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What's the best way to do this if I do, and has speaking to a professor about changing your grade ever worked for you? Any negative consequences or regrets?
 

gettheleadout

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Is it actually going to matter for you grade? (i.e. its not for a 1000th of a point) I'm assuming its for a bump to a higher letter since the semester is over... Does the professor like you? Will this result in a loss of personal dignity?
 

Ursa

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It worked for me once and took me from a 3.74 to 3.75, allowing me to graduate Cum Laude.

I had an A on every test (90-91), but like an 88 average on quizzes. Until he rescheduled a quiz, I had an A average. Then, instead of a quiz being turned in on Sunday night, he made it due Saturday at like 2 pm. I was out of town, so this one 0 took me from my A average to a B+.

I talked to him twice and he didn't budge. This was a Christian Ethics professor. He sent out several emails before final grades were posted saying he could not bump anyone because it wouldn't be fair. At one point earlier in the semester he said that doctors and lawyers were probably among the most harmful professionals in America. So my last ditch email sounded like this:

"Dr. Asian,

I would like you to reconsider my certain situation regarding my final grade for your class. To reiterate, I have performed well on tests and quizzes, missing only the quiz which had its due date changed to the next day while I was out of town (blah blah blah). As I have told you, this change in my grade is significant because Texas medical schools do not accept pluses, and I would have a slight increase in GPA if you were to reconsider. But hey, it's just med school. No big deal, right? I mean, after all, I'm aiming to be one of the least helpful members of society, right? Or was it most harmful?

Have a good Saturday Dr. Asian,

Ursa"

Two days later the grade was posted and he gave me an A. He never emailed me back. BOOM Roasted.
 
OP
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I'm 8 points from an A in general chemistry out of 1000, partly because I didn't bother grade grubbing earlier in the semester for points on matter-of-fact questions. My exam grades were a 97, 96, 87, and 97. I got 200/200 on my final exam based on the ACS standardized final where 100 points were for just taking the exam and the other 100 was based on the percentile I fell in. So I scored in the 100th percentile, or my teacher gave a nice curve. The thing that really hurt me was in-class clicker response questions. I only got 12 points out of a possible 40. Hated those things. The clickers were really glitchy the first few weeks of class, so I lost a few points there, and then I got nearly every one I tried after that wrong. He said there'd be 80 chances to earn the 40 points over the semester, but only gave about 50 opportunities for whatever reason. I'll have this professor again in my upper-level chemistry course, so I'm hesitant to whine and leave a bad impression, but it burns being so close and considering I really learned the stuff!
 

eli20

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I think it depends on your relationship with the professor, the course it's in, and whether or not you are going to need to take more classes with this professor/need lors from them.

If you're really that close you might just ask. I've been told "No, I won't round your 89.9 before" I didn't get what I wanted out of the situation but at least I got to make it clear I thought the situation was crap (of course using nicer phrasing with the professor). If you're anything like me sometimes its just better to have an answer than to keep thinking about it.
 
Nov 27, 2010
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It can work, but really depends on how well you present yourself. Sort of how a good interview to a medical school, or even a job for that matter, can give you that extra push towards acceptance.

In terms of grades you really have to be close to a borderline to have your grade be raised, and preferable have shown that you actually were doing your best through the whole semester.

In your cases it seems very doable. Explain your case, state why you really need that A, elaborate on having done your best all through out, etc.

Do be a "bloodsucking premed". An "A" might not be as different from a "B" on paper, but that A can really save your butt in the future. It can really soften the blow on your GPA from a C.

Example,

If you get an A,

Class #1: A
Class #2: A
Class #3: C
GPA: 3.33

If you get a B,
Class #1: A
Class #2: B
Class #3: C
GPA: 3.00

Not a perfect example, but an A can help a lot more than settling with a B.
...

Obviously a B is not the end of the world, but you have to look at the bigger picture and be prepared for the unpredictable future and the harder classes.
 

iniquus

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If you were good enough, you would have received that grade.

There are probably a bunch of people .1, .2, .3 points away from the cutoff. Where do you draw the line? Why should he/she bump you up?
 

eli20

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If you were good enough, you would have received that grade.

