Monday Dec. 3, 2012

A couple of songs from Jeff Buckley on the last day of class (Wednesday will begin the review for the Final Exam).  You heard "Hallelujah" and part of "I Shall Be Released"

The course evaluation was conducted at the beginning of the period.  That allowed time for the grade summaries to make their way through class.

Then a couple of examples of how to calculate what you need to score on the final exam in order to get the grade you desire.

First if you would like to improve your grade.  That generally means a higher score on the Final Exam than your present grade.  In that case the final exam will count as 40% of your overall grade.  Your present grade constitutes the remaining 60%.

In this example we assume your current grade is 77.5% and you want to know what you will need to score on the Final Exam to end up with a B (80%) in the class.
You will need 84% on the exam to raise your grade to a B.  That is very achievable.

After class I got to wondering whether it would be possible to raise your grade to an A if you go into the Final Exam with an overall average of 77.5%.

You would need to score 109% on the Final Exam to raise your grade from a C to an A.  That's pretty unlikely even with the extra credit on the Final Exam (I'm not sure yet how much extra credit there will be).  You would basically have to answer all the questions on the exam correctly (which a few students will come close to doing).

What if your present grade is 77.5% and you're happy with a C.  In a situation like this the Final Exam score is only 20% of your overall grade.  I try to minimize the damage the exam can do.  Note the example calculation below is a little different from the one done in class.

You would only need to score 40% on the Final Exam to keep a C.  That shouldn't be too hard.

The grade summaries tell you whether you  DO  or  DO NOT  ned to take the Final Exam.  Some students may be under the impression that they don't have to take the final exam if they are happy with their current  grade.  The calculation below (not done in class)  shows you what would happen if your present grade is 77.5% and you do not take the final.

Not taking the Final Exam (earning a 0% on the exam) would lower your overall average from 77.5% (C+) to 62% (D-).  So be sure to take the Final Exam unless your grade summary says you do not have to.