Dismiss Notice
SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

How stressful are letter grades?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by whoanelly, Apr 18, 2002.

  1. whoanelly

    whoanelly Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hate to make this part of my decision but, after 4 years of stressing over grades in undergrad (in contemplation of getting into med school), I dread going to a med school that gives letter grades rather than pass/fail or even the honors/high honors system. For those of you in schools with the traditional grading system, do you think it makes for fiercer competition among students? Are most grades given on a curve, or in reality are there few grades below a "C"? Are there benefits? If you had it to do over and had a choice, would you still go to your school in spite of the grading system? In other words, should this be a factor in my decision among schools? Any and all insights are appreciated!
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Kazu

    Kazu Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2002
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I prefer the letter grade. Although it doesn't really matter because your class rank is what is important. Whether you have letters, pass/fail, etc. you are still ranked. By having letter grades I feel like I have a better idea of where I stand. Generally our classes are not curved and less than a C is failing. Some schools do pass/honors/high pass. Its the same as ABC, just different names. In reality they are the same.
     
  4. vyc

    vyc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2002
    Messages:
    684
    Likes Received:
    1
    i heard that at a school with P/F, step 1 and 2 scores then become really important for matching.
     
  5. Doctora Foxy

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,368
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by vyc:
    <strong>i heard that at a school with P/F, step 1 and 2 scores then become really important for matching.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">On that note, does having high letter grades put you in a better postion to make up for not-so-hot board scores? Judging from experience, I bet that could happen to me...
     
  6. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2001
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK! I completly understand moving to a pass/fail or even a honors/pass/fail system to try and reduce the competition, etc. What I don't understand is why Kansas University uses this system:

    Superior (SU) -work of marked excellence, indicating high honor
    High Satisfactory (HS) -work of much more than average quality
    Satisfactory (SA) -work of average quality
    Low Satisfactory (LS) -work of lowest acceptable quality
    Unsatisfactory (U) -work of less than acceptable quality

    It's not a real brainer to see that it is just A,B,C,D,F in words instead of letters. Can someone tell me the point?? :)
     
  7. guardian

    guardian Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do schools with letter grades further subdivide the C grading range into C+, C, C-? If not then it's pretty much the same as honors, high pass, and pass.
     
  8. Hercules

    Hercules Son of Zeus

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2000
    Messages:
    1,182
    Likes Received:
    173
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by guardian:
    <strong>Do schools with letter grades further subdivide the C grading range into C+, C, C-? If not then it's pretty much the same as honors, high pass, and pass.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">My school uses letter grades sans +/-
     
  9. guardian

    guardian Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    0
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Hercules:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by guardian:
    <strong>Do schools with letter grades further subdivide the C grading range into C+, C, C-? If not then it's pretty much the same as honors, high pass, and pass.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">My school uses letter grades sans +/-</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">That'd really be stressful if they subdivided the C range, well for me at least <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> . At my school honors is top ~20%, high pass the next ~20%, pass ~55-60%. So it's pretty much like a letter grading system except that "pass" just sounds better than a C.
     
  10. Kazu

    Kazu Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2002
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Residency directors know that there is variation with the grading systems..pass/fail, letter grades etc, so they are not good comparisons. They take that into consideration. It is part of the reason class rank is a big deal. It can be used regardless of the grading system. In the end it is just a matter of what makes you feel less stressed. Like you said, "pass" makes you feel better than a "C". At jefferson some classes are pass/fail, and the others are actually number grades, not letters. But I think most of our averages are in the mid to high 80's range.
     
  11. Doctora Foxy

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,368
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    So, even if you get graded pass/fail, they rank you by your numbers? How exactly do they rank you?
     
  12. Kazu

    Kazu Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2002
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    you still take exams and exams have percentages. So they can compare your percentage grade and give you a rank, they just don't put the percentage in your posted class grade. They use the same thing to decide whether you get a grade of pass/fail etc.
     
  13. Kazu

    Kazu Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2002
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    people don't like grades because they are a way of rating and ranking your acedemic performance and they think that pass/fail will get them out of that competition. But in reality there is no way to go to school and not get a rating/ranking relative to other students.
     

Share This Page