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This is not fair!

Dear Willemijn, 

The rule is that when passing an exam with a 5.5 means you’re excluded from a resit. But students who score a 5.4 get a second attempt and can score up to a 10. For students who passed, but want to excel/improve, there is no chance. Is this fair? 

Doesn’t it just stimulate ‘strategic’ exam making? Wouldn’t it be more fair to score max 6.0 at the resit. Or let all students >4.0 take resit?


Dear righteous teacher,

You are right, no fair! But this is one of those nasty debates that cannot be satisfactorily resolved. Allowing resits for everyone might seem more fair, but I bet this will invite students who did well the first time to try again and beat themselves. And who needs more students to burn out? And another point of discussion: a maximum grade for resits, how killing is that for motivation of students to learn and improve their performance?

My advice: choose your battles S. This isn’t really even your battle but the students’. If they need your help they’ll find it. Meanwhile, you do for them what they cannot do for themselves and teach!




Mathil Gelens
24 juni 2020


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