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Grade Inflation

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Abe, May 4, 2004.

  1. Abe

    Abe Senior Member
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    I just heard on NPR that princeton is making A's harder to get now 36% of the class can have As compared to 47%. Am i crazy or is 36% rediculously high? Is it because its private, at my state school 15% get As maybe 20% at most.
     
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  3. yeeester

    yeeester Member
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    there is already a thread about this. basically, the new policy will not affect the natural sciences. it will only affect the social sciences.
     
  4. hypersting

    hypersting Senior Member
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    This is an incredibly rehashed topic. The fact is, humanities are inflated, sciences are not. So when you hear about inflation, its in humanities, music, etc. In my Bio class (at an "elite" type or whatever you want to call it) there was 15 A's out of about 400 kids, needless to say, I never got one.
     
  5. secretmiss

    secretmiss Senior Member
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  6. TheRussian

    TheRussian Life Size Mirror
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    Maybe it's just me but I don't get the sense that humanities courses are inflated. To me it seems that there is a set standard of what an A is and everyone that meets that standard gets the A. I have never had a humanities course where the grades where scaled. What you get is what you get. In the hard sciences however most people won't get the equivalent of an A so you get evaluated based on how your peers do and usually the profs use a bell curve.

    It seams that in sciences there is more opportunity for grade inflation that comes from scaling too much. But maybe that's just my school
     
  7. terpgirl

    terpgirl Senior Member
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    Yeah, I had such a calc teacher--and this was in the easy calc class (the non-major one, for all students who weren't in physics/math/chem/biology). secretmiss, what school are you talking about?

    On the online rating system, pickaprof.com he has 16 ratings/comments, and he has a possible 5 out of 5 stars. He actually is an insanely approachable guy, breaks everything down. Loved him, but unfortunately had to drop his class due to severe illness. However, his stats for grades are:

    Out of 332 students in 10 classes:
    A: 31.41%
    B: 26.35%
    C: 30.40%
    D: 7.09%
    F: 4.72%
    Average: 2.70 Dropped: 10.84%

    What I hated about his class is that it was at 8am :laugh: His class has all sections still open... if it was later it would be completely full.

    My favorite health class--human sexuality with the best and easiest professor on campus (out of 300 MC questions, maybe 20 were real real knowledge questions, like names where you couldn't just narrow down to get the right answer):

    Out of 1186 students in 9 classes:
    A: 50.00%
    B: 32.21%
    C: 13.12%
    D: 4.05%
    E: 0.60%
    Average: 3.23 Dropped: 2.36%

    If you're failing sex... If you got anything less than a B (which you don't have to even t ry to actually get)... I'm really worried about my peers! :eek:

    -Liz
     
  8. terpgirl

    terpgirl Senior Member
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    OH YEAH THE HUMANITIES ARE VERY OVERINFLATED!!!

    It's amazing to me... in the psychology department at UMCP for all classes except PSYC100, you do not have to show up for anything but exams and can get an A with no effort. The criminal jusstice major is another one, where there are some not so bright athletes in there, and they are curved to make sure that the majority passes so they're NCAA eligible... when you have a pulse and think from time to time, you're at the top regardless if you're batting poorly on exams, because you're not the worst in the class.

    I recently dropped CHEM113 (second 1/2 of general chem) this semester, because the class was NOT on the bell curve. And that doesn't work very well when the professor is satan (but looks and acts like C. Montgomery Burns from the Simpsons). He had 20% of his class failing... and 10% with an A. However, those stats aren't representaive of the last 2 semesters--the problem is that the school reports drops as in drops before the end of drop without a W on your rescord period. The without a W rate is 23%, and nother 25% had decided to drop with a W. In CHEM103, the first half, the average was 50% on the final... so the curve was absolutely there. The stats for her from pickaprof.com were (one section of the class, so it's a random mixing of people):

    Out of 18 students in 1 classes:
    A: 11.76%
    B: 47.05%
    C: 41.47%
    D: 0.00%
    F: 0.00%





    -Liz
     
  9. thewebthsp

    thewebthsp Shoobeedoowap
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    The whole system is screwed up -- in theory if you could get into med school, or get a great job, or go to a great business school, etc etc fairly easily with a 3.0-3.3 GPA (which in most cases should be fine) then people would be ok with Bs and some Cs here and there in class. But 80+% of the competition now has 3.7+ GPA and as a result you have an insane level of grade obsession, so much so that it interferes with enjoying the material and learning more than just for the big final ("cram and purge").

    A lot of pain for a few years (classes of '07-'10) will be necessary if the A-F system is to survive. I would suggest instead we streamline grades in undergrad (H, HP, P might be fine with P being 70-75%) and add additional ways to distinguish yourself (like publishing work in student journals) academically that are less numbers driven. GPA should not be calculated "externally" (i.e. if admission committees want to figure an internal system fine, but don't give out an "average" GPA for USNEWS to digest)
     
  10. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    I'm sure this has been posted before, but it's Boalt School of Law's criteria for determining the value of a GPA. I'm sure it varies some for medical school, but not much. Trust me, your 3.5 at Podunk U isn't going to beat a 3.5 at a top school because of supposed grade inflation.

    http://www.architrave.net/college/gradeadj.htm
     
  11. TheFlash

    TheFlash Playtime Is Over
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    It's like my friends at Harvard say-- "The only thing harder than getting in is failing out." Grade inflation out the yin yang. Across the street at MIT, the students are dying.
     

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