The gap between the grades achieved in the classroom and the exam result is often confusing to college admission boards and students themselves. In Canada, about a quarter of all students who got passing grades in math from their teachers failed to pass the exam in 2016. Over the last few year, the gap has grown not to the best interest of teachers and students. The situation looks similar at the US and European schools as well.
Educators cannot agree upon why students do not confirm their grades at the exam. To an impartial observer, it looks like teachers inflated the grades to let “good kids” push through the college admission minimum. After all, teachers are by all means interested in students performance which is reflected in their professional rating too. When asked, some teachers confirm that honest students are pushed away from college by those with inflated grades. Some other teachers deny the evidence and claim that high grades of their top students are deserved.
Pleas of teachers, however, do not clarify the issue. Top performers keep failing at their tests, and speculations grow in the field. But it does not necessarily prove the teachers’ bias. There are more reasons to explain the performance gap in high school graduates.
In-class performance can be naturally higher than that in the exam because teachers utilize less demanding tasks and create a more friendly atmosphere. Put in the time pressure and left alone with their tasks, even gifted students start panicking. Graduation tests are more demanding than any tasks children face on the daily basis unless teachers pay more attention for doing tests in the classroom. At the same time, we often criticize excessive test training because it does not let students think and solve other types of tasks.