Education: Pass or Fail at Yale

After a year-long study, the faculty of Yale's undergraduate college last week voted to drop its present 40-to-100 numerical grading (60 is passing). Starting immediately professors instead will give one of four possible scores: fail, pass, high pass or honors. While many schools now give students a choice of taking a few courses on a pass-or-fail basis, Yale is the nation's first major university to abandon specific grading for undergraduate courses.

Yale's action reflects a widespread dissatisfaction over trying to apply numbers, or letters with pluses and minuses, to something as inexact as student performance. Explained Professor William Kessen, chairman of the...

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