MisterTO

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Aug 3, 2017
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Ok, so tomorrow will mark 3 weeks of college for me.. So far this is how it goes. I am in the Honors college and they teach like a liberal arts college and teach education "liberally". I don't necessarily enjoy the topics or way of teaching I just joined to put on an application and you get a scholarship. However, one of my teachers told me that we don't get to know our grade until the very end but can guess what it is based on the Check +/- system. SO far I have gotten all check pluses. SO I guess that is good? Next, my other teacher told me (in his office hours) that I should be fine with grades.. He usually gives B to A- but hardly ever gives A's. Coming from him: "I don't even give myself an A!" My chemistry class is a night class and that in itself explains how it is. I love chemistry and understand it but she is extremely unclear and her and her TA are not on the same page. It is very frustrating that the TA has no idea what is going on and she is grading my stuff! Next, the class is not curved and I would have to average 90% on exams, 100% on labs, and 95% on HW and Quizes in order to get a 93% (A). It seems near perfection. I don't mind putting in more work in the class I love, but DANG! My photography class should be an A? I am stressing hard core about my situations. Can anyone help me out? I really will try hard to get an A but these professors really don't seem like they want to give them out! DO you think my chemistry teacher will curve in the end? It's very stressful; however, so far I have managed the workload but it has been extremely frustrating. THANKS GUYS!
 
Oct 28, 2015
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Not entirely sure I follow, but the first class sounds like one of those "intro to college" courses that are one hour and don't have real work, in which case you'll get an A as long as you have a pulse. So I wouldn't worry about that one.

As for the chemistry class, from my experience as a chemistry TA the grade will be adjusted if the average is less than ~75 (like a mid-range C) but you won't know until the end of the class if that happens so don't count on it!
 
Jul 23, 2017
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Relax.

Its your first few weeks coming from high-school to college, and its a big adjustment. Part of that is you have a lot less leeway to argue with the professor for grades, and badmouthing the TA isn't going to earn you favors either. The good news is that if the class is not curved you're only competing against yourself. If you want that A you should study harder, work more efficiently, and show up at office hours and recitations to show your professor you want the A.

Also its just your first semester. If you're struggling you know to take fewer courses next semester.
 
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MisterTO

MisterTO

2+ Year Member
Aug 3, 2017
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Not entirely sure I follow, but the first class sounds like one of those "intro to college" courses that are one hour and don't have real work, in which case you'll get an A as long as you have a pulse. So I wouldn't worry about that one.

As for the chemistry class, from my experience as a chemistry TA the grade will be adjusted if the average is less than ~75 (like a mid-range C) but you won't know until the end of the class if that happens so don't count on it!
It is an Honors Course called "Non-Western Traditions: Culture & Cuisine"
What do you think about the professor who straight up said "straight A's are hard to come by"? How do I let this person know that I really need an A? I know working hard for it should help but it sucks that this person thinks that A's are almost impossible as he wouldn't give himself one.
 
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MisterTO

MisterTO

2+ Year Member
Aug 3, 2017
88
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Relax.

Its your first few weeks coming from high-school to college, and its a big adjustment. Part of that is you have a lot less leeway to argue with the professor for grades, and badmouthing the TA isn't going to earn you favors either. The good news is that if the class is not curved you're only competing against yourself. If you want that A you should study harder, work more efficiently, and show up at office hours and recitations to show your professor you want the A.

Also its just your first semester. If you're struggling you know to take fewer courses next semester.
Thanks for the input! Do I need to go to office hours all the time? I have no issues so far with the course material. I talk to her all the time before and after class and suck up. Should I give any excuse to go see her? Does going to office hours help? THANKS
 

blackroses

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Apr 24, 2014
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It is an Honors Course called "Non-Western Traditions: Culture & Cuisine"
What do you think about the professor who straight up said "straight A's are hard to come by"? How do I let this person know that I really need an A? I know working hard for it should help but it sucks that this person thinks that A's are almost impossible as he wouldn't give himself one.
You let him know by doing A quality work, not by begging, not by telling him you need an A.

Stop worrying about things you can't control, put your head down, and do the best job you can do.
 
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MisterTO

MisterTO

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^^^This. First of all, you don't NEED an A. Plenty of us have gotten into med school with B's or worse on our transcripts. The fact is that college is harder than high school, and unless you went to an elite private high school you're likely competing against a higher-performing crowd of students now. Not all of you will get A's - you are going to have to work harder than you did in high school.

