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What do you consider to be grade inflation?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by y0ssarian, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. y0ssarian

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    A while back there was this thread about how Brown gave out ~45% As across the board in its classes, and pretty much everyone accepted that as grade inflation. In my classes, the grading scale tends to be: top 20-25% get As, and the mean (or median, depending on the class) is a B-/C+ straddle.

    What percent As do you think counts as inflation? Out of curiosity, and to get more information out there for everyone, it'd help if you listed your major, school, %As, and mean grade.
     
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  3. condoleezarice

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    The average GPA at almost every university in America, including Reed and University of Chicago(two places where they claim they don't inflate grades), has risen over the past few decades.

    Many outsiders say schools like Harvard and Brown inflate their grades. Many would argue that a higher number of students at these institutions produce A-quality work and deserve their grades. I would tend to agree, considering the quality of their students.

    I don't consider the number of A's given out as a solid way of measuring grade inflation. Grade inflation should be considered when an A is given to work that is not A-quality work. So, it is all subjective.

    Grade inflation is most rampant in humanities classes because judging quality of work in the humanities is usually subjective.

    In most science classes across most universities, elite and poor, there is a B-/C+ curve given. Elite universities tend to have harder tests because their students can handle them. Thus, there isn't really much inflation in the sciences. The only ways to roughly judge the quality of someone's GPA are standardized testing and the quality of the university.
     
  4. DrReo

    DrReo "Thread Necromancer"
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    I agree that the tests might be harder in some cases, but not all. Look on MIT's online course website, their math courses exams are realatively easy, to say the least. Once again, subjective. At schools that cost more, grade inflation is typically more present- since they pay more, they expect more.

    Some of the more difficult grading is at state funded schools that are cheaper to attend. Some of my friends have some wicked tuff tests at state schools. One of my professors commented about Stanford's grade inflation, to say the least, it was what I would expect for paying 45k/yr :laugh::laugh::laugh:
     
  5. harrygt

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    The top 20-25% getting As sounds great to me. At USC, The top 15% gets As, and that still includes some A-es. Now, imagine taking an advanced Bio course which has only 25 students in the class, and trying to get an A. Wish me luck with that!
     
  6. condoleezarice

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    I would say in most cases.

    I also disagree with the private school comment. The schools most notorious for grade deflation (Swarthmore, Reed, MIT, UChicago, Cornell) are all private schools.

    And again, people say Stanford, Brown, Harvard have grade inflation. Do you really think anyone can get an A easily competing with the premeds/science majors at those schools? We've all applied to college in the past few years, so you know the majority of kids at those schools are ridiculously smart. A 1500 average sat and 10% acceptance rate is going to filter out some really smart people. I go to a decent school, but I'm pretty sure I'd be struggling to have a decent gpa if I was competing with the kids at MIT or Harvard.

    Yes, not all people develop at the same rate. But it doesn't change the fact that people at top schools are competing with academic superstars.
     
  7. AggieDDS

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    Bolded part: I agree with this. Anything with 15-18% of students getting A's and A-'s is acceptable in science courses.

    Underlined part: Ya, same with me. I'm going to be fighting for the 2-3 A's in some of my classes. :eek:
     
  8. y0ssarian

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    Isn't the mean curved higher for smaller classes though, maybe to a B instead of B-/C+?
     
  9. AggieDDS

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    Nope, the only "curve" that the last upper division course professors do (at my school anyway) is to bump up the D+ and D up to C- so they could graduate. So I guess the average grade goes up, but still the same percent of students getting A's/B's
     
  10. DrReo

    DrReo "Thread Necromancer"
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    I never said they can easily earn an A. However, I stated grades, in general, are inflated. If I went to the schools that you listed, I would thrive. Competition is the nature of the beast. I believe they can get A's with the inflation. Do they deserve the A's? They sure pay for it :thumbup:.
     
  11. Blarelli

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    I don't like the idea of labeling a certain percentage of A's as grade inflation. I'm a big fan of setting a standard, and whoever makes it to or beyond that standard gets the grade. That being said, in my bio class last semester, 6 of 40 students got A's (15%), and the average grade was a 75% C.
     
  12. harrygt

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    I wish...Last semester, my ecology professor mentioned the 15% rule about five times during the semester. There were only 27 students in that class.
     
  13. AggieDDS

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    You realize professors that have no curve, like the one you like, tailor their exams so that the average is around a C.
     
  14. condoleezarice

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    In my experience, sciences classes have usually had averages ranging from the 60's to 70's, so a B-/C+ curve is pretty advantageous. If it's a small class, sometimes there won't be a curve but just straight benchmarks. Bigger classes tend to have curves.
     
  15. Blarelli

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    Yeah, I'll buy that. It is consistent though, and that is what I like. If everybody puts in the work, they can all get the grade instead of A's and C's being separated by 2%.
     

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