Your preferred gradings system: True Pass/Fail or Letter Grades?

  • Pass or Fail

    Votes: 137 76.1%
  • Letter Grades (includes H/HP/P/F)

    Votes: 43 23.9%

  • Total voters
    180

MCAT guy

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note: I did a search on this and was unable to find satisfactory answers.

Which type of grading system do you prefer between true pass/fail (pass or fail) and a letter grading system (including H/HP/P/F)?

How has this affected your ability to learn the material and/or prep for Step 1?
 
Sep 1, 2009
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My med school went from letter grades and class rank to pass/fail over 35 years ago. We practiced political correctness before the term was invented. It's hard to believe that any still give letter grades. I never worried about rank since it was mostly to determine AOA, and I wasn't close.
 

justdoit31

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We have a graded system here and I wish it would be just plain pass/fail I have heard way to many people who have either done well on all but 1 exam and lost honors (which is important if the school offers it and you want something competitive) or people who have got a marginal from either a lack of understanding or life issues (having a baby, sickness, etc) and it looks bad.

Seriously a pass is a pass. Your ability to study for step isn't linked to the grading system that goes on a transcript- my school defends the graded system as a way to see who might have trouble with STEP but in all honesty they could track numerical grades on their own and see know who to target for getting additional help and still use P/F on transcripts since that is what residencies see.
 
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I love me some pass/fail!

I think most people still work hard and do as well as they can, but it is a nice feeling to know that whether you rock out at 98 or squeak in at 72, it's all good.

I still sometimes kid myself that I'd like to be AOA, but there is no real stress. If it happens, great, if not, guess what- I still look like the other 90% of the class.

I learn for me, and for the Step I, not because I have to compete with everyone.
 

Brigade4Radiant

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isn't H/HP/P/F Pretty much the same as A/B/C/F

Our school has the grade system.
 

2012mdc

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note: I did a search on this and was unable to find satisfactory answers.

Which type of grading system do you prefer between true pass/fail (pass or fail) and a letter grading system (including H/HP/P/F)?

How has this affected your ability to learn the material and/or prep for Step 1?
Having grades forced me to study more than I would have for Micro and Pharm during the 1st semester. Don't know if it really made an overall difference as I would have studied everything seriously 2nd semester as board prep.

Having grades helped during the times where I wasn't motivated to study. Also it prevented bad study habits from developing
 

Everglide

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We're "Pass/Fail" except we can still release our overall percentage and percentile grades on our dean's letter and 90%+ automatically goes on there too. To be honest I wish we were true pass/fail.
 

DoctwoB

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honors/pass/fail here. Honestly don't think its been an issue. Honors only really matters for AOA and can help you stand out a bit, but isn't going to hurt you if you just pass come residency apps.

If anything its kind of nice to have a reward for doing well, especially bc you need to know everything well anyways at some point for boards.
 

ACSurgeon

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Our school had grades for all years (this has changed for the class after me). I don't know that it changed how I studied.

I did very well in first and second year, not because I wanted the highest possible grade, but because I didn't want to fail. There is a lot of material in medical school, and for you to feel confident about passing, you have to spend a ton of time with the material. Then, personal differences determine what kind of grade you get (i.e. how much can you retain, how well do you test, etc).
 

golfman

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Depends. If you are confident you can be in the top 25% of your class and are willing to work your butt off, then a school with grades would be better for you.

If you don't like competition, don't think you will be in the top 25% of your class, then true Pass/Fail would be a great option.

I know pre-clinical grades don't matter much at all, but they matter some. On that matching data, it is way down the list but it doesn't have 0 importance. It wouldn't hurt to have great grades for the 1st two years on your application. If I were reviewing an application and saw a bunch of Honors, that would impress me more than seeing a bunch of P's. Then again, if you go to a school with grades and get below average grades then a Pass/Fail school would have been more to your advantage.
 
