Some activities have binary outcomes while some have graded outcomes. Getting admission into a college is binary, either you get it or you don’t; how well you do in the college is graded. Clearing a job interview is binary, either you get selected or you don’t; how well you do the job isn’t that black and white. Getting a promotion is binary; while a pay raise is usually on a graded scale. Being single or married is binary; while the quality of life, in either case, is graded.

When the outcome is binary, either the outcome is desirable or all the effort is in vain. Activities with graded outcomes allow you to observe and calibrate the effort. Activities with binary outcomes can be made graded by repeating them. That’s especially true when the repetition cost is low like in the case of college admissions or job interviews.