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I am so upset about my grade.
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:14 AM

Ok so, I got a B in Anatomy.

Here is the frustrating part.
400-449 points is a B and an A is 450-525.

I got 444 points. 5 points are basically nothing in this course. It is probably from me misspelling a bone or something. I was just so so so close to that A, and the class doesn't even give B+. So I am stuck with a B...and that lowers my GPA for grad school.

If I got in the lower 400's, I would be jumping for joy that I got a B. So, it isn't even the grade I am upset about, but I am just kicking myself over and over for the fact that I as only 5 points away.

20 Replies to I am so upset about my grade.

re: I am so upset about my grade.
By webstArmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3639, member since Wed Jan 15, 2003
On Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:44 AM
Email your professor, honestly.

I can't tell you how many times in my undergrad I was *this* close to a higher letter grade. Because I was in kinesiology, and so many kinesiologists were trying for physiotherapy grad school after their undergrad, our professors knew how hard it was to get in. In 4 years, I only had one prof deny my request.

It really can't hurt to try, the worst that happens is that they say no.
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By saaammiemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 440, member since Thu Apr 01, 2010
On Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:20 PM
The worst thing you can get is a no. Just talk to the professor.

But life's unfair. Things like this happen, it's just life.
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Sun Dec 07, 2014 01:01 PM
Well, considering that she denied my request for doing any type of extra credit, and makes a super huge deal about how she has to be totally fair to other students, I am thinking she wouldn't be interested in helping out.

That being said, I emailed her as soon as I found out my grade ;)
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By saaammiemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 440, member since Thu Apr 01, 2010
On Sun Dec 07, 2014 01:13 PM
Then you accept it and move on. One grade won't matter so much in the great scheme of things.
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Sun Dec 07, 2014 01:16 PM
Ok, got am email back.

Basically, the professor said try harder next quarter.

A B doesn't matter in the scheme of things, but I needed an A or a B+ to raise my GPA. I need a 3.0 for the last 60 units of undergrad, and I am just a tiny bit above that. ( like a 3.3ish)

They use anatomy, microbiology, and 2 other science classes to calculate my core GPA for this grad school program. As long as I get A's in the rest, it won't be too rough.

Oh well, I can try to get an A for the next 2 quarters of anatomy, and maybe that will show that I improved over time.
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By saaammiemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 440, member since Thu Apr 01, 2010
On Sun Dec 07, 2014 01:27 PM
A very meaningless reply as far as replies go. Why wouldn't you try harder next quarter? :P

Is it a whole year course or are you done with it?
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Sun Dec 07, 2014 02:17 PM
It is a 3 quarter course. I switched professors for the next one.
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member Comments: 7417, member since Sun Apr 18, 2004
On Sun Dec 07, 2014 06:59 PM
I feel your pain. I got my spited B my first semester at my transferred schools. I was so annoyed that it was because I was tardy 1 time too many (3 times I think) to the early class, and thus automatically moved me down a grade. I was the only student who didn't live on campus, and had a harder time getting to class, but ultimately it wasn't my fault. He did say attendance would be included in the grade, and missing a bus doesn't counter that. :( It was a bummer, but my butt sure was in gear for the rest of my school career and got to class on time.

It stinks, and it's a terrible feeling--but you'll make it through! At the end, you'll look back and be annoyed with the B, but that will be all.
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Sun Dec 07, 2014 09:38 PM
I don't see the big deal. I wouldn't stress about it. Some schools will conditionally accept students if the other things they look for are good, the condition being getting certain grades.

I know my program if you get more than one C you get kicked out. So, I'm cool with any B's I get.
re: I am so upset about my grade. (karma: 3)
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 17315, member since Thu Jun 06, 2002
On Tue Dec 09, 2014 06:49 AM
I failed the dancing section of my first teacher's exam by TWO points. Doesn't matter that it was so tight, I still failed. The boundary is the boundary, I can't believe professors would ever change a grade because you were close, that doesn't seem professional or ethical. There's no point having boundaries if you can get the higher grade by pleading. :?
re: I am so upset about my grade. (karma: 1)
By slice Comments: 1247, member since Fri Oct 15, 2004
On Tue Dec 09, 2014 07:52 AM
Louise wrote:

I failed the dancing section of my first teacher's exam by TWO points. Doesn't matter that it was so tight, I still failed. The boundary is the boundary, I can't believe professors would ever change a grade because you were close, that doesn't seem professional or ethical. There's no point having boundaries if you can get the higher grade by pleading. :?


This basically.