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Pretty much everyone in my class got over the shock of going from letter grades to pass/fail once they knew that their degree would not read "MDLP"
 

silverhorse84

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isn't H/HP/P/F Pretty much the same as A/B/C/F

Our school has the grade system.

It can be different depending on how they determine the "grade." When interviewing, I remember going to a school with H/HP/P/F where they stated that the determination of grades was based of class percentages (ie. top 10% get H, next 15% get HP, or whatever).
At my school we have the old-fashioned A/B/C/D, and it's based on your test scores (ie. you score >90% is an A, >80% is a B etc). Any curve would be based on the class average, but if I work hard enough I don't have to "beat out" my classmates to get a higher grade - I just have to do well enough on the exams. For example, we have a radiology class this year where I'm pretty sure 95% of the class has an A (so far) - that couldn't happen with the H/HP/P/F grading scheme.
It's a slight distinction, but I could imagine it could make a difference - especially when it comes to competitiveness of the class (we're hardly competitive at all).

Either way, I'd vote for P/F. My school is doing a curriculum reform to start for the next incoming class and we've been telling them to change to P/F, but it doesn't look like they're going to.
 

Perrotfish

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Depends. If you are confident you can be in the top 25% of your class and are willing to work your butt off, then a school with grades would be better for you.

If you don't like competition, don't think you will be in the top 25% of your class, then true Pass/Fail would be a great option.

I know pre-clinical grades don't matter much at all, but they matter some. On that matching data, it is way down the list but it doesn't have 0 importance. It wouldn't hurt to have great grades for the 1st two years on your application. If I were reviewing an application and saw a bunch of Honors, that would impress me more than seeing a bunch of P's. Then again, if you go to a school with grades and get below average grades then a Pass/Fail school would have been more to your advantage.
See I think preclinical grades are bad for everyone, not just the poor students. The issue is that having preclinical grades distracts hard workers from focusing on topics that are clinical relevant/appliable to Step 1 and causes them to place undo emphasis on jumping through their schools more irrelevant hoops. For example my school had painfully detailed lectures about Professors' biochem research, essays about feelings and cultrual competency to write for a 'foundations in medicine' course, completely random 'clincial' time that occured way before we knew enough to get anything out of it, and of course 6 different varieties of TBL. Now even in my P/F school it was very hard to ignore those made up time sinks so that I could focus on actually learning medicine. If my school actually had grades I could only imagine how much my already poor Step 1 score would have suffered from the time I spent editing cultural competency essays.
 

ar2388

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I love me some pass/fail!

I think most people still work hard and do as well as they can, but it is a nice feeling to know that whether you rock out at 98 or squeak in at 72, it's all good.

I still sometimes kid myself that I'd like to be AOA, but there is no real stress. If it happens, great, if not, guess what- I still look like the other 90% of the class.

I learn for me, and for the Step I, not because I have to compete with everyone.
could not agree with this more
 

ar2388

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See I think preclinical grades are bad for everyone, not just the poor students. The issue is that having preclinical grades distracts hard workers from focusing on topics that are clinical relevant/appliable to Step 1 and causes them to place undo emphasis on jumping through their schools more irrelevant hoops. For example my school had painfully detailed lectures about Professors' biochem research, essays about feelings and cultrual competency to write for a 'foundations in medicine' course, completely random 'clincial' time that occured way before we knew enough to get anything out of it, and of course 6 different varieties of TBL. Now even in my P/F school it was very hard to ignore those made up time sinks so that I could focus on actually learning medicine. If my school actually had grades I could only imagine how much my already poor Step 1 score would have suffered from the time I spent editing cultural competency essays.
well said
 

