"Under no circumstances should any member of the faculty fail to give an A..."

<p>You guys do realize that's complete bull, right? What do you think Malkiel would say: "yes, we're going to give people who deserve A's lower grades and just say that they don't deserve A's?"</p>

<p>Talking to my friend who just got a B+ in an 11 person class just makes me mad at this kind of bs. It's a 400 level science class, and he received a 95 on the final (got a great midterm grade too, and was an active participant in the class). Unfortunately, he wasn't one of the three people who received A's, and the professor's refusing to change the grade. </p>

<p>That just makes me mad. I hope the department head thinks otherwise because there's no way someone should get a B+ after getting a 95% on a difficult exam and close to a 90 on the midterm.</p>

<p>The truth is - most professors (in the sciences and social sciences) don't give a crap about how much one "deserves" an A. They just curve the course so that a maximum of 35% get A's, regardless of the class's performance. And with the quality of kids at Princeton, that could mean someone brilliant not getting an A in a course he or she excelled at because there were a few more kids who were even more brilliant.</p>

<p>I'm sorry to hear your friend's story. What sense does it make to fill a college with the best and the brightest and then deny 65% of them a chance to earn the grades they work for?</p>

<p>This policy will especially affect the students from weaker schools who did not have the opportunity to prepare at the level needed to earn those rare A's. They will lose out on places at medical, law and business grad programs. Once again, the privileged kids from prep schools will dominate those professions.</p>

<p>these are the detrimental effects of grade deflation</p>

<p>Four out of eleven is 36%. Hmmm. The 35% rule, I thought, is supposed to apply to departments as a whole as opposed to individual classes. I don't think there should be a problem with handing out a fourth A/A- unless there are others who scored similarly to your friend. It may be that scoring 95% on the exam and below 90% on the midterm didn't fit the professor's definition of the "outstanding work" that would be worthy of an A; it may have just not stood out enough. At a place full of great students, something has to separate the great from the exceptional.</p>

<p>Also, what were your friend's grades like on problem sets?</p>

<p>^^^^^
Ya..but this is Princeton. Outstanding work is the norm. So, in reality, being in the top 35% of your class puts you in the top 99.9999999% in the world.</p>

<p>I guess Dean Malkiel is referring to "outstanding" in the context of Princeton alone.</p>

<p>maybe this strict curve grading should be intended mostly for the tougher classes...</p>

<p>In my days I remember getting "B"'s in tests where the score was 8/40 (Princeton Chemical Engineering classes)</p>

<p>What percentage is allowed to get Bs? </p>

<p>That must really suck for the kids who wind up with like a 2.5 because of grade deflation even though they are brilliant...</p>

<p>Don't blame the school, blame the game. The world is not an easy place to thrive in, and Princeton is simply helping reinforce this fact by increase competition among students.</p>

<p>^Err, what kind of logic is that? That's like saying "murder can be unfair, so don't blame me if I kill your parents."</p>

<p>Why should brilliant people be entitled to A's?
People ought to find out whether they're really in the very top echelon; if nearly everyone gets A's, then they'll never find out.</p>

<p>Also, at least 80% of the class of 2009 had a 3.0 GPA.</p>

<p>Although I do sympathize with your friend, I would like to point out that he did choose to attend Princeton.</p>

<p>Of course he chose to attend Princeton - he kicks ass here. My friend is a genius... Literally, he's a genius. He's gotten A's (no A-'s) in every departmental course he's taken, including some ridiculously difficult courses. That alone doesn't entitle him to an A, but performing in the class in the way that he did (ie: getting a 95% on the final, doing well on the midterm/problem sets/in class discussions) does entitle him to an A, and it's bs that he didn't get one. It's also bs that Princeton advertises that they give A's to everyone who deserves them.</p>

<p>Neither of us regret choosing Princeton, but we had no idea how bs the grading scheme was here. Which is the point of this thread - understand that Princeton's grading is pretty bs sometimes. This is coming from a guy with >3.8 GPA - it's not my dreams that were crushed by Princeton's grading scheme.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Of course he chose to attend Princeton - he kicks ass here. My friend is a genius... Literally, he's a genius. He's gotten A's (no A-'s) in every departmental course he's taken, including some ridiculously difficult courses.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>If this is true, it's hard to see how his dreams would be "crushed" by one B+.</p>

<p>^Lol, he already got a job in a bulge bracket investment bank, so it's not that big of a deal (although an A would be nice to help him graduate summa cum laude and helpful for business school admissions). I thought it was pretty obvious that I was not talking about him when I refer to Princetonians whose dreams were crushed by grade deflation ("Neither of us regret choosing Princeton...").</p>

<p>How about this person:
<a href="http://princetonfml.com/2010/05/19/got-a-d-and-am-now-kissing-law-school-goodbye/%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://princetonfml.com/2010/05/19/got-a-d-and-am-now-kissing-law-school-goodbye/&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>i have to admit, though we did come here with a rough idea of what to expect. i don't disagree with the principles behind grade deflation, but it should ONLY be done if all our peer schools do it TOGETHER. doing it alone was a monumentally stupid idea.</p>

<p>I think they can modify this grade deflation policy to make it more fair.
1. Really stick to the policy "no one who deserves an A..." This means if 80% of a class get test score over 90. Give all of them A and A-. Try to make the test tougher the next time.
2. Limit 35% for A's. Not A and A- combined.</p>

<p>^Agreed. Those suggestions sound amazing. While I don't plan on taking classes simply for an A or expect to come out of Princeton with a 4.0 (although that would be nice), I do think an adjustment to the grading policy would be nice. However, I can't complain, being that I knew about the policy before I decided to commit.</p>

<p>^^ Not even Yale gives out 35% solid A's. Based on the expectation that grades will fall on something resembling a normal distribution, there should be more A-'s than A's in any given class; to give A's/A-'s to over 70% of a class on a consistent basis is ridiculous. There is hardly anything exceptional about scoring in the bottom half of a class except in very rare circumstances.</p>

<p>I agree though that students should not be penalized when the professor makes an exam too easy.</p>

<p>The grading in the sciences has been harsh long before grade deflation. I was told grade deflation has the most effect on the humanities and hasn't changed science grading much at all.</p>

<p>The reality is, although most at Princeton were tops in their class in high school, most will not be at Princeton. Students seem to blame grade deflation for everything. Is this really justified?</p>