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School thread


#81

Because someone got a 100, our teacher’s POLICY is that they wouldn’t curve everyone’s grades up.

I always hated this idea. I can explain why they do it, but I still don’t like it.

It basically punishes both the best students and the worst students. The best students get high scores, yay? I guess that’s fine but all their little friends will hate their guts. It’s a great way to ostracize people and tempt them to do worse. Even so, then the worst students never have a chance to increase their grade and are held back by the randomness of having 1 or 2 smart students unluckily in their class. Good luck next semester and hope there are worse students in your class? That’s not the best mentality either.

There are several other methods for encouraging students to continue working hard no matter if they are far ahead or catching up. And the grading curve is not it.

As the midterm is 20% of my grade with me having a 75 right now, I’m destined to take physics again for another term in junior year

That’s exactly what I mean. It’s a waste of your time to even continue trying and the best you can do is just sit there and treat your class as a prep class for the next time you take it since you can’t pass it this semester. Which is not the best way to teach a class as I suspect there are others the same as you. The classroom atmosphere will be different when some students are doomed to fail the semester but still have to sit in the classroom.

The reason why these teachers do this grade curve is because…well…it’s an easy way to cover their butts?
Imagine these two scenarios.
If all the students are failing or have low scores, the administration will take notice. Why is an entire class doing so badly? To get them off their back, the teacher curves all their grades. Suddenly all the students’ grades are average or great! Teacher gets to pat themselves on the back and administration leaves them alone.
Now imagine your scenario. I can only guess exactly but I’ll at least say some are failing, some are average, and 2 are perfect. The administration goes to the teacher and ask, “Why are these students failing?” The teacher can dismiss them saying, "No no no. Look. I have these 2 students with perfect scores. They all got the same lessons and materials. Those failing students are just the worst/lazy/need tutoring/don’t participate/insert excuses here/etc. So the teacher uses the high scoring students to justify the failing students. Therefore, there is no need to curve the grades at all. I mean, if they do, that would be “unfair” to the perfect students.

Sorry for the rant. There is so much I hated about the education system.

I’m glad you’re doing well in everything else. Have a nice break!


#82

This is the American system, isn’t it? If it is then God that is horrible. Like my school probably doesn’t go nearly as bad as you guys do, if we (as in a good chunk of the class) mess up on the test there’s that. No curbing grades as far as I can remember, just guilt and shame. Just move on and don’t repeat the mistakes. Although our education system has its own set of issues that I dislike, and it doesn’t help that our education minister only just recently quit after a few years.


#83

Maybe. Depends. I assume you have a final. And if the midterm is 20%, the final is probably like 20-30%. Which would mean you have a 75 in the last 50%, but with another half of the class to bring that up. When I’m off work today, I’ll show a spreadsheet I have that’ll calculate all that crap.

What I know for certain is it is impossible for you to get an A as you lost 12.8 Quality Points on that exam. (meaning with everything else 100% your MAX grade is 87.2%)


#84

Teachers tend to have their own systems, it’s not a single way of doing things.

Some teachers will curve still based on a majority of the grade points, instead of all. Creating the appropriate curve and ignoring outliers is often done so that people can catch a break without making it so that people don’t try to achieve the highest scores.

Here are a bunch of different ways to curve scores.


#85

I will note that to do this, you will have to have some patience and be willing to write up formulas in excel or GSheets. However, it will always calculate your MINIMUM grade with what you have in, and you can use it to determine how much you need to get on the remaining schoolwork to get X Grade.

So to walk through the Spreadsheet. I have 3 exams, 1 final, homework, quizzes, presentation, labs, and attendance.