golfman

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See I think preclinical grades are bad for everyone, not just the poor students. The issue is that having preclinical grades distracts hard workers from focusing on topics that are clinical relevant/appliable to Step 1 and causes them to place undo emphasis on jumping through their schools more irrelevant hoops. For example my school had painfully detailed lectures about Professors' biochem research, essays about feelings and cultrual competency to write for a 'foundations in medicine' course, completely random 'clincial' time that occured way before we knew enough to get anything out of it, and of course 6 different varieties of TBL. Now even in my P/F school it was very hard to ignore those made up time sinks so that I could focus on actually learning medicine. If my school actually had grades I could only imagine how much my already poor Step 1 score would have suffered from the time I spent editing cultural competency essays.
Me studying for classes helped me immensely for Step 1. Not all of what we were taught in class was Step 1 relevant, but most of it was. It really didn't take that much extra time to study the Step-1 non-relevant stuff. Maybe your school was different. And all those time sinks you talk about, like you mention, you have to do them anyways and at our school, even though we aren't strictly pass fail, those lame assignments usually were graded pass/fail.

Doing well in classes and doing well in Step 1 should go hand in hand. I don't think sacrificing class grades is essential to getting a great Step 1 score. Yeah it may help if all you read is Step 1 stuff and ingore class, but my argument is that you can do both. If you don't want a social/family life.
 
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Doing well in classes and doing well in Step 1 should go hand in hand. I don't think sacrificing class grades is essential to getting a great Step 1 score. Yeah it may help if all you read is Step 1 stuff and ingore class, but my argument is that you can do both. If you don't want a social/family life.
Going out for me for an evening every week or two was MORE THAN ENOUGH socials for me... Of course, if you want to be some social butterfly going out every or every other night, you might as kiss your even PASSING good bye, but still :D
 

Murphy Brown

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Not only does my school give out letter grades, but we have a +/- system. A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, etc.
 

MilkmanAl

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A/B/C/D/F here. I don't think it really makes much difference what the grading scale is as far as how students behave and treat each other goes. No matter the grading, med school will always be full of people who work as hard as they possibly can at all times, throw each other under the bus, and whinge about how they did on tests. If you're one of the few who genuinely do not care about grades, I can see how a true P/F system without internal ranking would be good for you during the first two years. Good luck with third year when everyone is scrambling for class rank, though.
 

fahimaz7

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We had a ABCDF system here (90,80,70, 60, etc). Personally, I find it to be a pain in the ass. Since I started making A's in the beginning, I feel like I have to keep that level of effort for each module, so I can keep my good rank in the class. With that said, I think that I am retaining a lot more information that other people, and that I will have an easier time learning it for step 1, since I already learned it well enough to apply it to an exam (vs the guy in my class that's making 75s on everything).

Maybe that's not the case, but the Texas school that publishes it's grades and Step scores (broken down by 4.0, 3.75, 3.5, 3.25, etc) shows that grades correlate with step 1 performance. There's 4.0 kids averaged a 253.

We've voted on Pass/Fail or H, HP, P type of a grading scheme each year (for the past 3 or 4), and our classes have rejected the idea of changing our grading scheme. Really interesting if you ask me... (although I voted to keep grades so I would stay motivated).
 
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We had a ABCDF system here (90,80,70, 60, etc). Personally, I find it to be a pain in the ass. Since I started making A's in the beginning, I feel like I have to keep that level of effort for each module, so I can keep my good rank in the class. With that said, I think that I am retaining a lot more information that other people, and that I will have an easier time learning it for step 1, since I already learned it well enough to apply it to an exam (vs the guy in my class that's making 75s on everything).

Maybe that's not the case, but the Texas school that publishes it's grades and Step scores (broken down by 4.0, 3.75, 3.5, 3.25, etc) shows that grades correlate with step 1 performance. There's 4.0 kids averaged a 253.
Yea, but don't you think the gunners that get 4.0s (such as yourself) would study just as hard in a P/F environment for their own personal satisfaction? I feel like the crazy amount of motivation and effort you need to put into school to constantly achieve such high grades isn't something that one just turns on and off. you either have it or you don't. My 2 cents.
 

