Do professors curve in college? How does it work?

May 28, 2020
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This is my first semester in college and I'm a first gen american, so bear with me bc idk how college works.



I just finished taking my first gen chem midterm. It was out of 20 questions and i got a 17/20 which gives me an 85. The highest score in the class was a 90, so I was just one question away from getting the highest score which im really bummed out about. However, the class average was a 67 (not considering the fact that my 85 and that 90 pulled up the average). In this prof's class, that 67 translates to a D+, and I dont see why a professor would leave the majority of his class with a D+. Do you think my prof will curve the scores?



Do professors tend to curve or do they leave it like that? How do curving/grading systems work in college? Because I hear stories of people having a 65 as the highest score or something like that in notoriously difficult classes such as OChem.. so using that as an example, would the professor bump up the grades by curving it?? Or what??
 

drducky.

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Nov 13, 2018
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Its all up to the professor depending on if and how much they want to curve. I’ve had classes where 1/3 of class failed and other classes where everyone got As. Research your professors.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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May 26, 2018
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This is my first semester in college and I'm a first gen american, so bear with me bc idk how college works.



I just finished taking my first gen chem midterm. It was out of 20 questions and i got a 17/20 which gives me an 85. The highest score in the class was a 90, so I was just one question away from getting the highest score which im really bummed out about. However, the class average was a 67 (not considering the fact that my 85 and that 90 pulled up the average). In this prof's class, that 67 translates to a D+, and I dont see why a professor would leave the majority of his class with a D+. Do you think my prof will curve the scores?



Do professors tend to curve or do they leave it like that? How do curving/grading systems work in college? Because I hear stories of people having a 65 as the highest score or something like that in notoriously difficult classes such as OChem.. so using that as an example, would the professor bump up the grades by curving it?? Or what??
Depends on professor and and also class average. Ask any seniors who took classes with same professor. If you don't know anyone check ratemyprofessors site.
 
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jhmmd

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Apr 28, 2020
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brocolli1738 said:
This is my first semester in college and I'm a first gen american, so bear with me bc idk how college works.



I just finished taking my first gen chem midterm. It was out of 20 questions and i got a 17/20 which gives me an 85. The highest score in the class was a 90, so I was just one question away from getting the highest score which im really bummed out about. However, the class average was a 67 (not considering the fact that my 85 and that 90 pulled up the average). In this prof's class, that 67 translates to a D+, and I dont see why a professor would leave the majority of his class with a D+. Do you think my prof will curve the scores?



Do professors tend to curve or do they leave it like that? How do curving/grading systems work in college? Because I hear stories of people having a 65 as the highest score or something like that in notoriously difficult classes such as OChem.. so using that as an example, would the professor bump up the grades by curving it?? Or what??
First off: Most professors have to submit grades to their supervisor, who checks to be sure that there is some type of even distribution.
That being said curving is by no means a requirement or something unique to a pre-med curriculum.
Standard curve shapes all scores around a median score (e.g. 75%, so that 50% of the scores are lower than that number [in this case, the number = 75], and 50% of the scores are lower).
Other types of curves include bell curves. My first semester of physics was graded on a bell curve. The professor claimed that she would reduce grades until the average reached 50% :scared: So curving is not always necessarily a good thing.

Another type of curve uses the highest score as 100%. So if you score a 75% and everyone else scores lower than you, you make a proportion to equate that 75% to 100% and redistribute the rest of the scores around the mean. This is usually what people mean when they talk about curves and it's typically only for tough subjects like ochem and calculus.

Choose your professors wisely
 

lull

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2018
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Depends on the class and professors. My physics class had averages in the F range so an F was a B, other classes not so much curved.
 
Aug 20, 2019
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It depends on the professor. Be careful; there are downward curves as well as upward curves. It's no fun when your 95 becomes a B at the end of the semester.
 

drducky.

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Nov 13, 2018
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It depends on the professor. Be careful; there are downward curves as well as upward curves. It's no fun when your 95 becomes a B at the end of the semester.
That should be illegal
 
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