Questions tagged [grades]

Queries related to interpreting grades or understanding grading systems. This tag is not suitable for queries about improving grades or about the process of assigning a grade to an assessment item.

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Does a bad grade in one course (with otherwise OK record) affect graduate admissions?

I'm currently an M. Phil student in Math and I failed a course last semester because I was not able to hand in a home work assignment (which was worth 40% of my grade) on time (I was 30 minutes late). ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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Will one 'C' grade due to health issues ruin my chances of admission into a top grad school?

I am in the third year of my undergraduate degree now, and in the process of applying for Graduate schools and Med schools. I have a burning questions about a creepy "C" in my transcript. To ...
Silentio's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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How much will a poor first semester affect my grad school chances?

I'm studying Computer Science with a double major in Math at a public university. I hope to attend a private school like Vanderbilt (Nashville, USA) to pursue an MS or PhD. My GPA is still above a 3.0,...
user26457's user avatar
18 votes
5 answers
7k views

Trauma affected my grades while in undergrad, how will it affect me getting into graduate school?

I was traumatized by an abusive relationship. While in the relationship, my grades were affected. Out of the relationship, I chose to stay in school and struggle with my studies instead of medically ...
Ali's user avatar
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44 votes
10 answers
9k views

What is the purpose of having grades?

What is the idea behind giving a student a grade? It might sound like a funny question but I'm serious. I ask because in my previous question about disputing a mark, it's hard for me to decide how ...
Celeritas's user avatar
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20 votes
4 answers
6k views

Graduate early with average GPA, or later with better GPA?

I've seen similar questions here, and I wish there was a narrower tag than the broad soft-question and career-development. I am currently a freshman/sophomore-to-be at a top ten math program in US. ...
user22835's user avatar
  • 303
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Should I be worried about low undergraduate grades during the COVID-19 crisis affecting grad school admission chances?

I'm currently in my undergraduate junior year studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo in Canada. I'm hoping to apply for Top 10 US grad schools in mechanical engineering in about ...
Undergraduate Student's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
9k views

I believe my PhD dissertation was unfairly graded too low (cum laude): what should I do?

I recently completed my Ph.D. in Germany. I believe my dissertation was evaluated extremely unfairly. For my dissertation, I published seven papers in high-impact international medical journals (IF ...
user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Does better learning affect teaching evaluations? If so, how?

Arum and Roksa (p. 7) say: Research on course evaluations by Valen Johnson has convincingly demonstrated that "higher grades do lead to better course evaluations" and "student course evaluations ...
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
344 views

How important are pure math grades for applied math graduate schools? [duplicate]

I'm an applied math/econ major in the U.S. and am looking into pursuing a masters degree in applied math. This term curiosity got the best of me and I decided to take abstract algebra and I am not ...
mathstri's user avatar
76 votes
15 answers
27k views

Should I cheat if the majority does it?

I'm taking the last and hardest exams of my master degree. During the exams we aren't allowed to use anything else but our brain. Cheating is pretty easy though: one has the lecture notes and all the ...
RenatoRenatoRenato's user avatar
55 votes
10 answers
76k views

How important are my grades to the rest of my PhD career?

Speaking to the faculty in my program, I've noticed that they seem to evaluate themselves and others using two criterion: (1) publication quality and quantity, and (2) ability to obtain grant money. ...
eykanal's user avatar
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42 votes
7 answers
8k views

Why does grade inflation seem to be so severe in the USA?

A comment on this question on undergraduate admissions notes that a good college might get 10x more applicants who all have the maximum possible grade point average, than the college can admit. (The ...
gerrit's user avatar
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36 votes
10 answers
29k views

What does an optimal grading distribution look like?

Researchers on education must have thought about this, so I hope to find some directions here. Suppose that I am grading students on a scale from 1 to 10. If I have no prior knowledge of the ability ...
HRSE's user avatar
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26 votes
3 answers
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Grading system: Why A-F and not E?

Why do we use F for failing on an otherwise arbitrary alphabetic grading scale? Isn't E just as meaningful for failing as A is for excellent? I'm more interested in a response on the history of how ...
timothy.s.lau's user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to measure entropy of exam results

In this answer to a quora question, the answerer mentions how the 'entropy' of a set of exam results can be used to measure how well the exam differentiates between students. Should I be computing ...
Ken's user avatar
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19 votes
5 answers
28k views

Who can see a student's grades? [closed]

I have a question. Can all the professors in a department see a particular student's grades? Can the chair of a department see a student's grades?
robbekrnjekn's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
865 views

Being the right kind of demanding as a college instructor

As part of my work as a graduate student in maths I currently teach a basic second semester calculus course. It seems like every semester I teach, one or two students want some sort of special ...
Vladhagen's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
3k views

Poor academic performance - should/can I apply to a PhD program?

