I'd, of course, want input from people who are far more smarter and experienced than myself in academia. But I think the best and most fairest way to judge someone's grade for the course is to have a balanced variety of different means to gauge abilities. 15% Mid Term Exam 15% Non-Standardized Final Exam Each have 100 multiple choice questions (each question is worth .1% of the final grade). Out of 15 short answer questions, exactly 10 must be selected and answered (each worth .5% of the final grade). Possibly curved up to 10% depending on the course. 10% Standardized Final Exam 115 multiple choice questions devised by the University's department heads. Automatically curved by up to 15%, to prevent a "teaching to the test" problem. 10% Quizzes Six quizzes. Lowest score is dropped. 30% Papers Two large papers or 7 small papers (with the weakest score dropped). 20% Homework/Lab 12 assignments total. The weakest 2 scores are dropped. This would essentially make the course half test-based and half project-based. Among the testing, there is a variety. One under-performance wouldn't bring down one's grade, so this metric would judge by consistency. This would mean more work, but occasional mistakes are less punishing.