The Bell Curve

Candidates taking GCE ‘O’ Level may feel familiar with term ‘bell curve’. Yes, it is the curve that determines whether candidate will get A1, A2, B3, B4, C5, C6, D7, E8 or F9. There is a quota of students who can get a certain grade (it is harder to get A1 because of the quota despite the ability of a candidate, it all somehow depends on luck).

When I was taking GCE ‘O’ Level a year ago, my teachers kept saying “Don’t worry! If the whole Singapore doesn’t do well for (a particular subject), the bell curve will come in handy.”

They say only the good thing. And that is for the worst-case scenario.

But today, as my Research-Arts teacher Malgosia said, the bell curve isn’t good at all and it is actually bias. In the past almost all universities use the curve to determine whether a student has a good grade or not. Lately, many universities have scrapped the usage of the curve because it is promoting sneakiness, cheating and unhealthy rivalry.

Education is supposed to be shared for every one, not just certain students who are aiming to be the best. The curve has promoted secretness, backstabbers and intrigues in the academic world in the past. Students who wish to get good grades must attack other students (preferably rivals who can get better grades) because of the quota set.

Since the purpose of education is sharing, so why the curve is still used?

I don’t expect any answers from SEAB, Cambridge or even Singapore’s MOE. I’m just anxious why they didn’t tell the negative side of the curve beforehand. Why must I go Down Under to get the answer?

Well, that’s Singapore. Go figure.

P.S.: I’m not trying to attack certain country but I’m just disappointed with the system currently used. If you disagree with me, say it out here. Let it be a lesson for me, don’t be a backstabber in the wild, wild web. There’s no bell curve, anyway, to determine the quality of a blog post.

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