Next, telling your professor you need an A will almost certainly come off as whining/entitlement to the professor. Maybe you don't mean it that way, but that's how they will perceive it. It will only make them like you less and probably make them less likely to give you an A. Keep working hard, go to office hours, etc. If you're concerned about how your TA is grading your work, take it to office hours with the professor and ask "hey, can you please explain to me what I did wrong in this problem?" (NOT "I deserve a point back on this.").

Also, if you're in the honors program, are there older students in the program you can reach out to and ask for advice generally or for these particular classes?

I don't mean to be harsh - I know the transition to college is tough. Best of luck!
THANKS for the input! No way am I being sulky about this. I just am a person who checked my grades multiple times a day in high school. This unknown factor is making me scared, that's all. I also wanted to have a 4.0 GPA at some point.. I plan on "mastering" this chemistry as I am a Biochemistry major and I love doing it. It was like midnight and I had to vent. Also, I don't feel entitled to an A; I just hope the professor would know that I need to be competitive and to let go of the whole "I don't give A's out" mentality. Thanks so much guys for the needed advice! :)
 

MCATISEZ

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Remember that a grade is typically an objective measure of how well you fulfilled the learning objectives for the course. Ask questions out of curiosity and for the purpose of learning. Your subsequent performance will likely show in your final grade. Ultimately, relax. Undergrad will not be enjoyable if you stress over perfection every step of the way.
 
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Aug 1, 2017
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Thanks for the input! Do I need to go to office hours all the time? I have no issues so far with the course material. I talk to her all the time before and after class and suck up. Should I give any excuse to go see her? Does going to office hours help? THANKS
As previously suggested, please take a deep breadth and relax for a minute. The tone of your commentary suggests an intensity borne out of fear, anxiety, etc...and interacting with instructors, or any other adults, from this position will likely engender responses that will only heighten your anxiety. On the other hand, clearly, calmly, and logically expressing your concerns will go much further in meeting your needs.
 

FantasticDoctorFox

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THANKS for the input! No way am I being sulky about this. I just am a person who checked my grades multiple times a day in high school. This unknown factor is making me scared, that's all. I also wanted to have a 4.0 GPA at some point.. I plan on "mastering" this chemistry as I am a Biochemistry major and I love doing it. It was like midnight and I had to vent. Also, I don't feel entitled to an A; I just hope the professor would know that I need to be competitive and to let go of the whole "I don't give A's out" mentality. Thanks so much guys for the needed advice! :)
Glad you are gaining some perspective, OP. The other important lesson is that for the rest of your academic career, you will be faced with these "unfair" situations, and it's a good idea to learn how to deal with it in a healthy way now. Don't get me wrong, it is frustrating to have a teacher tell you that they simply don't give out [insert grade here] no matter what. But the reality is, in undergrad you will likely come across 1-2 professors who have the mentality of "I don't give As" and when you get to medical school you will probably work with an attending (or two) who says that they never give out "honors" on clinical evaluations (usually for some nonsense reason such as "because everyone can improve" or something else equally as frustrating). The thing is though, most of your colleagues will also experience these situations as well, so while if feels like it's totally unfair and definitely going to make you less competitive for reasons outside your control, everyone is actually on a more even playing field with this than you think. You can and should work to the best of your ability, but at the end of the day you can't control the actions (or teaching styles) of others. Recognizing this will help you be a much happier person as you progress through each stage of your education/career.
 

LizzyM

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telling your professor you need an A will almost certainly come off as whining/entitlement to the professor. Maybe you don't mean it that way, but that's how they will perceive it. It will only make them like you less and probably make them less likely to give you an A.
QFT Telling your professor you "need" an A is the #1 reason professors hate pre-meds. Don't be that guy.
 

Dr. Stalker

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QFT Telling your professor you "need" an A is the #1 reason professors hate pre-meds. Don't be that guy.
what is qft?
 

Dr. Stalker

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@MisterTO I'm confused. If you hate a liberal education where they give out pluses, minuses, and gold stars then why are upset by a letter grading system? Also you must be attending Vassar.
 

Goro

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THANKS for the input! No way am I being sulky about this. I just am a person who checked my grades multiple times a day in high school. This unknown factor is making me scared, that's all. I also wanted to have a 4.0 GPA at some point.. I plan on "mastering" this chemistry as I am a Biochemistry major and I love doing it. It was like midnight and I had to vent. Also, I don't feel entitled to an A; I just hope the professor would know that I need to be competitive and to let go of the whole "I don't give A's out" mentality. Thanks so much guys for the needed advice! :)
This is not healthy; you'll burn yourself out or make yourself ill.

Your grades do not define who you are, nor does getting less than perfect make you a weak or bad person.
 
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