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Emergent questions about grades


Grades are in.

Why is it that there are more thirteenth-hour questions than there were eleventh-hour ones?

I mean, I know I try to put students at ease when they needn't be alarmed, just because some of them are very antsy, and some are just a little insecure. Some students should be worried, though! To wit: grad students on the brink of a C or undergrads on the brink of a D or F should hit the books (or come and check on missing homeworks or their absolute standing) before the final. It's easy to say "I didn't see a grade posting, so I just guessed (read: assumed) I was okay"; it's quite another to know you only turned in half the assignments or turned the hour exams in half blank and then count on the curve.

... right?



May. 22nd, 2006 03:38 pm (UTC)
Grades for having a pulse and graduate admissions at KSU-CIS
Yeah, I don't think so. In fact, my Elrond icon was made for those types.

It's one thing to say you're a senior and you would like your grade to be based on the midterm, homework, and project, and be exempt from finals in the semester you graduate. You still have to do the work, and faculty of spring courses can grant "senior option" if they wish (I believe it was instructor's prerogative at Hopkins; I only took it for one course, 550.312 Statistics, and I stayed and did work in the course until the very last day). But this whole idea that people think they are either exempt from the homework if "all they want is a C" or from the final if they did the homework... WTH?

"How did you ever get into grad school" is a question that baffles me sometimes, and I'm on the grad admissions committee! You see, the problem with us is that we will admit most any domestic student with good General GREs, and most any student in general with a good GPA, halfway-decent GREs, and a curriculum that includes about 3 years' worth of a good CD program. That doesn't mean much!

Many are the times that I have personally lamented the lack of a GRE Subject Test score requirement for our department. We actually considered setting the GRE Subject Test in CS to be the Ph.D. prelim requirement. (Personally, I think we should have it as an admissions requirement for the Ph.D. program. One more hoop is not going to kill them, and it might save us a lot of grief.)

May. 22nd, 2006 03:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Grades for having a pulse and graduate admissions at KSU-CIS
One more hoop is not going to kill them

...says the man who has jumped all his hoops. ;)
May. 22nd, 2006 04:25 pm (UTC)
Well, yeah, but... GRE Subject Tests?
GRE Subject Tests aren't really a hoop, and this is someone who suffered greatly taking them because of my spotty architecture background! I scored 72 %ile the first time and 86 %ile the second, and my friend and colleague John Hatcliff was talking about setting the "pass" level of the Ph.D. prelim at 85%! (But that's for the whole Ph.D. prelim; I'm talking admissions.)

My thinking is that a subject test is a prefilter that saves both the graduate school and the student some time. The student gets sorted into a general quality tier and doesn't suffer and languish in a program where he or she doesn't belong, and there are plenty of second chances - a student can decide his or her background isn't good enough and shore it up.

May. 22nd, 2006 06:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Well, yeah, but... GRE Subject Tests?
Do all domestic students have to do them? If such a policy were instituted at Canadian universities, it'd be a pain in the butt, as domestic students here don't write GREs. The only people I've known who wrote them were applying to American universities (coincidentally, both Stanford).

Just so we're in the same ontology, are "prelims" what we refer to as "comprehensives" or "comps"?

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