MilkmanAl

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I feel like the crazy amount of motivation and effort you need to put into school to constantly achieve such high grades isn't something that one just turns on and off. you either have it or you don't.
:thumbup: That correlation between grades and Step 1 score is likely just showing you that the type of person who would work for A's all through the first 2 years is also the type of person who would bust his/her ass studying for Step 1 and wouldn't stop until all the info was assimilated. Learning the preclinical stuff well the first time around is certainly a good way to make Step 1 studying easier on yourself, but I frankly think its importance is quite overblown on these forums.
 

fahimaz7

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Yea, but don't you think the gunners that get 4.0s (such as yourself) would study just as hard in a P/F environment for their own personal satisfaction? I feel like the crazy amount of motivation and effort you need to put into school to constantly achieve such high grades isn't something that one just turns on and off. you either have it or you don't. My 2 cents.
I don't think that I would have a 94 average (or whatever I have) if we were simply pass/fail. Would I still be close to a 90? Sure...but, there's a lot of effort that goes into getting those extra points to make sure that you secure an A. I might have even read a few of the extra board prep books and worked more problems throughout first and second year (I've read 1/3 of Robbins, most of RRPath, most of HY Biochem, all of BRS physio, and all of CMMRS).
 

2012mdc

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Yea, but don't you think the gunners that get 4.0s (such as yourself) would study just as hard in a P/F environment for their own personal satisfaction? I feel like the crazy amount of motivation and effort you need to put into school to constantly achieve such high grades isn't something that one just turns on and off. you either have it or you don't. My 2 cents.
There is no way I would have studied as hard in a P/F system. I came into med school pretty self motivated but when faced with the wealth of info and work in med school self-motivation can only take you so far. Having grades pushed me through some of those tough nights and forced me to maximize the efficiency of my studying.

:thumbup: That correlation between grades and Step 1 score is likely just showing you that the type of person who would work for A's all through the first 2 years is also the type of person who would bust his/her ass studying for Step 1 and wouldn't stop until all the info was assimilated. Learning the preclinical stuff well the first time around is certainly a good way to make Step 1 studying easier on yourself, but I frankly think its importance is quite overblown on these forums.
It really is school dependent. It depends how relevant your curriculum is. Now my school's curriculum is far from perfect (especially 1st year) but a good amount of stuff we learned 2nd year was very helpful for Step 1 and the random BS was easy to cram for and didn't take away too much time. My school prides itself on having people outperform their MCAT so they really try to make 2nd year as relevant as possible.

Reading some of the posts in this thread makes me realize my school does not have nearly the amount of BS work some other ones do.
 

anders11

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Actually, I think being P/F will lead to me doing better on Step 1.

I study board review books for each course. I score a few percentage points lower than I would if I only studied the "testable" material, but who cares? Why memorize my professor's favorite lab technique or protein when I could learn clinically relevant material in the same amount of time?

I'm obviously still learning what they want me to know in the class since I'm comfortably passing, but I'll already have been through all of First Aid and BRS once by the time Step 1 rolls around.

And no, i'm not a gunner - we're unranked. :D Nothing I do can hurt anyone else, and I still only study the same amount of time as other people.

I will say, though, that everybody here focuses on clinically useful material to some degree instead of just looking at the professor's slides. P/F is nice that way.
 

canjosh

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I don't think that I would have a 94 average (or whatever I have) if we were simply pass/fail. Would I still be close to a 90? Sure...but, there's a lot of effort that goes into getting those extra points to make sure that you secure an A. I might have even read a few of the extra board prep books and worked more problems throughout first and second year (I've read 1/3 of Robbins, most of RRPath, most of HY Biochem, all of BRS physio, and all of CMMRS).
 

Zoom-Zoom

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I'm starting to wonder if the P/F thing is a recipe for tailoring a curriculum away from the traditional path towards a more PBL/useless clinical experiences before you know anything/essays about feelings type curriculum. I always thought it was the other way around, and for that reason, I appreciate my P/F school. But now I'm wondering if it also justifies these crappy classes b/c we can't really complain. "Don't like this BS class? Well it's just P/F anyway!" My school has more recently transitioned to P/F and I've already seen a dramatic albeit gradual sway away from the traditional curriculum over the last 2 yrs.

