Has anyone helped an old professor grade student assignments?

V781

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A professor I had last year asked if I could help her grade lab reports. She added on that she would be willing to pay. I did just now email that I would be able to help somewhat this quarter and told her to just let me know.

Is this a great time commitment? How much should I expect from her? Is this likely to be out of pocket and if so do I need to keep track for tax purposes? And honestly, I'm worried about the possibility of messing things up...Was grading papers stressful or challenging at all to you?
 
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dr_kateb

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You don't believe that assisting a professor will help me get into medical school?
It might help you get a letter of rec or better letter of rec. Other than that, not really.
 

V781

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We could all disagree about what the pre-med path looks like, but I certainly believe this is part of it. Volunteering, clubs, assisting professors or acting as a TA, shadowing, etc.

If anyone has graded for a professor, it would be nice to hear your experience.
 
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allantois

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I graded papers as a TA. It was very easy - you just follow the grading rubric provided to you.
 
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chaim123

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We could all disagree about what the pre-med path looks like, but I certainly believe this is part of it. Volunteering, clubs,
In terms of medical school activities, you need to show commitment that you grew from. Teaching a class counts. Grading papers does not. Don't add this to your AMCAS. As stated above, keep up the relationship and maybe a good letter of rec will come from this.
 

sunshine859

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Graded biochem homework assignments/papers--helped me get a good letter of rec and was also great review of biochem topics before I took my MCAT. It was a really easy, albeit boring job, and I was on the chemistry dept payroll. Time commitment will be totally dependent on the professor. I spent maybe 4 hours per week.
 
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V781

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Graded biochem homework assignments/papers--helped me get a good letter of rec and was also great review of biochem topics before I took my MCAT. It was a really easy, albeit boring job, and I was on the chemistry dept payroll. Time commitment will be totally dependent on the professor. I spent maybe 4 hours per week.
Yes! I did well in the class but fear I'll forget everything before the MCAT. That's a great point. Four hours isn't terrible. Thank you :)

A side question - it sounds as though the professor is offering to pay me instead of the chem dept...Should I be concerned about this? Should I keep note for tax purposes?
 

getdown

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You don't believe that assisting a professor will help me get into medical school?
No. Grading papers literally means nothing. Any undergrad can do this. You're not even a TA and like someone mentioned earlier I wouldn't list this as part of AMCAS ... it's just a side gig you did.

Yes! I did well in the class but fear I'll forget everything before the MCAT. That's a great point. Four hours isn't terrible. Thank you :)

A side question - it sounds as though the professor is offering to pay me instead of the chem dept...Should I be concerned about this? Should I keep note for tax purposes?
There's nothing to be concerned about. The prof needs help with grading and will probably pay you out of her own pocket. If that's the case than it'll be straight cash, nothing to declare for tax purposes. It'd be stupid and unnecessary to have to have you go through the entire hiring process to put you on the university payroll to grade a single class. The class would be done by the time you're officially "hired". Plus I can't imagine you'll be getting that much money that the IRS would come after you to take a meager couple bucks anyway.
 

Desdet

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Graded papers for a professor one semester for $20+/hr. Extremely grindy and time-consuming gig. 2/10 would do again.
Don't take on this job unless you think it's worth pursuing a connection with this professor or you desperately need some pocket change.
 

V781

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Graded papers for a professor one semester for $20+/hr. Extremely grindy and time-consuming gig. 2/10 would do again.
Don't take on this job unless you think it's worth pursuing a connection with this professor or you desperately need some pocket change.
I suppose it depends on the subject and the particular assignments you are grading...?
 

ciestar

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Yup. Got a good LOR at the end of it
 
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kgamon8

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What are other students at your school doing? it is a bit concerning that he's paying out of pocket. At my school, graders and TAs are all on payroll
 

Catalystik

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Has anyone helped an old professor grade student assignments? I was merely wondering if it was worthwhile and what might be required as far as time and effort.
For two years, I volunteered to help grade OChem tests twice a term for about four hours each, along with a group of other past students who met at the professor's house and got a free dinner out of it (home-made lasagna). LOR was terrific, but didn't mention this activity. It definitely helped keep the material fresh in my mind until the MCAT.
 

V781

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For two years, I volunteered to help grade OChem tests twice a term for about four hours each, along with a group of other past students who met at the professor's house and got a free dinner out of it (home-made lasagna). LOR was terrific, but didn't mention this activity. It definitely helped keep the material fresh in my mind until the MCAT.
It only took you four hours to get through tests? You must have been checking only for the correct answer...? Or it was a small group of students...

It seems I need to be better with my time. I have 48 pre-labs and 48 lab reports to get through and was thinking spending 5-10 minutes per report was decent...
 

V781

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What are other students at your school doing? it is a bit concerning that he's paying out of pocket. At my school, graders and TAs are all on payroll
My school doesn't seem to hire TAs or graders. This is probably why she is paying me out of her own pocket. Is this something I should keep quiet about around the school? She didn't seem too secretive about it - asked me about it and explained the process with her door wide open.
 

Robin-jay

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No. Grading papers literally means nothing. Any undergrad can do this. You're not even a TA and like someone mentioned earlier I wouldn't list this as part of AMCAS ... it's just a side gig you did.
I would.
 

Catalystik

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It only took you four hours to get through tests? You must have been checking only for the correct answer...? Or it was a small group of students...
Relatively small groups of students, lots of graders plus the prof. Had to check every electron, as there were multiple possible correct drawn diagrams.
 

V781

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Relatively small groups of students, lots of graders plus the prof. Had to check every electron, as there were multiple possible correct drawn diagrams.
I'm grading O. Chem as well. Electrons aren't difficult to track. It's reading each personal comment and coming up with notes for them to think about.
 
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