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Terrible Mid Term

  1. Mar 7, 2008 #1
    So I got a terrible result in my QM midterm. 17%... Fortunately, its only worth 20% of grade.

    Thing is I didnt really have time to study for it. I had so much other stuff, and figured Id get a B or C relying on what I learned doing problem sets. Boy was I wrong.

    I know I can still do well on upcoming tests, but is it worth doing this course with a -17% handicap? I'm particularly concerned because it would kill my gpa. However, if I drop I'm set a year behind because its a core course with prereqs to everything I do...
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2008 #2
    Before you do anything, speak to the professor and explain your situation. Don't wait too long, too.
  4. Mar 7, 2008 #3
    Ah, but what did the rest of the class get?

    I hate badly-written tests where the class average is 25%...
  5. Mar 7, 2008 #4
    The test wasn't that hard. Average was like 55%. Its my fault because I had no time to study, due to poor planning.

    I spoke to the prof. He said these things happen, but he can't do anything for me because it wouldn't be fair to the class. He says its really my choice.
  6. Mar 7, 2008 #5
    I know each professor has their own way of grading and curving their tests but I feel like when the result comes out to an average like 55% that means there was something wrong...
  7. Mar 8, 2008 #6
    It means:

    A) You don't care that half the class understands less than half what you say.
    B) You don't give a crap about the accuracy of the grading and just wrote a test without making sure it was relevant to the material you communicated, thus introducing a high degree of luck into what grade a given student receives.

    Either one is pretty much crap, IMO.
  8. Mar 8, 2008 #7
    You forgot Option C: You're at U of T :rofl:
  9. Mar 8, 2008 #8
    I think option C is just a combination of A and B, lol.

    If you're certain you can pull of a great mark on the final then I'd say go ahead and continue with the class.
  10. Mar 8, 2008 #9
    Meaning ... ?
  11. Mar 8, 2008 #10
    you mean your'e at swarthmore :)
  12. Mar 8, 2008 #11
    You wouldn't have liked my Satellite Dynamics course where the final class average was 11%. It would have been lower except for the smartalec who made a 97.
  13. Mar 10, 2008 #12
    Meaning U of T has one of the toughest tests ever. I currently go to UTM, which is considered the worst campus of all three (although closest to me). The chemistry midterm we just had was the worst grade average I received and that the whole class received with a class average of 46.96%!

    Most of the professors (at UofT) in first year don't care what their tests contain, nor how well a class does. They just care to bring down the class size from 100% to a mere 5% of original amount of students.

    BTW Howers, if your midterm grade counts the least to your overall final GPA then I would recommend you stick with the class. If all you did wrong was not study enough, then stay with the course.
  14. Mar 10, 2008 #13
    Does Poe teach chem there? She's a pretty distinguished.
  15. Mar 11, 2008 #14
    Yes Prof. Poe still teaches first year Chem at UTM. I like her lectures, and understand them well, and the labs are fine. But the tests are just something else.
  16. Mar 11, 2008 #15


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    Why do so many people jump up and assume that the test is written badly? One could come at this from the other direction: what is the point in writing a test that everyone aces? Unless, of course, students are there solely to get that piece of paper with a high number on it at the end of the year and aren't interested in using anything they've "learnt" in the future.

    To answer the OP; I really wouldn't worry about it. If you just didn't study, then there's no reason to drop the course and fall a year behind. I'm sure we've all had crappy exams in the past-- I sure have --but you shouldn't give up on a course just because of one test. Study doubly hard for the final, and you'll end up getting a good grade, I'm sure.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2008
  17. Mar 11, 2008 #16
    I wish the system was that way, but its not. You are nothing without the GPA. It is the closest thing invented that measures your intelligence and devotion to a particular subject. Its all grad schools will look at. Because a GPA shows you've worked hard or that your very bright, both traits that would be useful for grad students. Flawed, certainly. But its the best we got.
  18. Mar 12, 2008 #17


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    But in the case that people are putting forward above, they want a high GPA to arise from the fact that tests have been "dumbed-down" by the lecturer. It seems a very strange thing to want, if you ask me. I guess that's why you have qualifying exams in grad schools in the US, though, to differentiate the students who are actually good from those who had the dumbed-down exams!
  19. Mar 12, 2008 #18
    No one said that.
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