I like my P/F school but only because we're taught so much useless crap. There's less pressure. Still, I find myself spending way too many hours studying things that I don't want to study. It's habit, like a compulsion..and I probably would have had mostly honors if my school gave them. So I guess I'd rather have grades, but only if I was guaranteed to be taught useful stuff. It's a gamble.

I also think there's slightly more pressure to perform on Step 1 when you have nothing to show for the first 2 years. In a recent discussion with a professor, he mentioned that he and apparently many of his colleagues had enthusiastically supported some sort of push to make Step 1 P/F. Jeebus. What a nightmare that would have been.
 
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Zoom-Zoom

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Maybe that's not the case, but the Texas school that publishes it's grades and Step scores (broken down by 4.0, 3.75, 3.5, 3.25, etc) shows that grades correlate with step 1 performance. There's 4.0 kids averaged a 253.
That correlation would only be useful if it compared P/F school averages to grade-school averages. Like the others said, I'd wager that these same students would have done just fine in the former situation. I'm fairly confident that the top 10% at my school averages 250 or above.
 
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I have seen both sides of the grading system. I go to school in a P/F system, with the option of honors only during clinical years. My sister is in school with "actual" grading.

The difference is night and day, and I cannot believe why any poor soul would ever want the competition that grades bring on. Her class hates each other, don't make study groups, will lie about facts to one another...just insane. At my school I cannot tell you how many times first and second year there were 3 or 4 groups studying the night before an exam, all in one building, shooting the **** and helping each other out with tough concepts as necessary. Just "checking in" on one another and keeping morale and learning high.

Also, to those trying to make a correlation with step 1. I argue that learning concepts in the first 2 years is WAY more important, and I didn't give a damn about step 1, I wanted to LEARN (and we all know step 1 is too many useless facts). The environment that I was in allowed me to do that, and I subsequently excelled on step 2 and clinical shelfs.
 

MilkmanAl

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The difference is night and day, and I cannot believe why any poor soul would ever want the competition that grades bring on. Her class hates each other, don't make study groups, will lie about facts to one another...just insane. At my school I cannot tell you how many times first and second year there were 3 or 4 groups studying the night before an exam, all in one building, shooting the **** and helping each other out with tough concepts as necessary. Just "checking in" on one another and keeping morale and learning high.
I share your experience but am at a grade-based school. It's a lot more about your classmates than your curriculum.
 

Deferoxamine

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I think wanting P/F for the first 2 years is very shortsighted.

Think about it. In a H/HP/P/F tiered system for the first 2 years, you get 36 months to prove yourself. You can have a bad week, a bad month, or even a bad year, and still hunker down and focus for the rest of your time and do well. And if you do "okay" in years 1-2, and then rock 3rd year, it'll be even more apparent that clinical work is your strong point. And if you're one of those people that doesn't care about getting H in every class, you can at least mini-goal set to do well in SOME. The wannabe surgeons can go balls out to honor anatomy, the anesthesiologists can focus on honoring pharmacology, etc.

On the other hand, the P/F for the preclinical years 1) puts TOO much emphasis on a Step 1 score that happens over 8 HOURS after TWO YEARS of toil and labor, and 2) spells misery and cutthroatedness for your 3rd year, end of story. How else would your classmates separate themselves? It's basically running a marathon in just 8.4 miles. Have a bad month or even worse a bad year, or get unlucky with the attending or residents on your team for a month, and you'll suffer much more when they tally up your marks before residency application season.
 
