First figure your homework grade. Keep your returned HW papers
in case your instructor makes a mistake in recording your grade.
Also check your recorded grades occasionally on the web. Keep a
running total of your HW grades, plus a running total of the number
of HW points possible.
Your HW percentage is your total number of HW points divided by
the number of HW points which are possible. If I have counted correctly,
there are 504 possible HW points for the entire semester. However,
we will figure the final HW percentage out of only 450 points. You
can't get more than 100% though, so once you have 450 points you don't
need to turn in any more HW, unless you just like to have your HW
As an example, say you have earned 400 HW points for the semester.
Your HW percentage would be:
400/450 = 89%
HW is worth 10 points overall, so you would have earned 8.9 HW points.
We round all point calculations to the nearest tenth of a point.
OK, now figure your quiz grade. We grade quizzes out of 10 points
and we take your best 9 of 13 quizzes. (For Dan's recitations we ended
up taking the best 9 out of 13, and dividing by 9. Then, in order to
approximately equalize the averages between Dan's sections and mine, in
my recitation we had to keep 7 out of 14 and divide by 7.) Say your best
9 quizzes total up to 71 points. Your quiz average is then 71/9 = 7.9.
Quizzes are worth 10 points overall so your quiz points for the semester
Now figure your test total. Take your best 4 tests and average
them and mutiply by 0.6. For example, say your test grades are 79,
85, 83, 72, and 91. Your test average is then
(79+85+83+91)/4 = 84.5
We now multiply by .6 since the Tests are worth 60 points overall.
84.5 times 0.6 = 50.7
OK, now you have your pre-exam total.
The pre-exam maximum is 80 points, so your pre-exam percentage is
67.5/80 = 84.4%
Will you be able to get an A? That depends on what the final
grade scale is. I start with no curve. That is
90 and above A
below 60 E
If the class average is 75 or higher, there is no change. If the
class average falls below 75, I feel obliged to relax this scale
somewhat. Look at
121 Spring 1996 web page
121 Spring 1997 web page
to get an idea for what this year's scale might be. I will make
a guess at the final grade scale during the week before the exam,
but the true final grade scale ultimately depends on overall class
Let's get back to our example. You have 67.5 points going in
to the exam. The exam is worth 20 so the best you can do is 87.5,
not enough to get an A if the class average is 75 or higher. On
the other hand, you need at least 12.5 points from the exam to insure
yourself of a B. The exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions,
so you need to get at least (12.5/20)*40 right, or 25 out of 40, to
insure yourself of a B.