Saved by the Bell [Curve]

<p>In which classes have you been helped [or even hurt] by the curve?</p>

<p>Mine:</p>

<p>Beginning French I and Microeconomics -- I got A's in both classes only because the curve brought me way up. My French classes was curved to within an inch of its life, more than half the class had a failing average before the curve.</p>

<p>That's probably scaling, then. In scaling, you add x points to everyone's score. When you fit students to a bell curve, you artificially limit the number of As and require that as many people fail as get As.</p>

<p>Calculus 2. :) Help me get an A and only three As were given out.</p>

<p>
[quote]
That's probably scaling, then. In scaling, you add x points to everyone's score.

[/quote]
In American Government it seemed as if all but three of us were failing, and the teacher scaled the grades 3/4 of the way through in some way to make up for "ambiguous and incorrect answers/questions." I had a 106% at that point... I later realized the instructor didn't grade the last 4th of my work, but reported my grade as an "A."</p>

<p>American Heritage - really hurt me. Only B- on my transcript!</p>

<p>Most if not all of my college classes have been curved. It is much easier for professors to design homework assignments and exams first and later assess where the grade cut-offs should be, then to design exams so that you get meaningful grades when you use 90%, 80% etc as cutoffs for letter grades.</p>

<p>^^^Same. Which is why I don't think curves can "help" or "hurt" you...They're the determinant, so there's nothing to compare them to--arbitrary cutoffs like 90, 80, etc., are meaningless. </p>

<p>If "everyone failed" and the class is large, this probably means the exams were intentionally difficult to weed out top students; it doesn't say anything about how students performed in general. Conversely, if everyone "did well," the exam intended to weed out poorly prepared students, but it doesn't imply anything about the overall student performance.</p>

<p>Most of the class would have failed pretty much every Organic Chemistry exam before the "curve," so I kept a solid A throughout the course :). I still don't think he should have done that on the FINAL, but I got my A and got the hell out of there.</p>

<p>Organic Chemistry... however you really have to be on the top of the crowd to get the A's.</p>