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The difference is night and day, and I cannot believe why any poor soul would ever want the competition that grades bring on. Her class hates each other, don't make study groups, will lie about facts to one another...just insane. At my school I cannot tell you how many times first and second year there were 3 or 4 groups studying the night before an exam, all in one building, shooting the **** and helping each other out with tough concepts as necessary. Just "checking in" on one another and keeping morale and learning high
That has more to do with her classmates than the grading system. I go to a school that does letter grades with + and - as well. Not only that, but we're graded on a curve, so the lower the average, the higher my grade. Yet, I can tell you that my classmates are great! Not at all like the ones you described at your sister's school. I have my study groups, and sometimes, I roam the study hall (we have a four-story building full of study rooms) and look for a study partner on particularly difficult material and nine times out of ten, I find one I've never studied with before. We team up and quiz each other. Before exams, it's common to pop your head into any of the study rooms if you have a question or want a quiz partner.

I do wish my school was p/f just because it would be less stress, but grading with letter grades doesn't make the school environment any more competitive, at least at my school
 

fahimaz7

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The difference is night and day, and I cannot believe why any poor soul would ever want the competition that grades bring on. Her class hates each other, don't make study groups, will lie about facts to one another...just insane. At my school I cannot tell you how many times first and second year there were 3 or 4 groups studying the night before an exam, all in one building, shooting the **** and helping each other out with tough concepts as necessary. Just "checking in" on one another and keeping morale and learning high.
We don't have any of that at our school. In the last two weeks, I bet that I have received 30 emails with study guides, links to dropboxes with notes, links to flashcards online, and pdf's with condensed and integrated notes. We don't act like that, which is a really nice thing.

If I had a classmate lie to me about a disease (purposefully) I'd report their ass to the dean's office, then I would let everyone in the class know that their a big douche bag.
 
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If I had a classmate lie to me about a disease (purposefully) I'd report their ass to the dean's office, then I would let everyone in the class know that their a big douche bag.
I think anyone who would intentionally mislead a classmate is an ass, but pray tell, what is the dean going to do about it? It's not like it's against school policy to lie to a classmate.
 
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On the other hand, the P/F for the preclinical years 1) puts TOO much emphasis on a Step 1 score that happens over 8 HOURS after TWO YEARS of toil and labor, and 2) spells misery and cutthroatedness for your 3rd year, end of story. How else would your classmates separate themselves? It's basically running a marathon in just 8.4 miles. Have a bad month or even worse a bad year, or get unlucky with the attending or residents on your team for a month, and you'll suffer much more when they tally up your marks before residency application season.
No need to separate yourself from classmates in my opinion. If your school consistently puts out hardworking residents, word gets around. You have to stand out from other schools, not your own class.
 

45408

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At my school I cannot tell you how many times first and second year there were 3 or 4 groups studying the night before an exam, all in one building, shooting the **** and helping each other out with tough concepts as necessary. Just "checking in" on one another and keeping morale and learning high.
My class too.....except we had grades, and I don't think that was a factor at all...
 

Deferoxamine

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3:1 in favor of a strictly P/F system? Really guys? :rolleyes:

I don't get it. What is so bad about tiered grading? Are children in the public school system these days just sheltered too much from receiving criticism, bad news, being told they need to improve or work harder, etc.? During my MS1 year, there's one class where I just flat out didn't try hard at all after the midterm. 2/3 of my class got the good ol' H or HP. I got stuck with a big fat P... I got what I deserved. Oh well. The world didn't end, a deep dark abyss into the center of the earth didn't open in front of me, I didn't jump off a bridge. I moved on with my life and knew I just needed to bring it harder the next time around.
 
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So here's my question. What happens when you apply for residency from a P/F school? Do they put more emphasis on board scores if you're competing with someone with a 3.8 from a traditional grading system school?
 

