A few years ago, most European universities began using letter grades (A, B, C, D, E and F). This actually made grading harder than before. We used to have numeric grades, on a scale from 1 to 6, with 1 as the best grade. Then I would grade reports simply by measuring their thickness and multiplying with a factor (the thinner the report, the better the grade). Sorting exams into categories is much more complicated, with lots of if..then statements in your spreadsheet.
Luckily, Daniel Solove has, very collegially, shared his robust method of grading. Continuing the tradition of learning from Law School faculty (after all, they invented the case method), I think this will be my preferred method from now on.
Christmas is approaching, and our new building has plenty of staircases which seem purpose-built for this grading method. The only problem is that more and more students submit exams electronically. I think it is inefficient and costly to print out all the papers before grading them. Could there be a market for an electronic grading toss simulator?