With the second semester well underway, many students have yet to receive final grades in several Faculty of Arts & Science courses. On Monday, January 8, the Arts & Science registrar tweeted that most grades should be posted by mid-January and thanked students for their patience. However, the faculty has not given any convincing reason for the delay, which has had students waiting far too long, especially since many wrote their exams a month ago — or even before that.
The delay has resulted in many students being unable to plan the rest of their academic year in a timely and organized manner. Third-year student Shanelle Mullany told The Varsity that she was particularly upset about the delay, as it left her unable to apply to internships that required her to submit her grades before any of them had been posted.
Knowledge of one’s final grades is vital for students who may want to drop or redo courses. With the second-semester enrolment period on ACORN having ended on January 17, students were left with insufficient time and information to find courses to replace any that they may need to retake or replace.
One cause of long delays in marking might be an inadequate number of teaching assistants (TAs). Classes with large numbers and few TAs obviously create a large burden for the TAs that are there, potentially resulting in long waiting periods for feedback on tests and assignments, which could hinder students’ improvement in the course. This was particularly apparent in my full-year political science course this year. I wrote the midterm for the course on December 4 and only received the grade on January 15, since only one TA was tasked with marking the exams for a class with over 200 students.
The University of Toronto is one of the largest schools in the country, which understandably makes it difficult to grade all exams swiftly. However, the time students have been kept waiting for grades this semester seems to be exceptionally long, with the university giving no substantial answer for the cause of the delay. Students are being greatly disadvantaged by the current state of affairs through no fault of their own. If students are expected to submit work on time, faculties should be expected to return grades in a timely manner as well.
Yasaman Mohaddes is a third-year student at St. Michael’s College studying Political Science and Sociology.
Editor’s Note (January 20): This article has been update to clarify that the author’s grade on her midterm exam was not her final grade in the course.