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Journal Article

Factors Related to University Grade Inflation

Robert Birnbaum
The Journal of Higher Education
Vol. 48, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 1977), pp. 519-539
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
DOI: 10.2307/1981595
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1981595
Page Count: 21
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Factors Related to University Grade Inflation
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Abstract

There are three general explanations for the phenomenon of college and university grade inflation. Although the most prevalent suggestion is that it represents an erosion of academic standards, it is also possible that it may be a counterreaction to more stringent grading practices which developed in the 1950s and early 1960s. This study analyzes a third hypothesis, that grade "inflation" may be reflecting real increases in student achievement, demographic factors which may be related to grading, or institutional grading policies which permit gradepoint averages to rise even if grading standards remain unchanged.

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