I was always a distracted kid growing up. I found it difficult to pay attention to anything for more than fifteen minutes. Growing up in Asia, teachers at the school and college levels always put it ...
user81120's user avatar
  • 123
7 votes
3 answers
25k views

Do graduate schools care more about my grades in math courses or my general GPA?

I'm currently a junior in mathematics at UIUC. I have been doing pretty well in my math courses (mostly A and A+). I will be completing a graduate course in topology, a second course in abstract ...
cooselunt's user avatar
  • 111
6 votes
1 answer
977 views

Syllabus change with no warning nor discussion with students worsened grade

In one of my courses, our syllabus outlined the course material and its contribution to our total grade. Daily homework constituted 10% of the grade, with other major group assignments constituting ...
Chris Cirefice's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
891 views

How can I make up for weak grades while applying for a masters?

I feel I've received poor grades in my bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering - Second Class Second Division as per UK grading system. Having finished my bachelors in the UK I wish to enroll into ...
azurespirit's user avatar
5 votes
8 answers
154k views

How to convert Italian grades to American and U.K system?

I just graduated in aeronautical engineering (master of science) at the Polytechnic of Milan. In the Italian university system, students who finish their major get a final grade that that goes from 66 ...
Federico Gentile's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
3k views

When and how should you talk to a professor if you think you deserve a different grade?

I recently was returned a midterm I wrote. One question I interpreted differently than what was intended. As a result I got 0.5/3 marks, which isn't a big deal but considering the test was only out of ...
Celeritas's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to mitigate bad grade in research on PhD application? [duplicate]

I've just finished my fourth year (out of 5) of biology studies in one of European universities. I have some experience in research and my grades are quite ok (in US scale it would be 3.75, which ...
Ver's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
697 views

If co-instructors gave different syllabi with different grading schemes, is this generally considered a valid reason to challenge grade?

Summary: I am a STEM graduate student taking a soon-ending class that was divided into 3 parts each under different professors, Alice, Bob and Carol. There is a conflict in the grading schemes set ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 3,143
69 votes
10 answers
10k views

Understanding an abnormal grade distribution

I have three years of experience teaching as part of a team (many teachers, some with more experience, agreeing on a syllabus and preparing the tests together), but this year is the first time I am ...
scozy's user avatar
  • 1,250
47 votes
12 answers
22k views

Would I get into trouble if I give out "too many" A grades?

In the next semester, I will be teaching for the first time a seminar course which is composed of about 25 students. I am not sure how to respond to prospective students who have asked me about the ...
I Like to Code's user avatar
45 votes
7 answers
8k views

How do I articulate my grade dispute in a letter of complaint (student grievance)?

I'm filing a formal letter of complaint (for a grade litigation request) over a grade dispute in an English literature course. I've got 90/100 (an A) in each of the 3 exams in this course. These exams ...
Adam's user avatar
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45 votes
18 answers
20k views

Should students have access to past exams or an exam bank?

Something I never understood is how in so many undergrad classes North America, the students are allowed to have past exams that they are allowed to study over. It never made sense to me because it ...
Shamisen Expert's user avatar
41 votes
12 answers
12k views

Is it ethical to ask students to proofread a textbook?

I will have a draft of a new textbook ready for the fall semester. It is an engineering class. I very much want feedback from the students concerning the quality and usefulness of the material. What ...
Astor Florida's user avatar
35 votes
13 answers
24k views

What can a professor do about an exam that was too long for the allotted time, after the students have completed it?

I just finished a midterm exam. It was very easy but I was only able to finish about 3/4 of it. And I rushed through some parts in the final moments. Talking with other students, there's a consensus ...
murray's user avatar
  • 533
33 votes
9 answers
15k views

Purposeful fail - effect on Master's admission [closed]

I am intending to purposefully try to fail a course to stay an extra semester, so I can finalize some research projects which can't be finalized otherwise. My current GPA is 3.82. How badly would that ...
xxx's user avatar
  • 387
26 votes
9 answers
7k views

Curving grades without creating competition among students

I've recently taken a new position within a math department at a large university. The department has an official policy that in most lower-level undergraduate classes (let's say anything in the ...
Jared's user avatar
  • 689
26 votes
11 answers
5k views

How to motivate students to complete low-point homework?

