The grade deflation myth?

<p>I took 4 classes this semester, and I'm beginning to doubt this whole grade deflation thing.</p>

<p>In one of my classes over half the class got A- or above (400 level math class). Granted the class was only 8 people.</p>

<p>In another class over 30% of the class got A- or above (intro level engineering course). Class had over 100 people.</p>

<p>Another class didn't use a curve, and the median on the final exam was a whopping 89% (which was a B+). This class also had over a 100 people.</p>

<p>My other class was a bit more "normal" in that approximately 15% got above A-.</p>

<p>I get the impression that as you progress to more advanced courses As and A-s become easier than at intro courses? Thanks for your opinions.</p>

<p>It seems as if most of the complaining is coming from the pre-meds who aren't smart enough to get into med school to begin with (yes there are a ton of them and thank god). But you are right. It is a general trend that more A's are given out in higher level classes.</p>

<p>I agree 100%. Grade deflation simply does not exist here.</p>

<p>I disagree... grade deflation exists in some classes. Many bio major classes are curved to B-'s, even if the mean on a prelim is high. I've had a few classes where the mean on one of the prelims is an 85 or higher, and that is still considered a B-. Grade deflation may not be as big of a deal as students claim, but grade INflation does NOT exist, which can be an issue when other Ivies (uhhh Harvard, and Princeton for example) do have serious grade inflation. Getting above a 3.0 at Cornell is considered above average, and a 3.5 is considered really good, but at other Ivy league schools, average GPAs are well over a 3.5. The grade deflation isn't what people are really complaining about, it's the lack of grade inflation (not that it should exist) compared with other schools. Students think that it puts them at a disadvantage when applying to jobs, and grad schools, but it makes us work harder for our As, which makes us better in the long run, and luckily, employers know this. lol</p>

<p>With a serious shortage on the horizon of graduating U.S. doctors why on earth would Cornell look to penalize and depress the outcome goals of Pre Med students by grade deflation in this area of study? It's just plain crazy.</p>

<p>how can you check the median grades of the class?</p>

<p>Someone always brings up the science classes and the engineer courses...look, science and premed courses are tough at EVERY college in the country. I don't think bio at Cornell is tougher than bio at Harvard or bio at Princeton. Those courses are grade deflated only when you compare them to humanities courses. When you compare them to the same courses at equivalent universities, they are not grade deflated (especially when you factor in the fact that the student body at Harvard or Stanford is stronger than the student body at Cornell).</p>

<p>All you have to do is look at the median grade reports and the fact the average GPA at Cornell is approx. 3.2-3.3 to know that Cornell is not grade deflated. Quite frankly there are too many premeds. If Cornell's premed courses weren't so tough, our med school acceptance rate would drop a lot. The weeder courses make sure that the students who are still in premed by junior year are intelligent and able to handle the rigor of medical school.</p>

<p>but where can we find the median grade reports for each class</p>

<p>Cornell</a> University Registrar</p>

<p>disagree with pretty much everything you said norcalguy</p>

<p>norcalguy: The first thing I'm going to say to you is that the student body at Harvard or Stanford (considering the bureaucracy etc. Don't cite SAT scores, because those are university wide. Considering that Cornell is decentralized, and Harvard and Stanford aren't, the comparison means nothing. The hotelies drag our averages down :D ) isn't any stronger than the student body at Cornell. That being said, Cornell is grade deflated, because I know for a fact that grades given out in Harvard bio courses are much more forgiving than those at Cornell. I know people in both programs. I also know that engineering at Cornell is much harder than at Harvard (seriously how can you even compare the two...) and Stanford and Cornell are probably on par with each other. I don't know about ILR or AS, but the two programs i'm familiar with, you are completely wrong about.</p>

<p>"isn't any stronger than the student body at Cornell." That's a bit of a stretch, I'm not sure why you're so confident asserting that. Cornell is a great school, but schools like Harvard and Stanford are reputedly more selective... I wouldn't be surprised if, overall, people at those schools were "smarter" than a lot of Cornellians. Regardless, I don't contest that, compared to other schools, Cornell doesn't inflate grades as much.</p>

<p>I was a bio major. I'm well aware of the curves in bio courses (a B median for 200-level courses and B+/A- for most other ones). Frankly, even if the median for upper level bio courses at Harvard was an A-, I would still consider a B+ course at Cornell to be equally hard (despite what you say, the two student bodies are NOT equal, even when you take out arch and hotel schools). So the onus is on you to prove that upper level bio courses at Harvard are curved to an A.</p>

<p>Grade</a> Inflation at Cornell » Outside The Beltway | OTB</p>

<p>The avg. GPA at Cornell was 3.35 in 2004. It's probably even higher now. That's on pace with Harvard and Stanford. The fact Cornell publishes median grade reports, unlike most colleges, is an added advantage as Cornellians can pick and choose the easy courses.</p>

<p>If you want to talk about premed:</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>In 2006, 25 out of 232 premed applicants from Cornell had over a 3.9.</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>In 2003, 3 (yes, THREE) applicants out of 300 had a 3.9. That's grade inflation.</p>

<p>BTW: I noticed Cornell's applicant data for 2007 is now up and Cornell did terribly, only an acceptance rate of 68%. This probably reflects the national trend as applications are exploding at every med school in the country. For example, applications increased at Michigan Medical School by 20% in 2006 and another 12% this year. Fun times to be a premed.</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>This is what I'm talking about. Really disappointing actually. 2 of the 8 students with both a 3.9 and a 35+ MCAT score didn't get into a single med school. Did they kill people? Kick puppies? Geez.</p>

<p>There are at least several times in pre-med classes where I scored 30+ points above the mean. So it means I'm either a ****ing genius or the average pre-med is an idiot. Since I'm not a genius by any means, the latter must be true.</p>

<p>Since the average pre-med is an idiot, it's not hugely unfair to curve to a B-.</p>

<p>I also think kids are getting smarter as each year passes since college selection is tougher. The avg sat has gone up tremendously and the avg prelim grades compared to last year all went up by a few points. that says something! (doubt they made test easier)</p>

<p>i think there isn't really grade deflation at cornell, possibly even a grade inflation. Most classes set A as 92.5+ while on bio 101 my test avg was only 91.5, sure they are worth different % but if it was a regular class it might have been a A- instead of a A. isn't that grade inflation =DD</p>