Binary Classification


Binary classification refers to the grouping of a population in to two classes depending on the features that they either poses or lack. In academic set ups, the concept of binary classification can be used to group students into two categories based on specified properties as exhibited by students. Academic performance and behavior are some of the criteria on which students can be classified in a binary system. This paper seeks to discuss the binary classification of students as either good students or poor students.

The paper will look into characteristics of students that make them to be classified in any of the two groups.

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Good students

Students in any academic set up are characterized by varied features in terms of responsiveness to the immediate environment provided in schools and outside schools. Such features exhibited in students such as their academic performances and discipline among others can therefore be used to categorize students as either good or poor. Contrary to the nominal classification system in which each and every subject student is accorded a classification depending on the scores achieved by the students under any given criteria, the binary classification pools a group of students into two sub groups that are based on common characteristics in the students following the subject criteria. The grouped students under binary classification do not therefore have the same degree of the characteristics used for classification but rather poses a range of degree of the characteristics that can be identified to fall under either of the defined categories in a binary classification. A student thus has to belong to either side of the classification. Though opinions may be held that excellent performance and regular class attendance characterizes a good student, binary classification into a good or poor student goes beyond these common elements of students (Kirkwood 1). Since attainment of good grades may not be constant and regular class attendance could fail to yield good performance in a student, it can be agreed upon that more features should be considered in classifying a student as good or poor.

Elements of success in terms of factors that contributes to success of a student can for example be used to classify a student into the binary classes. Though class attendance could be criteria of determining a student’s classification, more elements in terms of a student’s attributes reveals the category in which a student can be placed under binary classification method. One of such elements is the availability of a student in class on time. A good student makes himself or herself available for classes on time and makes efforts to cover for anything that is missed whenever he or she fails to timely make it to class or to attend a class session at all.

Furthermore, good students are characterized with the responsibility of explaining why they failed to timely make it to class besides ensuring that they capture any class activity that they miss such as inquiry into class work as delegated during the time they missed, and gaining insight into what was taught in their absence. Good students also pay attention with positive responses to remarks made by teachers or instructors over their performances. They normally have positive attitude towards criticism over their performances and willingness to improve through participation in extra assignments (Kirkwood 1). Another feature of a good student is the ability to concentrate in class during teaching periods as well as during private study times. They are normally void of negative characteristics such as talking in class while the teacher is instructing, reading other things or even shifting their attention to other occurrences outside the class by staring at objects through classroom windows. On the contrary, good students make sure that they accord necessary respect to the class sessions by attempting to focus on the activity in class. They commit themselves to classes through their participation in such activities as asking of questions.

The features of a good student are further evidenced in the manner in which they handle their assignments. First, the caliber of good students ensures that they dedicate their time to doing class assignments that they finish in time for submission. They also make extra efforts to ensure that their assignments are properly done and presented in a neat and competent manner. Such reflects a general level of commitment of the students to the whole academic subjection that they are put under (Cuesta 1). A research conducted and published in the year 2004 also illustrated some of the aspects of a good student according to lecturers. According to the research, correspondents who were professors identified “intrinsic mental and behavioral traits” as the major categories of determining whether or not a student is good or poor (Wright 1). Features such as curiosity that drives a student into the urge to know more and reading for personal research by the student also classifies the category of good students. A student’s attitude which could include being “friendly, mature, respectful, honest” (Wright 1) among others also depicts a good student who can easily and properly relate with teachers and other students to help in building his or her academic performance (Wright 1).

While the mentally based attitudes are more of a student’s in born characteristic and is part of a student’s personality, behavioral characteristics can be molded to fit into the features of a good student (Wright 1). Features such as “good time management and persistence” (Wright 1) also contribute to the characteristics of a good student (College 1). A good student will have the capacity to prioritize his or her engagements so as to fix the important ones on his schedule and as well manage the available time well so as to derive maximum achievements in academics and other activities within the available time.

Persistence on the other hand helps students to overcome hurdles that they could face in their academic environment such as challenging subjects and even social issues in their lives (College 1).

Characteristics of poor students

Poor students are normally characterized by the exact opposite of the traits and features of good students. According to the research that was conducted by Wright, his professional correspondents indicated that poor students exhibit inverse traits to those of good students thus allowing for a binary classification since no student will exhibit features on both sides of the classification. Poor students for example lack that attitude to work. They are thus identified to be “lazy and irresponsible” (Wright 1). Poor students lack the personal drive to carry out their responsibilities as students such as doing assignments and conducting research studies. They are further characterized by lack of interest to learn and make academic progress but pay attention to the status that they can be accorded in the class such as the grades that they can get instead of the intellectual competence that they should gain in school.

The poor students also have traits that portray them as “dishonest, sneaky, free-riding, poor attitude and whiny” (Wright 1). In addition, poor students reflect negative response in assignments that comparatively expresses a level of academic incompetence, lack of commitment and at times lack of seriousness on the part of the students. Poor students have been identified to exhibit poor presentations of their assignments. Their handwritings are, for example, very poor to an extent that they might not be readable. The manners in which these students present their work also indicate a level of intellectual weakness in their development of structure and representation in an assignment response. Their work presentations also lack proper content and are normally characterized by numerous mistakes besides being confusing (Moore 78).

Another feature of poor students is their open resistance to learning processes. This feature is majorly experienced with respect to particular subjects which students develop negative attitude towards. Poor students fall into the trap of the developed attitude and even counter efforts that could be made to convince them otherwise. They are thus contrary to good students who strive to make personal efforts to gain insights into academic difficulties (Kitchen 9).


A binary classification is a technique that is used to categorize a group of elements into two distinct and mutually exclusive sub groups.

The groups thus exhibit features that are not under any circumstance common. Such are the features of good and poor students in an academic set up. The characteristics of a good student are entirely different from those of a poor student and are in most cases opposite.

Works Cited

College. Characteristics of successful college students. College Career, 2011. Web. May 04, 2011.

Cuesta. Characteristics of a successful student.

Academic, 2003. Web. May 04, 2011. Kirkwood.

Characteristics of successful students. Kirk wood, n.d. Web. May 04, 2011.

pdf> Kitchen, Richard. Mathematics education at highly effective schools that serve the poor: strategies for change: New York: Routledge, 2007. Print. Moore, Stephen. Exploring accounting lecturer perceptions of “good” and “poor” NESB student writing. Faculty, 2007. Web.

May 04, 2011. <

pdf > Wright, Shirley. Perceptions and stereotypes of ESL students. Ites, 2004. Web.

May 04, 2011.


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