I start teaching in my program next year and I've really started thinking seriously about how I will handle instruction with college students, especially college students who are at this school, VERY motivated and invested in school and in all likelihood have aspirations of going into med/law/grad school post-grad where a couple points either way on a GPA can make a wealth of difference.

But like Louise said, as much as it sucks, it wouldn't be right to change a grade just because you were "this close." Like someone said, that's kind of life. And if your professor's response seemed curt well, what else could they say? Try harder, study better, aka get more questions correct next time is about all the advice they could offer.

Now, asking for a regrade is another matter. It's within every student's right to request for a test regrade - though sometimes people forget that in cases of hand grading, that request might actually yield a lower grade(!)
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Tue Dec 09, 2014 08:23 AM
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2014-12-09 08:26:06
I really don't think it is unethical to ask for a grade change IF the class was graded in a way where tests weren't all that mattered.

Since it was an anatomy class, we also got participation points for drawing out muscle and bones, we got participation points for being in class.

The tests were only worth 300 points out of the 525. I would never ask for my test grade to be bumped up, but I think it is within my right to ask about the participation portion of my grade and other homework stuff. I missed a week of classes because I had bronchitis, and the professor told me not to come to class because I was contagious. There had to be 5 points out of 525 in there that I missed because I didn't come to class.

So, if a class was only graded on test results, I wouldn't ask for a better grade. But when a professor has leeway of 200 points based on class participation, drawings, or watching movies....yes, I would consider asking for some extra credit to do, like all the students had a chance to do while I was away from class, ( I asked for it , as soon as I got back though, and not only the end of the semester).

For the lab quizzes where I had to memorize all the muscles, bones, joints etc...I got over a 90% on all my tests. So basically, I had an A on the actual test material....but I am not such an amazing drawer and I didn't participate for one week of class because I was sick.

So, there is no need to ask for a regrade, I had an A on every single one of my lab exams.
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Tue Dec 09, 2014 08:32 AM
Louise, I kind of think that it is unethical for professors to have such personal leeway where their personal feelings could come in the way of a grade. Usually this isn't a problem, because my professors love me, but I know power hungry professors that sometimes take it out on students.

Thankfully, my professor liked me, so I got full credit for the participation aspect of it...but I did get points off for drawings and some other in class lab stuff,
I feel like I deserve an A, because I knew the material...and the fact that I can't draw well shouldn't make me get a B.

If I was your nurse, would you care that I know the skeletal system and where everything is, and how to say it correctly or the fact that I couldn't draw a hyoid bone just right.

The drawings were there to help pull peoples grade up..."free points" that the teacher gave because the class is so hard.....but in my case, it kind of hurt me...because I suck at drawing! I can't draw a straight line even with a ruler!
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By webstArmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3639, member since Wed Jan 15, 2003
On Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:32 AM
Eh, I think calling it unethical and unprofessional is a bit of a stretch.. I think that continuing to badger your prof after they've made it clear that they won't change your mark is unprofessional. But just to ask? What's the worst that can happen? A prof can't bump your grade down purely out of spite.

Like I said, I did it several times in my undergrad. Usually I only asked if I was less than 0.5% away from another letter grade. Sometimes I was 0.1% away from another grade. It would have been foolish of me to not at least try. The lowest entry GPA in my cohort was 3.8. When an A- is worth 3.7 points and an A is worth 4.0, and I'm 0.1% away from an A, you bet I'm going to at least try!

This is kind of a similar situation.. Just the other day, I bought fabric glue from a craft store. I tried it, and it didn't work to keep the fabrics together. Their return policy was that no opened product can be refunded. But, I went in and explained my situation and the manager agreed to offer me a refund. I was polite, and reasonable. I would have accepted it if he said "no", but I figured there was no harm in asking. I ended up saving myself $15. It's not much, but it helps! I hardly think that either of us in that situation were unprofessional or unethical.
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By slice Comments: 1247, member since Fri Oct 15, 2004
On Tue Dec 09, 2014 01:21 PM
Edited by slice (109495) on 2014-12-09 13:24:27
Edited by slice (109495) on 2014-12-09 13:32:03
I don't think anybody said it was unethical or unprofessional to ask? My interpretation (and my statements) was that it would unethical to change a grade for the sheer fact that someone was close to getting another one.

Because yes, in that case, what is the point of boundaries? I'm not a "slippery slope" type person, but to some extent it does seem to fall in that category. So you're 5 points or .5% away from Grade X... but then what about the person who was 6 points or .6% away from Grade X? And person who was .7% away? What's so special about that first person (who only did .2% better than that last person) that they get to have an A and the other person has to have a B?

