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  1. Senior Member
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    What is a "sliding scale"?

    Hi teachers!

    When you say, "the teacher grades the class on a sliding scale", what does "a sliding scale" mean? I'm reading an article on education, but since I don't understand this phrase, a whole paragraph doesn't make sense to me. I would really appreciate your reply.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    Re: What is a "sliding scale"?

    A 'sliding scale' is when something which is set or fixed. is adjusted, shifted up or down in value/magnitude, according to how some other factor varies.

    Can you give the context from the passage you are reading - sounds like it's to do with grading test paper marks and difficulty of one test paper compared to another test paper.

    A new wonder drug that means people who are fat get slim, and those who are slim never get fat. The catch: it costs 10 a pill. The government sees this as an opportunity, essential to fighting obesity, but can hardly afford the cost to provide this free to the whole nation. At the same time, how can someone out of work, and so morbidly obese that they can't work, afford this, if they have to take one pill every work for the treatment to be effective?
    Sliding scale:
    If you earn over X pounds, you pay the full 10 per pill you pop.
    Earn between Y and X pounds, and you pay 5
    Less than Y, free.

    In simple words, the cost(first variable) is adjusted according to your ability to pay(second variable).
    Last edited by David L.; 13-Mar-2009 at 16:56.

  2. Ouisch's Avatar
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    English Teacher
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    Re: What is a "sliding scale"?

    I've only heard "sliding scale" used when referring to payments or charges of some type. When I was in school, some teachers would grade on a "curve." That meant that the grades would reflect the performance of each student compared to the others in the class, rather than the performance of the student against the test.

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