About Grades

3 May

I wanted to write about grading for some time now. I wrote my first blog posts about novels and games without assigning some kind of grade. I tried to give my impressions about a book or a game, nothing more. To assign a numeric value to the books and games seemed to claim some kind of objectivity. And that’s not something I wanted to project.

But now I changed it (I even went back to edit the already posted ones). It’s not because I think my comments and ratings are objective. That’s pretty hard to claim anyway because I really believe that in commenting about “creative products” subjective elements are always combined with objective criteria. The subjective elements may vary from one to the other but they’re always there. The reason I changed it is because a numeric rating is a short way to express what I thought about a novel or a game.

I went with a 5-point grade (similar to amazon’s 5-stars grade). The grade is my first answer / short answer when asked how I liked a book or game:

5 / 5: wow – there’s something that grabbed me
4 / 5: good
3 / 5: okay
2 / 5: some serious flaws
1 / 5: don’t bother

For example, I really liked the PS2 game Disgaea. I gave it a grade of 4,5 / 5. There’s a large part of subjectivity in this grade because I like games of this type (although the 1/2 reflects this a bit). I know other people will think 4,5 is too high (The Boyfriend would say so for example). So you could say that the grade 4,5 reflects more my enjoyment of the game than maybe an “objective” look at the game merits. I try to make this – is the grade heavily influenced by my enjoyment of the game/the novel – clear with the questions posted along with the grade at the end of a post about a game or a novel.

Another thing to remember is that a 4,5 / 5 for one novel and a 4 / 5 for another doesn’t mean that the first one (4,5 / 5) is better than the second one (4 / 5). The grade takes into consideration only the novel or game it is assigned to. There is no real comparative value to the grades.

To remember:

The grades are
– the short answer I give when asked about a book or a game (for example, “good” = 4 / 5)
– subjective
– not comparative amongst each other

Another important thing to remember about my comments is that I mention what bothers me. I don’t try to guess what bothers or probably even offends other readers.


There will be no warning of common pet peeves (like adultery, for example) if I don’t have a problem with that in the novel (or game).

My comments are about my pet peeves, the things that bother me, and the things that delight me.


2 Responses to “About Grades”


  1. Lisa Kleypas - "Suddenly You" « Books and Games - Saturday, October 18, 2008

    […] really don’t know what to think about this novel. I look at my post About Grades and read: “3 / 5 = okay” and “2 / 5 = some serious flaws” and think […]

  2. About Writing “Reviews” « Books and Games - Sunday, November 16, 2008

    […] sure about the whole grading thing but in the end, I went with it. I wrote a bit more about grading here. This is the short […]

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