How does the CURVE work?

<p>So I thought I would be getting an A- in a certain class but end up getting a B+ which I am disappointed about. Since we never got to see our finals or any answer key to it, I'm not sure how I did on the 35% final. But I did above average on both midterms (probably 80% of the class had the average score on the midterms), which was why I think I should be getting around an A-.</p>

<p>Class average 68.5%, standard deviation of 14. And I'm assuming they are setting the class average to a B.</p>

<p>Did I just do really bad on the final or was the curve hard to beat to get an A- in this particular class?</p>

<p>This is not the first time I had a class I thought I would be getting an A- in (due to midterms above average). But after Finals, I would find out it's not an A- and I was left wondering if I did really bad in the finals. Other people think positively of finals (which pull them up from a C to a B) but I'm not sure if finals is having any positive effect on my final grade (I was doing above average before final, but I end up getting average, does this mean I got a C in the final to have pulled me down to average?).</p>

<p>You can always email your GSIs to ask about your final exam scores and grade breakdown. Just do it after the holidays...</p>

<p>Ok the curve depends ENTIRELY on the professor, where he/she sets the average to be, and the percentage of As, A-s, B+, ... etc he decides to give out. So you can try to look up on courserank and figure out the percentage of each he gives out and then see where you fall. </p>

<p>Now you said 80% of the class had the average score on the midterm? That is not possible, the meaning of SD is that about 68 % of the class fell between the range of 1 SD above and below the curve. While about 16% was above 1 SD and the other 16% below 1 SD. This is assuming a bell shaped curve which is actually close in a relatively large class. </p>

<p>Assuming this is a science class where they give a standard 16% (A+, A, A-), and center the curve on a B-, a 68.5 would get you a B- in the class. Now statistically, about 16% of the people would fall one SD above the curve, so getting exactly one SD above the curve, 82.5%, should get you an A-. If you want an A, it would probably get about in the high 80s range. If you got below 82.5%, but still above average, would get you a B or B+.</p>

<p>Yes, it is a science class and most of my classes are curved to an average of B- but this professor specifically said he'll curve to a B. Class was only about 110 people and this is the first time this prof is teaching the class (a relatively new prof).</p>

<p>I might be overestimating the number of people getting the average score on the midterms because they just put the pile of exams in the front and I saw many people getting right around the average score or below (not many people scored above average, even though there were a couple who scored 98%).</p>

<p>68.5% class average includes the final whereby the final average was also 68.5% with SD of 21. </p>

<p>I don't think I scored 89.5% (exactly 1 SD above curve) on the final (worth 35%). And I don't think I got overall 82.5% (A-) for the class, more like around 78%. Which makes sense now why I got a B+ instead of an A-.</p>

<p>SoCaliii's analysis is so thorough and helpful! Sometimes Stats classes are just worth it, aren't they?</p>