Asking prof for a higher grade in exchange for additional work - bad idea?

Nov 1, 2010
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A few semesters back, I got a B (extremely close to an A - we're talking ~91.83% with a 92% required for an A) in an optional lab for my degree.

Recently, I've been trying to get in with a research opportunity at my school, and what do you know, the woman in charge of admitting people to it screens for people who get an A in this particular lab (as well as a few other classes that I got an A in).

I'm thinking about approaching the professor, who also happens to be my adviser and whom I know pretty well, and asking him if he'll bump me up to an A in exchange for other work - additional projects, a paper perhaps, etc. The guy is kind of a jerk, but every time we sit down to discuss classes I'm going to take and whatnot, he always comments on how he's surprised I got a B in that class since I was one of the only individuals in that class that participated during his lectures and understood what was going on.

Is this a bad idea? Unprofessional? I'm being told by some people that it's impolite to make this sort of a request, and others are telling me it's fine.
 

gasbait

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Jun 10, 2010
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The worse thing that he can do (unless you're planning on asking him for a LOR) is say no.

So ask yourself, do the negatives outweigh the positives?
 

Astarael

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Just curious, but how is a 91.83% a B? In every class I've ever been in, the cutoff between A-/B+ was set no higher than 90%.
 

Food

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You can ask him, but you'll have to deal with the fact that you are less of a person for asking for something that nobody else is getting.
 

Remuneration

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Seriously, who socializes you people.

Normal person:
Ask for a recommendation on your behalf for the program.

SDN poster:
Ask for a grade change years after the fact.
 

eablackwell

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Seriously, who socializes you people.

Normal person:
Ask for a recommendation on your behalf for the program.

SDN poster:
Ask for a grade change years after the fact.
:thumbup: This is at least a year ago, and trust me if you ask him he will no longer wonder about the B+. You will lose a lot of respect. Hell, I laugh at students who ask about this in my AP Chem class, and they're taking the class now.

If he's your adviser then ask him for a LOR, and explain the screening issue. He will hopefully put a note about that in there recommending you despite it.
 

apumic

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If I were your prof, I would 1) lose a lot of respect for you, and 2) say absolutely NOT and that's if this class is current (if it's not current, changing your grade would be difficult or impossible depending on registrar policies).

Com'on you're basically asking, "Hey, if I give you more work to do (i.e., grading), will you raise my grade?" There's no way I'd take you up on that....
 

gettheleadout

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You can ask him, but you'll have to deal with the fact that you are less of a person for asking for something that nobody else is getting.
That's pretty harsh...
 

getright

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Take the damn grade. If you really can't get into that lab just because you received a B in one course, then screw it.
 

georgearms

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This is totally inappropriate! And I can't believe you are still thinking about that B! Leave the grade out of it if you really want the research opportunity - make your case as to why you should have a shot even though you didn't make an A.
 

apumic

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This is totally inappropriate! And I can't believe you are still thinking about that B!

OP, maybe you should just retake the class for that A! Just think -- then it fixes your GPA without ruining your rep!


[/sarcasm]
 
Nov 22, 2010
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wow. just as I expected from previous experience... someone (or at least one of the IDs) will come up with this in answer to the original post.

This is totally inappropriate! And I can't believe you are still thinking about that B! Leave the grade out of it if you really want the research opportunity - make your case as to why you should have a shot even though you didn't make an A.
 
Nov 22, 2010
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no one needs a perfect GPA to get into medical school. simply ignore the average IQ of SDNers.

OP, maybe you should just retake the class for that A! Just think -- then it fixes your GPA without ruining your rep!


[/sarcasm]
 
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PreMedder

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Suck it up, you didn't get a B...you got a B+. The fact that a professor would even consider such an agreement makes me nauseous. What makes you think you should be able to do extra credit when no one else in the class is afforded the same opportunity? If anything contact the woman in charge of picking the workers and explain to her how you were less than 1% point away from an A-.
/thread.
 
OP
O
Nov 1, 2010
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Well, I asked regardless and he agreed to meet with me. Guess it never hurts to ask. The only reason I asked is because I have/had an A understanding of the coursework, the professor knew that, and it wasn't reflected in my grade.

The professor is a bit of a hard-ass, and his cutoffs were 92-100 A, 82-92 B, etc. I missed a lab, and when I got my grade, he noted that my absence of a lab was the reason for not bumping me up, which is pretty fair. Also, it was a psychology lab (previous psych major), and I am/was under the assumption the sGPA is only for Math, Physics, Bio and Chem.
 
Oct 7, 2010
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Well, I asked regardless and he agreed to meet with me. Guess it never hurts to ask. The only reason I asked is because I have/had an A understanding of the coursework, the professor knew that, and it wasn't reflected in my grade.

