What is the point of the Grade Point Average?
Larry Moran is calling for the abolishment of the Grade Point Average, favouring the reporting of grades exclusively in percentages. I have long wondered about the utility of the GPA system.
What is the value of treating a grade of 85 as being the same as a grade of 100, a grade of 49 as being equivalent to a zero, and collapsing the rest of the spectrum of values into points representing ranges of three or four percent? Why do academic systems say more in order to say less (many schools report both GPA and percentage grades)? This is the opposite of efficiency and prudence, as far as I can tell. What is the value in being less precise?
Does anyone have any idea why the GPA system was ever implemented and what value it could possibly have over simply reporting grades in percentages?