Zoom-Zoom

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3:1 in favor of a strictly P/F system? Really guys? :rolleyes:

I don't get it. What is so bad about tiered grading? Are children in the public school system these days just sheltered too much from receiving criticism, bad news, being told they need to improve or work harder, etc.? During my MS1 year, there's one class where I just flat out didn't try hard at all after the midterm. 2/3 of my class got the good ol' H or HP. I got stuck with a big fat P... I got what I deserved. Oh well. The world didn't end, a deep dark abyss into the center of the earth didn't open in front of me, I didn't jump off a bridge. I moved on with my life and knew I just needed to bring it harder the next time around.
Nah, I don't think it's about criticism. At all. I'm at a P/F school and I have yet to bomb a class or exam or take it easy, but it's nice to not have any additional pressure involved other than the actual learning. And I criticize myself just fine when I don't perform up to my standards. P/F eliminates the need to compete with your classmates, because usually competition is inherent to a grading system. I'm sure there are exceptions, as mentioned above, but I have no doubt that my class would be a total slaughterhouse if we were graded. And while the "P" might not be the end of the world to you, it's not something I want to have to worry about. I don't want to have to "bring it." And I don't need a permanent mark on my transcript to motivate me to bring it, either. Gunning for grades is what I did throughout my entire undergrad experience and it totally, totally sucked. That said, in retrospect, I would probably have honored most of my classes. But I'd still prefer the old P/F to grades for lifestyle reasons alone. NOT less studying, just less stress. I'm just unwilling to spend another half-decade of my life stressed out about something that isn't necessary to begin with.
 
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Zoom-Zoom

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So here's my question. What happens when you apply for residency from a P/F school? Do they put more emphasis on board scores if you're competing with someone with a 3.8 from a traditional grading system school?
There lies the rub. Our class is "secretly" ranked. And we still have awards for certain classes, certain GPA's, and AOA. And like the others have said, there's more pressure to perform on the Steps. But, as it happens, the Steps are pretty darned important anyway so I'm not sure if it makes much difference.
 
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ijn

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We use a H/HP/P/M/F system at Texas Tech with predetermined grade breaks. I find it to be a great motivator to work hard for that extra few %. We're also a pretty collaborative class. The grading system in no way impacts the number of study groups since we can only rise together.

Now if they started setting quotas for the number of people who could achieve a given grade, then I could see it being an extremely miserable system...
 

ar2388

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pass/fail schools are more forgiving of life I think... if something really bad happens in your family (like happened to me), or if you want to get married, or help someone get married, or whatever it is that you want to do, you can usually figure out a way to do it in a pass/fail school and not have it affect you bc a P looks the same either way... but in a graded school, I probably would have seen my grades plummet to C's if not less during the end of MS1, which would have sucked to say the least, bc of circumstances beyond my control.
 

mmmcdowe

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We use a H/HP/P/M/F system at Texas Tech with predetermined grade breaks. I find it to be a great motivator to work hard for that extra few %. We're also a pretty collaborative class. The grading system in no way impacts the number of study groups since we can only rise together.

Now if they started setting quotas for the number of people who could achieve a given grade, then I could see it being an extremely miserable system...
See I don't think that is as bad, I believe WashU does that in their second year. At least then you are pitting yourself against a standard rather than your classmates (albeit, that standard was probably determined by a class very similar to yours in the past).
 

bamtuba

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My school is P/F, no AOA, and no internal ranking.

We do have P/HP/H for clinical work.

Step I and II are therefore very important for us.

I love it, but would also say that I would rather have grades than a quasi P/F where people don't get "grades" but do get ranked. This model just seems to be a ploy to attract people to a school while changing nothing in the end.

There are pros and cons to graded vs. P/F depending on your learning style, but my class works hard to get that P. Those who would be honoring every class in a traditional system are no less neurotic and work insanely hard despite our grading scheme.

Its just nice not having to compete as a first year for Honors with those people in my class who already have PhDs in the material we are studying or come in having TA'd Anatomy for four years at the college level after graduating with their first degree...
 

Brigade4Radiant

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I see all this H/HP/P/F and to me it is just the same as A/B/C/F. The grade system motivates me I nearly made a C in anatomy because of embryo but ended with a B by the skin of my teeth. However I view a Pass as better than a C for some reason.

Also with no GPA it puts extra pressure on you to do well on STEP 1 and your clinicals.