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My teacher is giving the whole class a B or below

doubledogdoubledog Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
My awful AP bio teacher continuously has handed out F's on tests to the point where not a single person has an A in the class, and since there's nothing left going in the grade book it's assumed that everyone's gonna end with a B or below. I find that this really isn't fair because if I took a different AP science class or went to a different school for AP bio the circumstances will be different. If I tried really hard to get a 5 on the AP test or a high subject test score will colleges overlook the dip in my GPA? This is in my junior year too. Really sucks

Replies to: My teacher is giving the whole class a B or below

  • damon30damon30 Registered User Posts: 778 Member
    AP Biology/College Biology is probably the most underestimated course. The difficulty level seems to catch everyone off guard. FWIW, college admissions officers know this very well, and would likely understand if you got a B.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,782 Senior Member
    OTOH you could ask your GC if they'd be willing to say that no one got an A in the class (assuming that turns out to be the case.) It would put your grade in context. You don't need to whine. It's a fact. (Unless it turns out your teacher grades on a curve like many college teachers do.)
  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 7,679 Senior Member
    edited April 11
    Are you and your classmates getting the answers right and being incorrectly penalized? Or are you not getting the answers right? Is the teacher "Handing out F's" to high school juniors who have proven they know Biology on a college level?
  • scubadivescubadive Registered User Posts: 975 Member
    Teachers are not always fair. However it is a good lesson because you will also find profs in college that do likewise.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 26,277 Senior Member
    since there's nothing left going in the grade book it's assumed that everyone's gonna end with a B or below...

    And what do you base your assumption on? Since this is a science class, what is your hypothesis? What is your background research? (In other words, does this teacher have a track record of not awarding A's? Also, what does the Dept Chair say? What is the Science Department policy/guideline wrt grading?)

    In other words, I ain't buying it.

    btw: yes, a 5 will be noticed by AdComs.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,368 Senior Member
    I'm not sure how OP knows the grades of everyone else in the class.
    Of course, it is possible that this teacher sets high standards.
    A B grade with a 5 is still a B grade. But this is mid-spring semester. How did OP do previously and why this seemingly a sudden concern?

    Agree that some GC will explain a tough teacher or unusual circumstance without throwing the teacher "under the bus." Many times, these teachers do have admin respect.
  • doubledogdoubledog Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    She generally makes her own free-response tests and makes her answer key so specific that people rarely get the point. Her grading criteria for labs is excessively harsh, for the last lab she said the highest score was around 60%. Also our entire grade is made of tests and labs only. At least I've heard a large fraction of her class get a 5 on the AP test
  • doubledogdoubledog Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Thank you for the advice
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 8,305 Senior Member
    Is your teacher "giving" B's or is the class earning them? If you're all failing exams I don't see how it would be possible for any of you to earn an A. She may be trying to prepare you for the exam. How do her students usually fare on it?
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 13,261 Forum Champion
    two scenarios:

    Teacher does not give anyone As. 50% of the classes gets 4s or 5s on the AP test.
    Teacher does not give anyone As. 0% of the classes gets 4s or 5s on the AP test.

    Is it the teacher? or the students?

    Is that s/he is a strict grader?
    Is it that s/he is not teaching well?
    Is it that you all have not learned the material?
    Is it that you all were not prepared in other classes?

    I would go to your guidance counselor or the head of the department and talk to them.
    It may be that s/he has seen how previous students have done on their grades vs AP test and s/he knows what level you all really are at.
    or It may mean that s/he grades in a different way than other teachers and gives lower grades than the AP tests scores would predict.

    "GC, I have some concerns about the AP Bio class. I have observed that many people are getting F's on tests and I am not aware of any one who is getting A's. I realize I may not have all the information, but it would seem to me that at this point nobody can get better than a B in the class. I further realize that I do not have historical information regarding how the grades students in his/her class relate to how they do on the AP tests. But it would be great if someone could look into how s/he grades relative to other teachers, how s/he teaches, or if us students are just having a hard time grasping the material."
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 Registered User Posts: 1,492 Senior Member
    It is a fair question whether anyone is doing well in the class, and if not, why not?

    DD has had tests and quizzes that everyone bombs, but fortunately the teachers took it at a signal that the material wasn't covered properly. Usually there is a day or two of review and the class retakes the test (more likely a different version thereof). A gentle nudge by the OP's guidance department might lead the bio teacher to the same introspection. Even an otherwise excellent teacher doesn't always get it perfect.
  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 7,679 Senior Member
    edited April 12
    The thing is, this is a high school junior taking a college level class. He/she HAS to expect it to be much harder than a regular high school class, that the exams are going to be more challenging, that the grades he/she is achieving in regular high school classes are going to come down a bit in a college level class.

    It's not unheard of for college classes to have no A's if no one has shown mastery of the material. Why would an AP class be any different?
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 42,049 Super Moderator
    I agree with @bjkmom We're hearing one side of the story, and I'm doubtful that the OP even has the complete info being claimed ("everyone's gonna end with a B or below"). So perhaps the teacher does need "a gentle nudge" as suggested upthread. But equally likely, the students who are not getting A's don't deserve A's. The teacher may be of a mind that an A represents excellent work, and that there is no reason to give an A for work that is merely good.
    our entire grade is made of tests
    That will be good experience for lab classes at many colleges.
  • RichInPittRichInPitt Registered User Posts: 214 Junior Member
    What is the basis for the assumption of no A's? Has the teacher provided a grading scale that is unchangeable?

    Or is the teacher maybe following college grading for a college level course? My D recently sent home the grading scale from her Sophomore math class, and a 68 resulted in a B. I remember having the highest score in one college class with a 74 on an exam.

    And yes, college grades are much more based on exams - typically 15% for each of 4 exams, 25% for the final, and 15% for homework/other.
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