Do Kazakhstani students depend on marks?

This is the question you might be asked during your academic studying or teacher experience. From my own observations, students usually tend to exaggerate greatly the importance of the marking. So, what are the reasons for this tendency? As a teacher and as a student I can state that the fear to lose a scholarship, the desire to meet the parents` expectations or the wish to be the absolute best in the competitive group are what can make our students get passionate about grading. However, that might be simply because of our misunderstanding towards the meaning and the functions of the received marks.
On the other hand, we should take into consideration the historical roots of this question. Obviously, Educational system in the Post-Soviet Time was aimed mostly on the received results. It means what to teach was the privileged issue rather than how to teach. As teachers concerned about the information and materials for teaching, students measured the quantity of their knowledge by the corresponding grading. However, nowadays the student is the consumer who is taught to learn independently and consciously.
Lewis and Loy`s investigation (2017) showed that the students` attitude towards grading and learning differs mainly by their grading practice on the disciplines. They pointed out that students appreciate the grading which is followed by fair and critical feedback, clear and consistent expectations from the instructor. Moreover, most students highlighted the importance of intellectual curiosity which can take place if there is appropriate classroom management, organized and thoughtful course. These findings confirm the significance of teacher contribution to students` understanding of the marking.
Are there any other factors that may influence the Kazakhstani students` perceptions on marks?
Lewis, C. S., Della Williams, B., Sohn, M. K., & Loy, T. C. (2017). The Myth of Entitlement: Students’ Perceptions of the Relationship Between Grading Practices and Learning at an Elite University. The Qualitative Report,22(11), 2997-3010. Retrieved from


3 thoughts on “Do Kazakhstani students depend on marks?

  1. First of all, I totally agree with the mentioned factors which have been influencing to the construction of such a perception of marking in Kazakhstan. Also, there is one more factor that needs to be accentuated: the public perception. Usually, people judge you according to your marks gained at school or at the university which means your status among your society might be highly dependent on your achievements at the educational institutions. For example, if you get 5 at school or get red diploma at the university, you will be respected by your parents, friends, relatives or colleagues. In contrast, low marks can act as a precursor for the decrease of your status which cause negative consequences. Therefore, I deem that it is of vital importance to educate students to undertand the meaning of grading correctly.


  2. I do agree with your statements that Kazakhstani students somehow depend on marks, and it gives them a kind of satisfaction on their own achievement. This topic is relevant not only in the context of higher education but also in secondary education too. In my point of view, teachers and parents let it happen from the outset. For instance, since the childhood my parents persuaded me to be active at the lessons, get excellent marks and
    so on. When you grow up with the mentality and stereotype you have mentioned here, it is really diifficult not to follow these rules. Nevertheless, when the people getting older, he\she realise that marks and GPA in your diploma are “just symbols over substance”, the real valuable thing is your knowledge and skills.
    Thank you for sharing your brilliant ideas. Good luck!


  3. Thanks, AD. You don’t quite get to the 300 word minimum, so it can’t get full credit, but you are on the right track to crafting a strong post. Let’s consider a couple aspects of your writing:

    1) The opening sentence: “This is the question you might be asked during your academic studying or teacher experience.” For any reader who hasn’t asked themselves this question, your first sentence isn’t effective. Consider starting with a compelling fact or contextual detail that makes the issue more vivid for the reader.
    2) Support all claims with evidence: “Obviously, Educational system in the Post-Soviet Time was aimed mostly on the received results. It means what to teach was the privileged issue rather than how to teach.” Why is this obvious? How do you know this? Point us to the evidence.
    3) This is a great topic that deserves more attention. Keep developing it and see where it goes!



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