Fairness in grading
I encountered your post while doing literature review for a research paper I'm writing for my Master's in Education. I thought is was right on the mark for the problem I'm studying.
First of all, and this is mainly for the teachers, grading is a philosophical decision, don't confuse scores with grades. Grades are based on measurement and after the measurements are analyzed, that's when grading can be done.
The problem here is that the measurements were not analyzed. Just raw scores were translated into grades without regard for the validity and reliability of the test. Retesting shouldn't give much different results, and if you consider what curving does then you'll realize that it is just as unfair as giving credit for missed questions as you describe.
What has to be done is normalization...a statistical method which will identify the reliability of the test and allow the scores to be analyzed on the basis of a normal distribution....bell curve. Chances are this test suffered from both being very hard and from not being reliable (implied by the willingness to fudge for some questions).
Since you're in a nursing program, I'm thinking there may be people in the department or school who will understand how to normalize the test....key words are Z-score and T-score.
I have no doubt that you worked hard for your score and that the arbitrary method of scoring and grading, neither of which have been approached scientifically, is vexing to you and all the other students who experineced this trial. It may not be too late to petition for an analysis of the scoring and a consideration for assigning new grades. If you encounter someone willing to help in the administration but needing more information on how to do it, don't hesitate to have them contact me via [email protected]