2.0 is bad, but a C is average?

<p>Hi.</p>

<p>Two* of my professors used a bell shape-like grade distribution this semester. The median final grades in those classes were a 73% and a 76%. 70%-79% is a C at our school. </p>

<p>Since the society pretty much sees 2.0s as failures, why do professors think a C is a okay/average grade. Just a good topic to think about. What do you guys think?</p>

<p>*Those were math/engineering classes. I, too, see a 2.0 engineer as a failure.</p>

<p>Your school wouldn't be the only one to "C center" their grades especially earlier on in their engineering programs. However, the 3.0 rule still applies, even for those schools, when it comes to hiring. Doesn't mean you won't be able to find a job after college, just makes it harder.</p>

<p>You're sure the actual median grade they gave was a C? Not a C+, not a C if you put all the withdrawals in, not a 73% which equated to a B-, not a 73% overall but the lowest test got dropped or something, but a flat out C? Less than half of the people got a grade C+ or higher?</p>

<p>If so then your professor is a jerk and that's pretty rare and you're not going to have many classes like that. Most classes should have an average of B or B-, with an occasional C+ average in really awful classes. C average is awful. There was only one class I ever had that I suspect may have had a C average, and that was including withdrawals (which I count as worse than a C), the average grade that was assigned was probably right between a B- and a C+ (with very high withdrawal rate). </p>

<p>Also, where do you go that all classes are graded on the same scale? That seems beyond silly.</p>

<p>Well, at my school, we don't have the +- grading system. A, B, C, etc. The grades are distributed like in highschool (at least the ones I took this semester). >90% is an A, 80-89% is a B, etc.</p>

<p>Those classes were Multivariable Calculus (160+ students) and Intro to Computer Science (180+ students). In calculus, all the grades were online. It shows how many people got As, Bs, Cs on each test, and the final grades as well. </p>

<p>For CS, the professor emailed how many people got As, Bs, Cs, etc. for their final grade.</p>

<p>My other 3 classes were pretty chill. Mostly As and Bs in the class.</p>

<p>


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<p>Meaning the grading was done on an absolute scale, not a "curve" as the term is commonly used in describing how a class is graded (although the distribution may be a bell curve).</p>

<p>An absolute scale means that you are not competing with other students. But it requires the instructors to finely calibrate the difficulty of the tests -- too hard or too easy a test may result in grades higher or lower than one would otherwise expect.</p>

<p>
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...why do professors think a C is a okay/average grade.

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<p>I don't know where you go to school, but at most schools a professor that gives a 2.0 average GPA will have his class audited and grades rescaled.</p>

<p>Sounds like your professor(s) are old school. The bell curve with C average used to be the norm a long time ago especially in the beginning engineering track classes. While no one thought that a 2.0 average was good the bell curve tended to weed out a lot of students that weren't as well prepared. In the end, only the top performers stuck with their major and their overall gpa would have been better.</p>

<p>I think it depends on the school.</p>

<p>I go to school in Canada, and at our school, the average/median for first year classes are somewhere around 60% (which is baseline C), so what's happening to your school is not that unusual.</p>

<p>However, if this is occurring in upper year classes, then I would be surprised because most of our averages have been 65% - 70% (C+ ~ B).</p>