Gr 7 Up-Students who have questioned a teacher's fairness or suffered a parent's wrath over a report card will relate to this book. The authors take a hard look at the history and effectiveness of giving letter grades, which is far from an exact science. (In one study for which 138 teachers were asked to mark the same student's geometry test, the results ranged from A to F.) One particularly fascinating chapter reports on schools and colleges that use alternatives such as portfolios and written evaluations. Other chapters deal with cheating, test-taking anxiety, grading on the curve, and grade inflation. As the authors point out, while marks aren't everything, in our society they matter. The last few chapters aim to help students raise their averages with better study and personal habits. While accompanied by frequent reminders to keep grades in perspective, these chapters somewhat undermine the points made earlier. The black-and-white pictures of diverse groups of students are adequate. Still, interested teens will find plenty of ammunition here.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.