There is no A+, so that is why I hate this system. I am not really sure where they exact grade cut offs are, but I would imagine it would be like 90-92 or 90-93. I am glad I had a couple years in the regular GPA system so now I got my GPA high enough to take the hopefully take the hit.
I don't believe there has been any cutoff numbers established for the +/- system yet. At least I've never seen any numbers anywhere. I've heard the reason there is no A+ worth 4.33 is that grad schools would then rescale UT GPAs down .33 to make it into a 4.0 scale, thereby lowering everyone's GPA. At least that is the excuse given out by advisers.
It may be left up to the professor. They are simple switching to the grad school grading scale, and they simply classify grades as A-, A, B+, etc. I think a teacher can just assign straight a's, b's, and c's if they want to.
Yeah you probably should be a little worried. Basically anybody who has above a 3.5 will be negatively affected by this. This is because there are no A+'s to balance out the A-'s, so it makes everything all kinds of messed up. They argue that this will combat grade inflation, but all it is doing is lowering the people with high GPAs down and moving the people who get a lot of borderline B's up.
This is the text of an email sent to my by my adviser recently about this topic.
The Senate of College Councils Presents:
What you need to know about Plus/Minus Grading
Plus/Minus Grading: What is it?
Starting in the Fall of 2009, the University will switch from its current system to a plus/minus system.
The New System:
System for Fall '09
Senate's Stance: The Bottom Line
"Plus minus grading is happening, starting Fall 2009. The Senate of College Councils has been actively involved in the issue since Spring 2007. Throughout the planning process, Senate worked hard to represent the student voice, and remains committed to advocating for students during the implementation process."
Will the plus/minus system be grandfathered?
No. Come Fall of 2009, all students (current and incoming) will be under the new grading system.
Will my GPA be Affected*?
No. Effects on GPA will likely even out, and the effect on top students is as likely to be positive. In any case, given that most of our peer institutions use plus/minus grading, this change would increase the equity of comparisons for students from different universities.
Will the Plus/Minus System be Optional for Professors?
No. Starting Fall 2009, the University is moving to having only one grading scale. Professors can assign which ever grade in our grading scale they feel is most representative of the academic performance of the student.
Why is the University Switching*?
1. Plus/minus grading allows for more accurate representation of students' performance.
2. Plus/minus grading makes it easier to assign grades in borderline cases
3. Plus/minus grading may be used to reduce grade inflation.
4. All 11 of our peer institutions (the group of large public universities that UT Austin uses for comparison purposes) use some form of plus/minus grading.
5. The new system will help with transfer student discrepancies.
6. The more grade options we have means that students are awarded grades appropriate to their performance in a course.
Whew, I'm glad my son was under the old system for the last two years. He is applying for the MPA this spring and the average gpa is 3.7, which he has, but I bet some of those A's were really A-'s
It won't matter for him any more in the fall because he should already be accepted.
My oldest, who went to UF has liked the +/- system and it hasn't seemed to affect him negatively. He would usually get a few A's and some B+'s each semester, so his gpa was higher than if it had been a flat 3 for the B's. I don't think any of his professors ever gave him an A- though. Maybe they were just nice
Yeah the +/- scale is terrible for students who want to transfer internally, it makes it so much harder. Its good for students who get B's but bad for students who barely get A's. I would rather have the old system.
there is a bigger difference between a person who makes a 91 instead of 89 than a person who makes an 81 instead of an 89.
so this +/- thing is just gonna screw over smart kids. i think if you worked hard for that A, then you deserve that A.