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which med schools grade students based on a "curve"?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by chef, Dec 15, 2001.

  1. chef

    chef Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Nov 5, 2001
    Likes Received:
    I really want to avoid a curve-based grading system! I don't care if a school has P/F grading, if it grades on a curve, people will get crazy and study like hell.

    Do most schools have curve-based grading on exams, or is it the opposite, or is it 50/50?

    I'll tell you 1 school I found to be scary:
    Even though they are P/F, it was actually NOT TOO DIFFICULT to fail an exam!! :eek: People were studying their asses off b/c if the class avg. was a 90 (out of 100), below 65-70 would be an F. WTF! No wonder I heard so many nasty rumors about UCSD. Well at least I'm glad I went to verify the speculations with my own eyes. Students there were definitely not as "cool" (sorry for a lack of a better word) as the other ones I met at other schools.

    Even though I got superb vibes from my interviewers and some serious recruiting efforts, I'm not sure if I would want to go there. I'm sorry if I come across rude or crazy by saying that I might decline their offer even before hearing anything from them, but on the way back home I just had a slight bad taste in my mouth. Of course the location was great! :D
    Plus their research faculty are amazing. It'll be tough to ignore their awesome research, plus there'll be so many opportunities to go into biotech industry or start a new company in SD if I wanted to.

    Wow, sorry about my rambling! Anyway, please post on anything you know about each school's grading system!
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  3. I think most schools have a pass rate independent of the class average. For example, in our Molecular Bio class at Tufts med this semester, the class average for each exam was around 92%, and the pass rate was going to be set at 60 or 65 depending on the class performance on the final. The cutoff was made to be 60 because 1 person averaged a 60 in the course and they wanted him/her (I don't know who the person was) to pass. So we had a 100% class pass rate for the course. Although there are some schools that are reported to be competitive and have high pass cutoffs like UCSD and Baylor, most med schools want EVERYONE to pass and will do everything they can to faciliate that. I repeat, most med schools want EVERYONE to pass. hope this helps. BTW, the pass cutoff at SLU is 60, and at Tufts 65 for most courses, but the cutoff rate can be lowered if the class does poorly as a whole. At Tufts, the cutoff is NEVER raised, and students are not ranked during the first 2 years.
  4. USeF

    USeF sunny L.A.
    10+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2001
    Likes Received:
    the two pass-fail schools I interviewed at both seemed to want (and indeed do) everyone to pass

    U Chicago-Pritzker: During lunch a 2nd year jokingly said that the professor finds the lowest grade and makes the cutoff just below that. If anyone does indeed fail, he is contacted by the Dean, asked why he failed (so as to prevent it in the future) and asked how much time it'd take them to prepare well enough to pass it!

    U Pitt: Fail is 2 standard deviations below the mean (very reasonable!) Same general procedure for someone who fails.

    On a complete side note, Pritzker required passing Step 1 to get the clinical years, Pitt did not. Both schools had suspiciously similar handbooks made by the 2nd years for the 1st year students. These handbooks were gems of knowledge about the ins and outs of the schools. (Can anyone tell I really liked these two?) ;)

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