Profs refusing to give you grade percentage breakdown

Fakesmile

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It's almost the end of the semester and I was wanting to know the grade I'd get for a course at the end of the semester. I asked the prof whether he'd curve or scale and the overall percentage range/breakdown for an A, A-, B+, etc., but he only said that it varies every semester. So I asked if he could then tell me about the grade percentage breakdowns for this course in the past semesters. Still, he refused to tell me about it. This really bugs me because I really want to have a general idea of the grade I'd end up with at the end. Why would some profs make such info secret? :( It's not like students can abuse this info or do something illegally with it.
 

JeetKuneDo

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It's almost the end of the semester and I was wanting to know the grade I'd get for a course at the end of the semester. I asked the prof whether he'd curve or scale and the overall percentage range/breakdown for an A, A-, B+, etc., but he only said that it varies every semester. So I asked if he could then tell me about the grade percentage breakdowns for this course in the past semesters. Still, he refused to tell me about it. This really bugs me because I really want to have a general idea of the grade I'd end up with at the end. Why would some profs make such info secret? :( It's not like students can abuse this info or do something illegally with it.

This is just the way some are. They're probably: are too caught up on research to care about students, just plain old don't care about students, or just really don't know/combo of some other reasons. These types of profs are like needing to take a dump, they're inevitable. Just do your best and it'll be ok.:thumbup:
 

AZFutureDoc

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It's to avoid people emailing them and fighting to get a grade they almost had. So if 500 points was the cutoff for an A, when you have 490, you can't fight with him over it.

I've had it several times, and I have it in 2 of my 5 classes this sem.
 
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Wylde

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a lot of professors dont make their scale/curve until the end of the grades; they look at the final scores and see if there is a distinction between A, B, C or if what people deserve what grades. Maybe the class did really well and the curve will be more top-ended or visa versa.

just be patient. you will know in a month or so.
 

aebvd97

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I don't mean to be rude, but why are you posting this here? Nobody here is going to be able to tell you why your professor won't provide you with the information; we can only speculate. If you want to know why, ask the professor, and if the answer is unsatisfactory, you'll just have to wait a couple more weeks when you find out your final grade.
 

Quix

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I don't mean to be rude, but why are you posting this here? Nobody here is going to be able to tell you why your professor won't provide you with the information; we can only speculate. If you want to know why, ask the professor, and if the answer is unsatisfactory, you'll just have to wait a couple more weeks when you find out your final grade.


This. I'm a professor, and personally I find these kinds of questions are annoying.
 

Chemdude

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I think professors who teach curved classes prefer to not go into the details. If they tell you that a 92% was an "A" last year, and an "A" this year is 93%, then you are going to make a big fuss if you don't get an "A" with a 92% this year(at least that's what they think).

BTW, if you notice that your professor is getting annoyed by you asking about you grades, stop annoying him/her! Asking about grades once in a while is ok, but consistently asking can bug the hell out of them. You don't want your professor to hate you come grading time: Especially when you have a 92.99% and 93% is an A.
 

Lukkie

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because if he did post it, a bunch of snot nosed premeds would hound him non-stop for the next 2 months about why they didn't get a A- instead of a B+ when they were only 0.4% below the cut off and how this B+ absolutely kills their chances at their life dream of becoming a doctor and their parents will disown them
 

fizzle

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At my college, the curve isn't set until the end of the course. The point distributions tend to form two peaks naturally--one with the high scores, then one with the more average scores. The A's and B's are determined by finding the low point between these two peaks.

But I digress. The point is, your professor may just be telling the truth when he says that it can't be determined yet. Don't force it; what's the point? You'll get what you get; there's nothing you can do except try your best. Why bug the professor about something inevitable?
 

ANF1986

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This. I'm a professor, and personally I find these kinds of questions are annoying.


I can see how that would certainly be annoying...Let me just touch on something related to this topic but not necessarily part of the topic at hand. At my university, we have a policy that says that professors must disclose how we will be graded. It is mostly related to the grading rubric and how we are evaluated with course work. However, I'm sure with a well enough argument you could extend this policy to the overall grading at the end of the semester.....


I'd like to touch on something that this thread made me think of. It has nothing to do with your post Quix, its unrelated, but is more referencing the OPs...

TENURE! The attitude of some professors is deplorable, and whoever invented the idea of "tenure" is an ass. Professors are employees of the university, the university provides a service. The students are the paying customers, who are paying a considerable amount for this service. So, when I interact with the people who are providing me with a service, I expect them to be polite and treat me with respect, so long as I do the same in return. It really doesn't matter whether my question annoys them, I'm sure people in other service industrys get asked equally annoying questions, yet they aren't rude or disrespectful to their customers because they know they will be accountable to their boss's. That is the problem with tenure, it leaves these employees essentially unaccountable for their poor behavior, piss poor attitude, and unprofessional behavior.
 

