Pass/No Pass: Helps or Hinders?

Are there negative effects to a popular tough-class solution?

By STN2 Staff | 04/18/07 | Posted in News

The pass/no pass system helps numerous students get through tough classes without affecting their GPA, but can it have negative effects on students’ work ethic?

“It is designed to encourage students to take classes that they are scared of, that they might not do well in,” says communication professor Harvey Jassem, “and I think that’s a terrific idea.”

Freshman Chris Vece feels the pass/no pass system can help students a lot. “For me I was able to not worry so much about one of my classes that I had kind of having a hard time with.”

The problem is some students don’t always use the system for the tough classes. Instead of trying during a class, they use it to slack and skip classes. However, professors aren’t being fooled.

“Most faculty members have good high standards, then a student is not going to get the pass if they are not doing anything,” adds Jassem. “If they are doing passing work they’ll get a pass, if they’re just coming to class or barely coming to class and not doing work then they won’t get a pass”

Many agree that pass/no pass is beneficial as long as the student studies, works hard and at least attempts to earn a good grade

“If for one reason or another they are really working hard and not doing well grade wise, then sure I think it’s a good strategy to take a pass rather than a low grade so you can keep your grade point average up.”

Instead of changing your class to pass/no pass, there are always options. Before relying on it, try studying harder or in a quieter environment. You can also try speaking with your advisor for help.

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