I teach a course consisting of about 50 assignments. These include readings, many short writing assignments, and group projects. Additionally, students complete 2 large projects as the mid-term and ...
Village's user avatar
  • 12.5k
22 votes
5 answers
148k views

Why is B or B− the minimum passing grade for most graduate courses in US?

I was recently told that in many schools in the US (maybe other countries too), the minimum grade for a graduate course is B or B−. Meaning that B is considered as a passing score. I would like to ...
user59419's user avatar
  • 1,373
15 votes
9 answers
9k views

How much do grades matter for a future academia position?

I am completing my PhD and I was wondering how much does the PhD coursework grades affect future academia applications? My undergraduate and master's was somewhat decent grade wise (3.8/4) in both. ...
curiousmatsci's user avatar
15 votes
12 answers
9k views

Retaking an exam to improve a low, but passing grade. Why do universities not allow this? [duplicate]

Life is tough, deadlines are strict, and failures are costly. But reality usually is not black and white. One can try again and one can improve oneself in real life. It is different with university ...
TomR's user avatar
  • 497
12 votes
5 answers
4k views

Should a marker TA handle students' marking issues by email?

I am a university marker TA. The instructor requires TAs to meet students if they have marking issues. But I found most students just come to meet me for better grades, not to ask questions, and some ...
Rapidturtle's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Thoughts on Student with Bad Grades in Easy Courses and Better Grades in hard courses

I have a fairly weird transcript. I took two harder upper-year courses at the second-year of my undergraduate degree. I spent a lot of time working on these courses because I was fascinated by the ...
Loser's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes
2 answers
16k views

Explaining bad grades in application: SOP or separate letter

Question Should issues about past academic performance be addressed in the Statement of Purpose or a separate letter to the admissions committee. Background I had originally posted about my ...
anonymous's user avatar
  • 323
7 votes
1 answer
4k views

I am interested in graduate studies, but I was dismissed from my undergraduate program for poor grades. Where do I go from here?

I've had a tumultuous undergraduate experience, to say the least. After being suspended freshman year, being re-admitted in the Spring of 2014, and a rough 2014-2015 academic year, I've been dismissed ...
Shmoo's user avatar
  • 532
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What can I do when anxiety causes me to perform poorly in oral exams and class discussions?

I have this class where we have oral exams once in two weeks. I am honestly trying my best. I am preparing for the class and I think I understand all the material. I can do all the assignments (albeit ...
judie's user avatar
  • 63
6 votes
5 answers
1k views

When applying to a Phd in Physics or Math , do grades in unrelated courses I took have any effect on my admission?

I'm currently studying (Undergraduate) Physics in a University where, regardless of their department, every student must take some English, Turkish and History courses, which I don't want to attend. ...
Our's user avatar
  • 4,139
6 votes
1 answer
592 views

Course of action after failing a (non-maths) course in hopes of entering grad school for maths?

I'm currently a second year student in a general science program with a specialization in mathematics (it's kind of like a double major, almost). I'm hoping to go to grad school for combinatorial ...
user46160's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
300 views

How can I explain poor grades on courses taken after obtaining my undergraduate degree?

I have a 3.8 undergraduate GPA with almost entirely A's in all courses. After obtaining my undergraduate degree, I took courses for fun in various subjects at two remote graduate schools. Because I ...
therxv's user avatar
  • 529
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Grades in a PhD program

I am a math grad student who has completed the qualifying exams within my first two years. Lately, I have been taking a few non-core courses, which allows me to put most of my time on my own research. ...
Trom's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

How common is a must-pass-final requirement?

For a course with a final exam, is it more common to: (a) require that the final exam be passed to pass the course, or (b) allow for a student to fail the final exam and still pass the course? How ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
3k views

How important are the grades compared to the cover letter when applying for a Ph.D?

Some months ago I finished my MSc. I immediately started to send several applications for Ph.D vacancies. So far I've spent a lot of time in doing this, but there is only one place that did not reject ...
ragnar's user avatar
  • 53
3 votes
3 answers
429 views

Final Exam: Proficiency Needed for Guaranteed Pass

Is it common to guarantee students a passing course grade if they demonstrate proficiency in some subset of topics/skills on a final exam? Note that this is in contrast to setting an upper bound on a ...
user138719's user avatar
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