But once again, I don't think anybody in this thread said it was out-of-bounds to try. But if the professor has established from Day 1 that XXX-XXX means A and XXX-XXX means B and your grade falls within the B range, you can't really moan and groan if they decide to stick to their guns? Or rather, you can - there's nothing wrong with being disappointed or sad about a grade - but also realize that it's not as if the professor decided to switch up on you on the last second. It is what it is.

(Edit: It does speak to the inadequacy of the letter grade system as a whole, but like, you can't really blame the professor for that, ya know? And the metrics for grading in composing a syllabus might've been dictated by higher administrative power, anyway as well.)

Believe it or not, most professors aren't out to screw anybody. They've got way too much on their plate for that (research, grant proposals, book manuscripts, articles, reviewing, grad student advising, administrative duties, committee meetings, etc). Especially when it comes to larger survey-ish courses like orgo or anatomy. Also, re: the curt response again - bear in mind that you're likely not the first or only person to ask about a grade change this semester.
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By Kettricken Comments: 174, member since Thu Jun 07, 2012
On Tue Dec 09, 2014 01:45 PM
I have several friends who are college professors, and they actually had a facebook conversation a few days ago that relates to this. It started with one guy asking for input on changes he was planning on making to his grading policy for his syllabus.

Basically, what all these teachers ended up somewhat agreeing on was:
They will consider adjusting a grade up IF you make a good, valid argument for it. Most wanted something specific like: "I think I deserve four more points on this test because I answered XYZ here."

They pretty well came to the consensus that if the student had a good argument, they would make the change. However! A couple of them also said that if they didn't agree that you deserved a higher score, they may actually take away points (which was in their grading policy on their syllabus). One or two also stated clearly that the score they gave you was always final, and they refuse to review their scores no matter what.

I never actually asked a teacher to change my score, unless something had clearly just been marked wrong. Like, they accidentally marked my False as incorrect or whatever. I did go to art school though, so my grades were super subjective and not terribly competitive :D
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By slice Comments: 1247, member since Fri Oct 15, 2004
On Tue Dec 09, 2014 01:51 PM
^That seems pretty fair! Though I don't really agree about lowering the grade in retribution for a poor argument. If they don't defend a grade raise than the grade should remain the same don't you think?
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By saaammiemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 440, member since Thu Apr 01, 2010
On Tue Dec 09, 2014 01:55 PM
For us, the only way you can change a score is if something is clearly marked wrong OR if you demand a regrade from a different teacher.

Our profs aren't even allowed to write on our exams anymore, because students interpreted off-hand comments or notes weirdly and demanded a better grade.
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By slice Comments: 1247, member since Fri Oct 15, 2004
On Tue Dec 09, 2014 02:15 PM
I realize that my reply above might have come off and insensitive, so I apologize if it did. Again, it's totally fine to feel bad about a grade or disappointed or that you weren't properly compensated for your performance. The letter grading system has a lot of flaws, even in cases where there isn't a "subjective"/participation component. You've done all you can do at this point to rectify the situation, so in this case it seems to make sense to look at what you've got going on ahead (as it sounds like you're doing) and evaluate how to get those As in your other classes.

You sound like a very dedicated and enthusiastic student, so I doubt this is anything but a small blip in what will be a great academic year!
re: I am so upset about my grade.
By Mendelmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1920, member since Wed Feb 23, 2005
On Fri Dec 12, 2014 03:58 PM
Edited by Mendel (123270) on 2014-12-12 15:58:53
I teach med school classes, so I'm going to give the perspective from the other side, which is that the instructors don't think much about their students (on a personal level). It's rare for an instructor to actively dislike a student, and even more rare to take it out on them in terms of grades. As Slice pointed out, they have way too much on their plates to be vindictive. While the class might be the center of the students' worlds, the students are far from being the center of the instructors' lives. Generally most instructors like to teach, and like to see their students understand the material. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the strongest reaction you're likely to see is indifference or apathy, but very likely not vindictiveness. Do you really think it matters to the instructor whether you get into your program of choice once the semester is over? They will likely never see you again, and may not even know where you end up. The instructor gains nothing by giving you a B instead of an A.

It's fine to be disappointed in a grade, and to ask for feedback on why you got the grade (the instructor's response makes me think he/ she is overworked or apathetic, but definitely doesn't have it out for you). Also, if a program really likes a student's application, they might overlook minor issues like being slightly under the target GPA. Think about what you can do meanwhile, in addition to getting the best possible grades, to make the program excited about accepting you.

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