ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

QSI International School's Grading System: Thoughts from a Former Attendee

Updated on January 4, 2015

Moving To Shenzhen

Moving to China in my teens was a little weird at first, but I had lived overseas before and adjusted fairly well. My first year there I attended a Canadian international school which was interesting. The curriculum was a bit tougher than I what I had experienced in the U.S. but it was pretty typical.

The following year, for my junior year, I switched schools and started attending QSI International in Shekou. It was much closer to home, so I wouldn't have to take a bus anymore. I remember the placement exam being really easy. The majority of their students (at that time) were not native English speakers so maybe that was the reason it seemed simple.

The No-Fail Grading System

When my 17-year-old self got wind of the type of grading at QSI, I got really excited. QSI does not let students fail. (At least back in 2004 when I was a student.) Each course was divided into 10 units, and each unit had a test. If the student did not make at lease an 80% B on the test, they were not to move onto the next unit the minimum grade was reached.

At first it sounds like a fine system, but in practice, it really fell apart. I quickly figured out that I could scam my way through Algebra II and come out with a B! I got A's in all of my other classes because compared to the kids who struggled with English, my work was pretty good.

My Algebra II class was small- there were only six or seven students. Our teacher was a really funny, older Australian guy. We loved to get him off-topic each day by feigning interest in volleyball (he coached our volleyball team) or by asking him about stories from the outback.

I would usually get a C on unit tests and have to re-take them to get that 80 I needed. Because the teachers had to pass all the students, it was not really feasible to hold one back and give that student personalized attention (especially since there was no time with volleyball practice!) My teacher would just have re-take the same test, usually not more than three times, and if I still could not get an 80, he'd give me some sort of extra credit. That way we could all move on!

In Lieu of Algebra...

So, obviously, I didn't learn much in my Algebra II class. What motivation did I have? I couldn't fail no matter what I did and a B was hardly a hit to my GPA.

Instead of learning algebra, I spent time writing notes to boys and learning swear words in as many languages as possible. It was still an education, just not the one intended by the school.

Goofing off in school.
Goofing off in school.

My Thoughts

Though it seemed great at the time, this system of grading is horrible. It put me way behind where I should've been in math by the time I got to college. I was so overwhelmed my math in college that I decided not to pursue biology because of the math courses involved. I went, instead, with history. While I love history and really enjoyed college, I should have spent some extra time on math to get the degree I really wanted.

And I didn't even take full advantage of QSI's system. I wonder how this has affected other students and if the school has changed its policy. Now that I'm an adult, I know I would never send my child to a school that operated this way. There were many wonderful things about attending QSI, but the system that removes personal responsibility for success from teenagers is doing a disservice to the students.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)