Any of those that include multiple items are (Sum of Grades)/(# of Grades). The grades would need to be entered in as percentages out of 100. If you enter them out of ten you will need to multiply by 10. For example:

=SUM(I2:I5)/4*10
Summary

`= SUM (I2 to I5) / ( 4 Grades) * (10 Since grades were out of 10)

If any are dropped (say you get 2 freebies) then you would need to add in a LARGE function like so:

=SUM(LARGE(I13:I42, {1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28}))/28
Summary

= SUM ( Largest 28 Grades in cells I13 to I42) / ( 28 Total Grades)

The final grade is calculated as follows:
(First Exam * % of grade + Second Exam * % of grade + quizzes * % of grade + labs * % of grade…)
Which looks like this:

 =E10*0.1+E9*0.25+E7*0.2+E5*0.45
Summary

= (Attendance % * 10% + Labs % * 25% + Quizzes % * 20% + Final Exam % * 45%)

If it is out of a predetermined set of points (say 520 points), this is how I have it set up:

=(F10*30+F7*50+F6*40+F2*100+F3*100+F5*200)/520
Summary

= (Attendance % * 30 Pts + Quizzes % * 50 Pts + Homework % * 40 Pts + Exam 1 % * 100 Pts + Final Exam % * 200 Pts) / (520 Total Points)

It’s probably kind of confusing. That’s okay. Take some time and mess with it in GSheets or something. I know it took me a bit of time to set some of them up, like this one:

=C10*0.1+C6*0.2+(SUM(C5,C8,E19)/6+SUM(E21:E30)/SUM(F21:F30)*50)*0.4+C2*0.3
Summary

`= Attendance * 10% + Homework * 20% + [SUM( Final, Presentation, Midterm Project Report) / 6 + (Sum of Memo Grades) / (Total Possible Memo Points) * 50] * 40% + Final * 30%

Took me a bit to figure out why I divided by 6. It’s because it was worth half of the 40% and the memos were worth the other half. I think I didn’t split it into 20% each because of how they were lumped together.

And then for the GPA… I’m not sure GSheets has this BUUT it utilizes an IFS function (available starting with Excel 2016). You can set it up using nested IF-THEN statements, but that’s a bit more of a pain. Here’s what it looks like:

 =IFS(C11>93, 4, C11>90, 3.67, C11>87, 3.33, C11>83, 3, C11>80, 2.67, C11>77, 2.33, C11> 73, 2, C11> 70, 1.67, C11> 67, 1.33, C11> 63, 1, C11> 60, 0.33, C11<60, 0)

#86

Hahaha, the grading curve is just one problem amongst many.

Though, seeing my reply again, how dare I at least not provide a solution?

One of my favored methods is this. The difference in test scores is applied to the lower score.
Example. Midterm test = 45 grade. Final test = 85 grade.
(85 + 45) /2 = 65. The 65 replaces the midterm test score. So final scores are Midterm 65 & Final 85.

I like it because even if you fail the first test, IF you persevere and do better in the next test, you are rewarded. The better your final test score is, the bigger the reward. If both tests are average, then your grades remain average. Also the students with perfect scores will not have a problem because this method will not have students reach their achievement. Students that fail both tests…there’s no helping them. (No matter the method.)

And I think @choujiacheng is from Asia and yea. Having taught in Asia too for a few years they have their own problems with grading. Grades affect what middle school you go to, then what high school you go to, then what college you go to. Making bribery, trading favors, networking for getting certain teachers. It’s a big hidden problem. Some of those teachers really were on a power trip with students and their parents.

Story time.
There was this one top university. The only way to get in was money (donations), fame (big in music/tv) or related to politicians, or if you’re actually smart and pass their entrance exams.
Anyway, there was this funny loophole that moderately rich people used to get in. If the student lived abroad for more than 2 years (iirc), that student can apply as a foreign student and don’t need to take their entrance exams…or was it they could have a lower score? It’s been a while so the details are fuzzy. Well anyway, the bar was set incredibly low. So what these families did was send their kids to highschool in the USA for a number of years (costs a lot of money unless they already have relatives to stick the kid with), apply as a foreign student to the top university, pass their low standards, and done. The student is a foreign student in their own country. Once you’re in, your life is set. Hahahaha. I can still remember the faces of some people when I explained it to them. And it explains how I met so many dumb (and I mean intellectually) students from that cream of the crop top university. Like having to explain to a college biology major how hot air rises.

sigh oh memories. I hope I get old enough where I can entrap young kids in my stories they don’t want to hear.


