Marks ceiling

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étoile_brillante

Member
Arabic
Hello,

I just wonderded how the sentence below sounds to a native English speaker, Does it sound natural?

The college's administration sets the marks ceiling.(The highest mark in an exam)
Thank you in advance
 
  • Aardvark01

    Senior Member
    British English (Midlands)
    It is intelligible but I think it's a little ambiguous without further context. I might say:

    The college's administration sets the ceiling for marks/marking.

    However, please note that even this does not remove the ambiguity. We need to know whether the ceiling is placed on the marks allowed per question, marks per point made, or overall marks per paper.
     

    étoile_brillante

    Member
    Arabic
    Thank you.
    Well, how would you say it in English? For example, when an administration of a university imposes on the teacher to do not overstep 16 or 17.

    Regards,
     

    étoile_brillante

    Member
    Arabic
    Thank you so much Aardvark
    I meant all overall marks per paper.For example, the highest mark should be 16/20 though the student deserve more than that.

    Regards,
     

    Aardvark01

    Senior Member
    British English (Midlands)
    Thank you.
    Well, how would you say it in English? For example, when an administration of a university imposes on requires the teacher to do not to exceed 16 or 17 points per question (or per section).

    Regards,
    I have heard it called a marks ceiling, as you said initially, or a ceiling on marks available. However, my concern is not so much the term you choose as the qualifying clause or clauses which are not stated in the context you have provided.
    It is one of the rules of the forum that context be provided.
    If you are translating from French to English you may need to post on the English/French forum.
    If you are writing this yourself can you provide further context? What is the ceiling being set on? Sometimes a points ceiling may be set on an individual question, sometimes it may be set on a section containing multiple questions.
     

    étoile_brillante

    Member
    Arabic
    Thank you for the correction and for your answer; I highly appreciate your help.


    If you are writing this yourself can you provide further context? What is the ceiling being set on? Sometimes a points ceiling may be set on an individual question, sometimes it may be set on a section containing multiple questions.
    Actually, I just want to know if this expression exists in English too as in Arabic.

    So, any exam (The hole exam which contains many questions, or just writing an essay) is ranked on 20(Sur20).However, the administration sets 16 to be the highest mark. Then, it doesn't let the teacher to give the student 17 or 18 for instance.


    Thanks a lot.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    [....]

    So, any exam (The hole exam which contains many questions, or just writing an essay) is ranked on 20(Sur20).However, the administration sets 16 to be the highest mark. Then, it doesn't let the teacher to give the student 17 or 18 for instance.


    [....]
    I have to say that I have never heard of any school administration doing anything like this in the US. That doesn't prove it isn't done, but I believe it is unusual, at least. This makes it difficult to know how we would normally refer to it, though Egmont's suggestion seems good to me.
     

    scrotgrot

    Senior Member
    English - English
    I would go for caps the marks (at 80%). It avoids ambiguity and the difficulty of whether marks should be plural or singular. To Cagey, these "ceilings" are common informal norms at universities in some places. In England, we have a banded/graded system: anything above 70% is just "a first", so tutors rarely mark essays far above 80% as it's redundant. In GPA-style systems, it's more important to get the number exactly right.
     

    modulus

    Senior Member
    ইংরেজি - আমেরিক
    I like scrotgrot’s suggestion. It may also be a good idea to be a little more descriptive since this practice is not common, at least not in the US. For example:

    The collage administration sets an upper bound on maximum achievable score among the students in a class.

    In the US, it is not unusual to modify grades by curving them, but that is nothing like setting an upper bound on grades. How grades are curved is usually determined by the course instructor, and not the school administration. In theory, as a result of curving, some grades could be reduced; however, in practice, I have never seen this happen since any such grades are reverted back to their original value.
     
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