There are probably a bunch of people .1, .2, .3 points away from the cutoff. Where do you draw the line? Why should he/she bump you up?
My big rule for whether I ask is to look at the syllabus. If a professor says 87-89.99 is a B+ I don't bother asking. If they just say 87-89 is a B+ and 90-93 is A- then by all means there is some ambiguity built in, you deserve to know why it went one way or the other.

I think there are ways to ask politely, respectfully and genuinely about grades without being a premed grubber. And I've taken enough classes to realize that grades aren't always about what you know. When it comes down to a point or two on one assignment over the course of the semester it's a pretty legitimate concern. If you've been working hard all semester and it's that close I'd bump you.
 

eli20

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Eh, I'll have to respectfully disagree, although there are situations in which I would agree. However, I go to a liberal arts school and even my science classes often have a subjective portion. Sometimes professors don't realize that deciding to give you a 94 instead of a 95 on an essay was the difference between your grade.

I'd agree not to ask for a higher grade though. I think it is logical if you are that close to seek an explanation. I don't know how your universities work but a lot of times 1/3 of the grade is on assignments I never get back (they were due at the end of the semester etc.) I just like to have the whole picture to understand the result.
 

wanderer

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Asking for a higher grade is weak. True, no one is going to know that you did it. But it really is pretty lame. There is no dignified way of asking for something you didn't earn or deserve, so you can get that out of your head right now.
Yea, and it's annoying as hell to professors.
 
Nov 27, 2010
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Asking for a higher grade is weak. True, no one is going to know that you did it. But it really is pretty lame. There is no dignified way of asking for something you didn't earn or deserve, so you can get that out of your head right now.
True, but that "guilt" is only temporary. If these higher grades results in the acceptance to some "top" medical school, will you really be looking back and thinking to yourself, "Crap, should have taken the grades I deserved, because I really should not have been accepted at this 'better' school".

Basically, boo dignity! You can worry about it once you get into medical school, get that MD, and that job you really want.

Yea, and it's annoying as hell to professors.
Heck, the professor himself probably tried cutting corners back in his day. :p
 
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Perrotfish

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Yes I've seen it work/had it work for me. Mostly I argued up my grade over arguable points: inconsistent grading compared to other students, subjective grading of essays and lab reports, etc. I have no qualms about any of that. In only one case did I outright get a grade I did not deserve (a C in a Calc III course I should have probably failed and definitely gotten no more than a D in). I'm not as proud of that last bit and was honestly a bit shocked when it happened, but to be honest it is the only reason I'm in medical school now and I remain very grateful to the professor who gave me the grade.

Only you can decide if it's worth it. If you do be sincere, keep it short, and do it in person (an Email is WAY less likely to work). It also never hurts to phrase the question as 'is there any extra work I can do to make up these last few points' rather than 'can you bump my grade'.
 
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What's the best way to do this if I do, and has speaking to a professor about changing your grade ever worked for you? Any negative consequences or regrets?
never done it, but by all means try it. because all it matters at the end is that u have that A on ur transcript, no one is gonna care how u got it.
 

NickNaylor

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True, but that "guilt" is only temporary. If these higher grades results in the acceptance to some "top" medical school, will you really be looking back and thinking to yourself, "Crap, should have taken the grades I deserved, because I really should not have been accepted at this 'better' school".

Basically, boo dignity! You can worry about it once you get into medical school, get that MD, and that job you really want.
This is the problem with our generation right here.
 

wlee43

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Only you can decide if it's worth it. If you do be sincere, keep it short, and do it in person (an Email is WAY less likely to work). It also never hurts to phrase the question as 'is there any extra work I can do to make up these last few points' rather than 'can you bump my grade'.[/QUOTE]

How are we suppose to do it in person if our vacation starts right after exams and grades come out a week later? Do ppl wait to bring it up next semester too?
 
Nov 27, 2010
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How are we suppose to do it in person if our vacation starts right after exams and grades come out a week later? Do ppl wait to bring it up next semester too?
Do it as soon as possible. Find the professor, go to his office, email him with something along the lines "Are you available during the finals week?" I am pretty sure the professors are still around for some time during the finals time.
 

wlee43

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yeah but what's the point of going in when you don't know the class grade or the exam grade until a week after everyone goes home?
 
