too much on the final percentage’

·2 min read

A math teacher is drawing praise on TikTok thanks to a video that explains why he strongly believes in rounding up grades.

Howie Hua (@howie_hua) is a college math instructor, who often posts TikToks about his subject of expertise. However, it’s a recent video about his grading philosophy that caused him to go viral.

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In the clip, Hua explains why he will “always” round a student’s 89.9% grade to an A. Additionally, he lays out his larger argument for lenient grading overall.

Hua gives two main reasons for his philosophy. The first, he explains, is the inherent margin of error found in any teacher’s grading system.

“I am not a perfect grader, and I will never be a perfect grader,” he says. “And in my opinion, saying that an 89.9% says that I’m extremely accurate and precise in grading every single assignment with zero percent error.”

His second reason? Grade weighting. It’s common for college professors to set their own “weights” for grades, determining how tests, projects and homework affect a student’s overall grade.

But, in Hua’s opinion, this practice is flawed as well.

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“My assignments are not weighted perfectly,” he says. “And I don’t think they’ll ever be weighted perfectly.”

As an example, Hua shows how easily a student’s grades could change based on weighting. By changing just a few percentage points, he alters a hypothetical final grade by almost three percentage points.

Ultimately, Hua says he doesn’t have an exact “cutoff” for what number he’d round up to an A. Instead, he’s more concerned about making sure his students understand the material.

“I think we focus way too much on the final percentage,” he says. “We forget that grades are a reflection of what [the students] know.”

Commenters poured in with praise for Hua’s reasoning.

“Yeah, as a teacher, it hurts no one to bump a grade up slightly. It hurts the students when you grade harsh and strict,” one user said.

“I bump them up as well. I am certainly not perfect,” a different commenter added.

“I just wanna say you’re a fabulous teacher,” another wrote.

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