The professor is a bit of a hard-ass, and his cutoffs were 92-100 A, 82-92 B, etc. I missed a lab, and when I got my grade, he noted that my absence of a lab was the reason for not bumping me up, which is pretty fair. Also, it was a psychology lab (previous psych major), and I am/was under the assumption the sGPA is only for Math, Physics, Bio and Chem.
so if one gets a solid 92, is it an A or B? seeing that 92-100 is an A and 82-92 is a B. Or am I missing something?
 
Nov 22, 2010
56
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My bad, not on SDN as much as some "people".
an ID is a screen name. one real person can have many screen names (I'm sure you know this already.)
say someone make up screen name G, G talks with his other screen name C, in the middle some other real person with other screen names may chime in, together they could create some phenomena. its time consuming supposedly.


What is an ID??
 
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Jul 4, 2009
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I find this to be highly unethical; if the professor gives you this deal, why can't all the other students have it? I think its opening a pandora's box for this professor
 
Nov 22, 2010
56
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the OP's post made me wonder, what if its the other way around, the professor wanted his students to give him a chance for "this deal".
Now the student has the chance to turn down a millenium offer. :D


I find this to be highly unethical; if the professor gives you this deal, why can't all the other students have it? I think its opening a pandora's box for this professor
 
OP
O
Nov 1, 2010
163
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MN
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Pre-Medical
so if one gets a solid 92, is it an A or B? seeing that 92-100 is an A and 82-92 is a B. Or am I missing something?
You're right, my mistake. I suppose it would be 92-100 A, 82-91 B, etc.

I find this to be highly unethical; if the professor gives you this deal, why can't all the other students have it? I think its opening a pandora's box for this professor
I agree, it's definitely open to causing problems, but I suppose it's up to each individual student to pursue obtaining a higher grade if they so choose. Maybe I'm the only one, but I've talked to a few professors before about not getting the grade I thought I earned, and getting it bumped up. Some may be inclined spit on me for this, but in the end, I will generally do whatever it takes to secure a high GPA. Seems like some others on here could benefit from this as well...

And I don't remember the exact grade I got, but it was certainly within a few tenths of a % that I missed the A by.
 

apumic

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You're right, my mistake. I suppose it would be 92-100 A, 82-91 B, etc.



I agree, it's definitely open to causing problems, but I suppose it's up to each individual student to pursue obtaining a higher grade if they so choose. Maybe I'm the only one, but I've talked to a few professors before about not getting the grade I thought I earned, and getting it bumped up. Some may be inclined spit on me for this, but in the end, I will generally do whatever it takes to secure a high GPA. Seems like some others on here could benefit from this as well...

And I don't remember the exact grade I got, but it was certainly within a few tenths of a % that I missed the A by.
Keep in mind this will be reflected in your LORs. Faculty do talk and when it's in private, names do come out. Having a reputation as a grade grubber precede you is not the way to get a job after college, much less into medical school.

One final thought: we will often give a student his/her way whether or not we agree with him/her simply to get rid of the student. We may also anticipate this w/ problem students and grade them more harshly so we can "give them back" points w/o putting them at an advantage to other students. I have students who will grade grub for points that ultimately make up 10,000ths of their course grade. I give the pts back b/c who the heck cares but you can bet other faculty know who those students are and when those students go and ask for LORs, the responses won't be pretty. (I am very upfront with problem students, however, because I think many don't realize what they are doing to themselves and their academic careers.)
 
Nov 22, 2010
56
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Pre-Medical
your posts just served the very purpose of lowering the average IQ of SDNers.
no one needs to be perfect to get into medical school, aside from the fact if your study cant REALLY compensate for your shortness in a class. And posting in public for this purpose? how someone as "smart" as "you" dont know its not appropriate?


You're right, my mistake. I suppose it would be 92-100 A, 82-91 B, etc.



I agree, it's definitely open to causing problems, but I suppose it's up to each individual student to pursue obtaining a higher grade if they so choose. Maybe I'm the only one, but I've talked to a few professors before about not getting the grade I thought I earned, and getting it bumped up. Some may be inclined spit on me for this, but in the end, I will generally do whatever it takes to secure a high GPA. Seems like some others on here could benefit from this as well...

And I don't remember the exact grade I got, but it was certainly within a few tenths of a % that I missed the A by.
 
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rafflecopter

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Oct 18, 2008
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your posts just served the very purpose of lowering the average IQ of SDNers.
no one needs to be perfect to get into medical school, aside from the fact if your study cant REALLY compensate for your shortness in a class. And posting in public for this purpose??? how someone "smart" as "you" dont know it???
You do realize that you're lecturing someone on smarts and you have yet to write an intelligible post on SDN, right?
 
Sep 14, 2010
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Its not fair to other students who took the course, and I think you'd definitely lose the professor's respect.

I think the best thing to do would be to remind the professor that you were a borderline A-, affirm your strong interest in getting involved in the laboratory, and ask if he can write something on your behalf.