This page sets out some of my grading practices and policies which students often have questions about.
You may be wondering what those funny squiggles on your exam or paper indicate. Hereís something of a key:
- [check mark] = Correct; good
- X = Incorrect
- ? = Iím not sure what this means/what is going on here
- ~ = Not exactly correct/ not totally wrong
- ¶ = New paragraph
- Θ = Theory
- Def. = Define
- e/ = Every
- e/thg = Everything
- Expln = More explanation needed
- Ex? = An example would help here
- Format = The formatting here is weird.
- NWYM = Not what you mean
- Rel? = Relevance?
- s/ = Some
- s/thg = Something
- w/ = With
- wh/ = Which
- wh/r = Whether
- WPh = Wrong phrase
I assign each answer a score between 0-10. These scores are added on the inside front cover of your exam (you should make sure I wrote the right numbers and added correctly ómistakes do happen). I then use the total score to assign the exam grade. While I do record the total score of the exam, only the exam grade matters in determining your final course grade.
The numerical scores for each question are simply an ordinal ranking of that particular question (i.e., 7ís are better than 5ís, etc).
They therefore have no significance outside of that particular exam. That is, a 6 on a question for Exam 1 is not necessarily comparable to a 6 on a question on Exam 2. Similarly, the scale is an interval scale rather than a ratio scale. That means, for example, that a 8 is better than a 4, but it is not necessarily twice as good.
When I record grades, I use the following system.
A = 95 A- = 92 B+ = 88 B = 85 B- = 82 And so on.
Variabily weighted assignments
In courses where the grading system is 40% the assignment/exam you do best on and 30% for each of the other two assignment/exams, I use this function in Excel:
where there are 3 columns x y z with one score (see above) in each. Thus x:z covers all three scores.
You can use this function and the recording system above to figure out what grades you need to get on each exam/assignment to get a particular grade in the course.
I appreciate any comments about how these explanations can be made clearer or which may help me make my practices more fair.
© Adam Swenson 2006-8