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How stressful are letter grades?

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

  1. whoanelly

    whoanelly Member 7+ Year Member

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    Apr 4, 2002
    Oregon
    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!
     
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  3. Kazu

    Kazu Member 7+ Year Member

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    Mar 28, 2002
    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 7+ Year Member

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

    Doctora Foxy Meow 7+ Year Member

    5,368
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    Jan 28, 2002
    </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 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 20, 2001
    Kansas City
    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 7+ Year Member

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    Apr 25, 2001
    NY
    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 10+ Year Member

    1,162
    150
    Jul 25, 2000
    Mobile, AL
    </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 7+ Year Member

    389
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    Apr 25, 2001
    NY
    </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 7+ Year Member

    81
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    Mar 28, 2002
    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

    Doctora Foxy Meow 7+ Year Member

    5,368
    2
    Jan 28, 2002
    So, even if you get graded pass/fail, they rank you by your numbers? How exactly do they rank you?
     
  12. Kazu

    Kazu Member 7+ Year Member

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    Mar 28, 2002
    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 7+ Year Member

    81
    0
    Mar 28, 2002
    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.
     

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