In Canada, 80% is an A-, in the States, it's a B-. Does that mean...

Office_Shredder
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Re: post #22. Ouch. So my forgetting time on my own posts is now down to 6 months. I recall now that many ridiculous posts occur when I don't actually read the whole thread I am responding to. apologies.

I was just having some fun. I was kind of wondering if I just used enough details from your first post if I could convince you that I actually was that person lol.

mathwonk
Homework Helper
2020 Award
well i always suspected you were a fields medalist.

bobob
Gold Member
Summary:: Comparing education systems from different countries.

..our education system is easier? Or does that mean our material is tougher and the grading system balances out? Or is just cultural differences.

The only exception is York. It doesn't like (-) so an 80 is just an A. 90+ is an A+.
This is a poor way of assigning grades. A much better way is for the instructor to write an exam with some idea of what he/she should represent what the average student in the class should know and set that as an average score. After grading the papers, make a histogram of the numerical grades, possibly adjust expectations a little and then look for natural divisions between clusters of scores that can be used to differentiate, say, an A- from a B+, where the numerical score itself is not relevant other than to place the scores into bins. The scores WILL fall into clusters (which may seem surprising, but try it and see).

If you decide that the average score should be 50% and that represents a B or a C or whatever, then simply placing cutoffs between clusters will do the rest. This also allows you to use the entire numerical range from 0-100% meaningfully instead of being restricted to artificially predetermined percentages, grading on a curve or other rather arbitrary ways of assigning grades.

symbolipoint
Homework Helper
Gold Member
bobob, in post #28, most of what you describe must be what some teachers or instructors do; maybe even most of them. I believe the idea of "rubric" comes into that.

I recall in my first year of open studies at the University of Calgary, one of the engineering calculus courses had a passing grade of about 40%. I found it incredulous that people were going onto to become engineers with such a limited understanding of math.

The fellow that told me this only learned how to integrate by parts in his final year. His classmates forced him to learn how to do it.

ohwilleke
pasmith
Homework Helper
This is a poor way of assigning grades. A much better way is for the instructor to write an exam with some idea of what he/she should represent what the average student in the class should know and set that as an average score. After grading the papers, make a histogram of the numerical grades, possibly adjust expectations a little and then look for natural divisions between clusters of scores that can be used to differentiate, say, an A- from a B+, where the numerical score itself is not relevant other than to place the scores into bins. The scores WILL fall into clusters (which may seem surprising, but try it and see).

If you decide that the average score should be 50% and that represents a B or a C or whatever, then simply placing cutoffs between clusters will do the rest. This also allows you to use the entire numerical range from 0-100% meaningfully instead of being restricted to artificially predetermined percentages, grading on a curve or other rather arbitrary ways of assigning grades.

And then you apply a piece-wise linear transformation so that the grade boundaries follow those prescribed by the institution.

stevendaryl
Staff Emeritus