Examinations and Grades, Fall 2017

Your grades will be based on the following:

  • We give two midterm examinations (M1 and M2) spaced about 5 weeks apart. Each midterm covers the class material and the assigned readings for the corresponding period (see the Lecture Schedule). If it improves your course grade, the lower of the two midterm scores will be dropped from the average (see the grading formula below).
  • There is also a cumulative final examination (F), whose weight is determined by the grading formula below.
  • At the end of the semester, your discussion-section TF will submit a score for attendance (5 points maximum) and participation and understanding of assigned problems (5 points maximum).  The total discussion-section score (D) will comprise 10 percent of your course grade.

For each examination that you take, we will record a numerical score that ranges from 0 to 100. We may adjust raw examination scores upwards if we decide that the examination was difficult. We use only numerical scores until the end of the term, at which time a letter grade is computed based on overall performance.

Your numerical course average (CA) will be computed according to one of the following two schemes, whichever yields the higher score. This means, that one low score in a midterm exam will not lower your course grade.  It always make sense to take both midterm exams, however, because a good score can raise your grade, but a low score will not lower your grade.

Course Average with Two Midterms Course Average with One Midterm
Midterm Exam I
Midterm Exam II
Final Exam
Discussion Sections
CA = .25 M1 + .25 M2 + .4 F  + D
Higher Midterm Exam
Final Exam
Discussion Sections
CA = .35 M + .55 F + D

Individual exams receive numerical scores but not letter grades.  Letter-grades are not assigned until the end of the semester.  The course average will be calculated at the end of the semester using the formulas above. Then, the course average is converted to a letter grade as follows.  No exceptions are ever made.

Course Average
A 93.0 or more
A- 90.0 to 92.9
B+ 87.0 to 89.9
B 83.0 to 86.9
B- 80.0 to
C+ 77.0 to 79.9
C 73.0 to 76.9
C- 65.0 to 72.9
D 60.0 to 64.9
F less than 60.0

Note: Attendance in lectures and discussion sections is required.  We will lower you course grade for unexcused absences (see Attendance above) or for an unusually large number of incorrect clicker answers.