The Danish grading system is up for debate again. Education minister Søren Pind (V) wants a new grade to reward the particularly excellent performance.
I agree that the Danish scale is bad. But I disagree with Søren Pind on exactly what the problem is.
Let's try to compare with the American scale:
A, A-, B +, B, B-, C +, C, C, D, and F
There are minor variations within the United States. A few places have A +, others don’t use C-, and some places don’t use the + and - .
There are, of course, numerical values on the letter grades. In the movie Rainman, Charlie Babbitt tells us that he had a ‘4.0 average’ in high school, but that his father did not appreciate it. He had, in other words, an A in all his subjects. If we were to compare with the Danish scale, it is easier to multiply all the values by three. Then you get: 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 3 and 0
In comparison, we have the Danish scale: 12, 10, 7, 4, 2, 0, -3.
I find it hard to see why we need the grade -3. But the real problem with the Danish scale is that differences between grades are way too dramatic. It is very difficult to give grades on a scale with these leaps between grades. This apparently leads to the effect that when you fluctuate between 10 and 12, it might too often land on a 12.
If we introduced the American scale, it would be easy to explain to the world what our grades mean, and we would have a scale that has survived for almost 100 years in the US.