OP
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I've decided the costs would outweigh the benefits in my case since I'll have this professor for one more course, but damn did I learn my lesson about slacking on the little stuff. Eventually every point counts. *And a blood-sucking premed is born...

wlee43: I would at least send an email now, if you cannot visit in person, detailing what evidence you have that your grade was misalculated. If I were a professor I'd prefer students do this asap before official grades get submitted and I have to go out of my way the next semester to turn in a grade change form.
 

Perrotfish

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How are we suppose to do it in person if our vacation starts right after exams and grades come out a week later? Do ppl wait to bring it up next semester too?
Most schools give you back your exam grades, from which you can estimate your final grade, before the end of the semester. They do it partially so you can check and make sure there aren't any mistakes in the grading. At least at my school once the grade was officially on your transcipt it was a bureaucratic nightmare for the professor to change it, so your only real chance to grade grub was before the end of the semester.
 

chman

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In my experience, the only way to do this, and this won't help you, is to develop a relationship long before grades are submitted. For instance, in my gen chem class I went to office hours a lot and really got to know the instructor. In the syllabus it specifically said that grades would not be rounded no matter how close they were. Anyways, I calculated my grade and was 0.04 away from a step up and got the bump. I talked to others in the class that did not receive the bump. I'm not saying this is fair, or even normal, but I really think that grading is often affected in this manner.

I realize that this is not always possible in large classes though..In the end, I wouldn't straight up ask for more points unless there was some kind of grading error.
 

chman

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Most schools give you back your exam grades, from which you can estimate your final grade, before the end of the semester. They do it partially so you can check and make sure there aren't any mistakes in the grading. At least at my school once the grade was officially on your transcipt it was a bureaucratic nightmare for the professor to change it, so your only real chance to grade grub was before the end of the semester.
This is true. If it is on you transcripts, fowgetabowtit. Actually, fowgetabowtit either way.
 

chman

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Really I see the same situation as a problem with the education system in the US rather than the students involved in it...

Why? Please explain. By all indications from the data, grades are seriously inflated compared to how they used to be. It used to be very common for an A to be relatively out of reach. Now, it is not uncommon for there to be B or even A averages in some schools.

Students today are lazy compared to what our parents had to go through. We have all this information at our fingertips. They, however, had to spend hours looking for hard copy sources in the library, then type it up on a typewriter. I think a lot of "our generation" expect grades to be handed to them. I often go to ratemyprofessor and am blown away at some of the reviews of professors that I thought were great and got a good grade in. It often comes down to the fact that these professors expected their students to actually put in the effort and they were just too lazy to.


BTW: Sorry for the triple post...I should really read the whole thread before posting..
 

wlee43

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I rather have an average grade system over gpa because frankly a student that gets 89.9 (if theres was no B+) is not same as someone who gets 80% so why make them equal
 

chman

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I rather have an average grade system over gpa because frankly a student that gets 89.9 (if theres was no B+) is not same as someone who gets 80% so why make them equal
I agree. My school does +/- and I think that is more "fair."
 

Negrodamus

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Asking for a higher grade is weak. True, no one is going to know that you did it. But it really is pretty lame. There is no dignified way of asking for something you didn't earn or deserve, so you can get that out of your head right now.
Your dignity could be the difference between wasting several thousand dollars in application expenses and entry into the medical school of your choice. I don't see the harm in asking for a .1+ if you have a good relationship with the instructor.
 

gettheleadout

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Your dignity could be the difference between wasting several thousand dollars in application expenses and entry into the medical school of your choice. I don't see the harm in asking for a .1+ if you have a good relationship with the instructor.
This. While I agree that in some, maybe a lot of circumstances grade grubbing can make someone seem weak and pathetic, (and they may very well be so) there are exceptions, and a generalization is especially not applicable to this topic. It's easy to say that you get whatever grade you deserve, but what about subjectively graded courses? Why is it your fault that the professor learned bad news mid-grading your class' essays and yours came afterward and he numbly handed out an 85%? (random hypothetical...) Does that mean your work didn't merit a higher grade, or does it just mean that the teacher is human and makes mistakes like everyone else? And who says that student-teacher interaction doesn't apply toward the evaluation of your performance in a course? Much fewer courses are graded strictly off of "did you answer this question correctly" than one would think... Regardless of what the syllabus says, the professor can always bend rules to help out students that they feel genuinely care about what they are spending their time teaching them. A professor is very understandably going to view the grade a student receives as a measure of their performance in the course more holistically than just what percentages they got on tests, etc... and when a student demonstrates active effort to comprehend and master the material (going to office hours, talking to the professor for help, etc...) they'll easily see this as part of the student's performance. Everyone makes a big deal about students expecting an "A for effort" and in the case of someone who makes a solid B and asks for a bump, yeah they clearly didn't put in the work required to get the grade they wanted, so their effort doesn't merit the grade. But in the case of someone who gets an 89.**, who's to say that the teacher can't determine that they deserve an A, based on their numerical performance in the course (which is very close to A level) and the qualitative effort they put in?
 

