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Grade Inflation

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Abe, May 5, 2004.

  1. Abe

    Abe Senior Member
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    Yesterday on NPR, they talked about a new policy by Princeton limiting As to 36% of the class, it was 47% before. Am i crazy or is 36% really high? I dont think ive had any classes with 36% As ever. The most I think was 18%, and that made the A at 85. Is it different because its a priv school, I go to a state school.
    And their mean gpa was 3.4, again that seems really high to me.
     
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  3. gschl1234

    gschl1234 Senior Member
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    Not that it's a big deal but, didn't they say 35%? Well, I have 1 friend who's at Princeton now and her big beef is that everyone there is really advanced and she thinks that if they were all at state schools they'd be at the top of their classes. Maybe all universities should pool and give standardized tests on a national level. That is, everyone in orgo gets the same exam across the country, for example? I have another friend who went to Reed and they don't have grades there at all. They have narratives. Maybe that's the way to go. Narratives would mean a lot more work for the profs but the students would probably get a lot more out of it. On TOTN they had a prof from a small college that did narratives. I think she did a good job selling the idea.
     
  4. Xandie

    Xandie OB/GYN Resident
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    The only problem with nationally standardized exams is that not all profs want to teach the same thing. We took ACS exams for the finals in organic, but our prof didn't focus on some things that were there, which made it difficult.
    I think they shouldn't limit As at all. If you get 90% of the material right, then you get 90% right. You don't know more or less depending on the other people. I think they should just give percentages.
     
  5. curlycity

    curlycity Guest

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    I like curves because they allow for the fact that sometimes an exam is off the wall. When profs write their own exams, at least in my personal experience, they can misspell, misuse their own terminology, and include stuff that was not in lecture or the text, simply because they've taught the class so many times they *thought* they said it. And, a curve standardizes your performance against the others in your class, so if you're in a group of smart people, you should be prepared to fight for your grade. That's why an A from Princeton would be more impressive than an A from X Community College.
     
  6. franklinthedog

    franklinthedog Senior Member
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    and here's my beef...I graduated from UF in 1995. They said, on avg., grade inflation has occured at a rate of .15 per decade. Hence I wish that amount were added to my gpa for med school application purposes. Oh well, I only assume that admissions committees are aware of this. For more info, check out www.gradeinflation.com. I heard the show on NPR yesterday also. I think that grade inflation will be put to an end, which will make it tough for someone graduating in the future if they're compared to someone graduating right now. Interesting stuff though...
     
  7. DRANTWAN

    DRANTWAN Member
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    i wish my school had grade inflation
     
  8. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    i read that article on yahoo about a month ago...about the princeton thing...
    i didnt know almost half the kids got As there before...that kinda floored me...
    but hey...they paid for it...

    as my friend has told me...she gets hooked up since she goes to an ivy.
     
  9. boomuntilnoon

    boomuntilnoon Senior Member
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    Reed does in fact have letter grades... but they are not really discussed, unless you are making C's or below in your courses.

    My honors college, the New College of Florida, does have narrative evaluations. They are okay, but some professors cannot write very well (and/or simply do not give credit where credit is due) so this creates an inherent problem in evaluating the student's work; hence, a student that is actually a very strong student may sound mediocre on paper because a professor minimalizes the student's efforts in the narrative evaluation.

    Another problem that is inherent in contract-style narrative evaluations is the glaring lack of accountability, on the behalf of both the student and professor. Too many weak/slacking/flakey students manage to manipulate their way through the system because they are not held accountable for their actions or lack thereof. Likewise, professors rarely fail students because it looks bad for the department/enrollment/admissions/etc., and they resort to simply giving the students "incompletes" or marginally-satisfactory evaluations, thereby pushing them right on through the system.

    And believe me, it is VERY difficult to get accepted to professional schools with only narrative evaluations... without a bonafide GPA or various merit accolades.

    Don't get me wrong, I've certainly capitalized on this pioneering experience, but way too many students do not.
     
  10. Nothing new. I think Harvard also does grade inflation
     

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