Bacchus

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Every university should have a formal means to rank professors. Based on professor rankings at the end of the semester action should be taken: disciplinary, termination of employment, congratulatory. If a university doesn't have a way for students to rank a professor's performance throughout the semester the university is failing the student, especially if it doesn't act on bad reviews. So, at a school that is actively helping students, tenure will not be an end all.
 
N

nsx

Have a hunch it's in the way you're asking. Demonstrating interest in the subject, rather than just your grade, will go a long azz way.
 

Quix

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I'd like to touch on something that this thread made me think of. It has nothing to do with your post Quix, its unrelated, but is more referencing the OPs...

TENURE! The attitude of some professors is deplorable, and whoever invented the idea of "tenure" is an ass. Professors are employees of the university, the university provides a service. The students are the paying customers, who are paying a considerable amount for this service. So, when I interact with the people who are providing me with a service, I expect them to be polite and treat me with respect, so long as I do the same in return. It really doesn't matter whether my question annoys them, I'm sure people in other service industrys get asked equally annoying questions, yet they aren't rude or disrespectful to their customers because they know they will be accountable to their boss's. That is the problem with tenure, it leaves these employees essentially unaccountable for their poor behavior, piss poor attitude, and unprofessional behavior.

It's also awarded very rarely, after significant service to the University, as well as significant *trends* in student feedback and publication. The tenured professors are the ones the University relies upon to set the overall reputation of the University via scholarship. Academic positions aren't like service industry positions, for a number of reasons - these are 7-day a week positions that are constantly changing and extremely cut-throat. There are some who abuse it, certainly, but that doesn't mean that the system itself is flawed. There is *a lot* more to academic positions than simply teaching, so it would be mistaken to do away with these kind of merit-based rewards. The tenure process still keeps the professors accountable to the University (it *can* be revoked), but holds them to a different (and in some ways, higher) standard than traditional student review. Bear in mind that your experience of the professor is one subjective data point in a larger trend - there will always be personality conflicts between professors and students; that doesn't always translate into the professor being the one to blame.

Every university should have a formal means to rank professors. Based on professor rankings at the end of the semester action should be taken: disciplinary, termination of employment, congratulatory. If a university doesn't have a way for students to rank a professor's performance throughout the semester the university is failing the student, especially if it doesn't act on bad reviews. So, at a school that is actively helping students, tenure will not be an end all.

There are formal means of ranking professors - they are the student questionnaires that all non-tenured faculty must endure. Action is taken based upon the reviews - the problem is that there is no means of feedback *during* the semester to address any problems, so any correction only occurs *after* the problem semester. This is why I have an open feedback forum for my students to let me know what problems they are having and how I can tweak the class to address them.

There is, however, a fundamental flaw in both the existent and the proposed mechanism - undergraduates have a marvelous ability to blame everyone but themselves for poor performance (part of an academic entitlement mentality I think we produce in primary and secondary education), so when a student performs poorly, there is an all-too-common knee-jerk response of "Well I'm smart, it must be somebody else's fault". I've had students blame me for them not showing up prepared for mid-term and final exams (and considering I provide study guides and am very flexible in terms of content and formatting, as well as holding three days of office hours, as well as online discussion forums, etc., etc.), or for them writing ****** papers, despite numerous suggestions, drafts, feedback sessions, etc., etc. If professors are penalized based on bad reviews, and the bad reviews are based on anything from legitimate poor teaching to an ill-prepared piece of furniture masquerading as a student, then there is something inherently wrong.

EDIT:

Oh, I almost forgot my personal favorite. I was given a horrible review by a student for having delays in responding for an on-line class I taught. My internet connection was spotty at best because my city was flooded by Hurricane Ike which knocked out service. I posted to that effect, made announcements about that, and posted pictures as evidence, but I was still portrayed as the bad guy.
 
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My prediction is you will get what you normally get in classes. I think that it is very rare that someone who is usually getting "A" in classes will straight up get a "C" unless he/she totally ****ed around all semester and did not give a ****.

I have found that even when I think that a class is hard as tits, other people think it is hard (usually harder) and my grade (after the curve) remains the same grade that I usually get in all my classes (A, A-)

Shabaaam
Nailed it
 

Fakesmile

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I personally find this a very annoying practice. Yes, the curve isn't actually established until the end of the semester, but there is no harm in giving a tentative curve for each exam to give students an idea of how they are doing. Students have the ability to push themselves much harder if they see that they are a few points short of an A, or a B, etc. rather than leaving them in the dark the entire time. Without tentative curves, students have to rely on rough estimates to guess their grades, and if I had to bet I'd say that this results in much more bugging of the professor by students than professors who give tentative curves to let the students know how they're actually doing.

:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
 
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