mvenus929

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I only argued grades at the end of the semester once; it was for an ASL class, and I had an A going into the final, and figured I did well on the final, but when grades came out, I had a B (or maybe a B+) on my transcript. I e-mailed the professor, who never responded to my inquiry. So I dealt with the B.

During the semester is a whole other story. I slept in and missed a micro quiz once, by minutes, and talked to the professor right after class to see if I could make it up for half points or something. If I hadn't asked, I would have ended up with a B or less in the class, just because that was the only way he gave grades, and I knew the material. He said just this once, he would let me make it up. I finished it in less than 5 minutes and was on my way.

The second time was for a conservation bio class, in which we had to write a paper and give a presentation. Considering I got As on the papers I wrote for English and History, I wasn't terribly worried about the grade, but the professor gave me a B on my paper, and it was over little things... word choice that wouldn't make much difference one way or the other, just that she preferred it her way. She had told us that if we brought our papers to the writing center, she would bump up our grade, but I always turned my papers into them before I turned them in so that I could turn in the best paper. She refused to budge. Also gave me a 94 on my presentation and wouldn't tell me why. Her only complaint against my presentation was that she couldn't hear me well at the back of the room (though the girl sitting right in front of her said she could hear me just fine). She had given us a rubric, and I followed it to a T, but she still knocked my grade down and had no reason to do so. Both those instances weren't to bump my grade up (I did well enough in other aspects of the class that it didn't really matter), but because I thought her grading policy was unfair. One of my mentors at school even looked over my paper and presentation and couldn't figure out why she had knocked my grade down. I guess my complaints fell on deaf ears, though, because nothing came of it, either for me or for others who later took the class.
 

gettheleadout

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The second time was for a conservation bio class, in which we had to write a paper and give a presentation. Considering I got As on the papers I wrote for English and History, I wasn't terribly worried about the grade, but the professor gave me a B on my paper, and it was over little things... word choice that wouldn't make much difference one way or the other, just that she preferred it her way. She had told us that if we brought our papers to the writing center, she would bump up our grade, but I always turned my papers into them before I turned them in so that I could turn in the best paper. She refused to budge. Also gave me a 94 on my presentation and wouldn't tell me why. Her only complaint against my presentation was that she couldn't hear me well at the back of the room (though the girl sitting right in front of her said she could hear me just fine). She had given us a rubric, and I followed it to a T, but she still knocked my grade down and had no reason to do so. Both those instances weren't to bump my grade up (I did well enough in other aspects of the class that it didn't really matter), but because I thought her grading policy was unfair. One of my mentors at school even looked over my paper and presentation and couldn't figure out why she had knocked my grade down. I guess my complaints fell on deaf ears, though, because nothing came of it, either for me or for others who later took the class.
This. This is why its worth it sometimes to inquire, because grades aren't always given objectively based on what you "deserve."
 

jadealer

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While I was in undergraduate, I had a couple classes where I questioned my grade. One class, I had A's on all three midterms and felt very confident about the final only for my final grade to post as an B. I e-mailed the instructor right away.. here she logged in the wrong score for my final which brought down the whole letter grade. Sometimes it pays to ask questions.

Another time, I was going through some personal issues and my instructor noticed my grades slipping in a class and asked me about it. I told him vaguely what was going on.. I was very shocked when I got a B in that class at the end of the semester because I was prepared to get a C in the class. I'm sure there was some leniancy based off of our conversation.. but I'm not going to complain. It is up to the discretion of the teachers.
 

REMMAH

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Just getting to know the professor can help quite a bit. Actually, this semester I technically "earned" a B/B+ in physiology, but because I helped out in the profs lab and he knew me, he bumped me up to an A. Kinda dece...
 

gettheleadout

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zomg giant meme