#87

Yeah, I remember that if you fail a certain subject you have to do one more year in school in primary. My brother had that misfortune but was lucky enough to move to a private school before this. I also was incredibly lucky to be in a private school, I just need to do one major exam as opposed to 3 of them!


#88

This whole system just sounds stupid, designed to discourage improvement and sabotage those who needs more time to grasp stuff.

Over here, at least back when I was in school, any course would come with a number of “diagnostic” tests throughout which allowed you and your teachers an insight into how well you were absorbing the course material. Those who failed them could get remedial classes to help them understand what they missed or simply be encouraged to take better responsibility for their own studies. If it was clear that a large part of the class failed to grasp something it was a good sign to the teacher that the problem might lie in how they taught it and for them to go over it a 2nd time with another approach.

Your grade would then be based primarily on the big final that tests you on every aspect of the course but also on course work completed. Teachers wouldn’t have a simple formula to grade everyone by points scored across tests though, they would have to actually take into consideration the individual student’s performance. But maybe that’s too much work to ask teachers to do these days?


#89

ahem

what


#90

Congrats! You passed! :smiley:

If you are never going to have to take physics ever again, congrats even more! Haha! :smiley:


#91

Am I allowed to brag a little here? I very rarely do brag but I worked hard for this (working two jobs to pay for it + studying 5 modules)

I got an average of 80% :tada: !!!
Meaning I get 20% off my fees!
Yassss

But I am not keen on another year, pls send help T_T


#92

Congratulations @AcornAvenger! Definitely brag about it so we can all be happy for you!

It’s great that you get a reduced fee for good performance, I wish I had that when I was in school…

Another year, huh? At least you can see the end of the tunnel. Just keep in mind that no matter what subject and how silly it may seem at the time, there’s rarely anything, if at all, in this world that’s not worth learning about.

:clap:


#93

Congrats!
Also, damn, you get a reduced fee for doing good in class? Wish that applied in New York…


#94

WooHoo :heavy_heart_exclamation::heavy_heart_exclamation::heavy_heart_exclamation:

That’s wonderful. Plus you get money off??? WOW!
Just keep looking at that goal…Just one more year… :hugs::hugs::hugs:


#95

Yea…YOU :heavy_heart_exclamation::heavy_heart_exclamation::heavy_heart_exclamation:


#96

Also, to respond to your statement (fantastic points, by the way):

110% true. I’ve been talking with my friends about this as well, and we have pointed it out as the primary reason they “boost” our average with easy tests, after his/her classes fail a major exam. If all/a majority of the kids fail, then the teacher will be swapped out with another one. The administration at our school is

iffy

so they probably wouldn’t do anything about teachers who has been at the school for a long time (MANY students have reported this AP World teacher, but they did nothing about it. In fact, there’s a whole uproar of kids enraged at a recent event surrounding some less-than-respectful graffiti in the school, so it’s not looking super great)

I shared your comment with a few people, simply because of how cohesively it summarized the main reason of why a few of the teachers in my school are giving “booster tests”.

Thank y’all again


#97

I wish I had some booster test.

Respectfully, a drowning student.

P.S. congratulations


#98

To all those wishing they had a reduced fee as well, it’s because here in South Africa, one year of varsity costs as much as a deposit on an apartment/house xD
So we need it lol

Thank you for the encouragement and positive vibes :blush:


#99

Update: didn’t drown, all is well.


#100

Same actually. The weight of exams and assignments lifted just yesterday thank god. Here’s to a damn good break.