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Myself
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Postby Myself » Fri May 31, 2013 6:10 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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KD35
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Re: Do most profs have the abillity to grade bump?

Postby KD35 » Fri May 31, 2013 6:15 pm

ajax adonis wrote:Tried looking this up in some threads, but didn't really get any definite answers.

I wanted to ask if professors usually have the discretion to give a half grade bump (B to B+) for things like participation. Is this true?


I believe a lot of professors put that they have somewhere around a 3% "participation" part of the grade. But it comes down to each professor. So that's the grade bump they can give.

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Nova
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Re: Do most profs have the abillity to grade bump?

Postby Nova » Fri May 31, 2013 6:39 pm

At my school, yes. The 1L curve is set between B and B+, and after the exams are graded, the teacher can bump grades so long as the class still averages 3.33 or less.

Not sure if the profs actaully see who got what grades after the blind grading and then bump, or if the bumps are given without the prof knowing what the students got on the exams.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Do most profs have the abillity to grade bump?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri May 31, 2013 7:17 pm

At my school, the prof submitted the grades for the exams first, blind, and then submitted to the registrar the names of people s/he wanted to get a bump. Then the registrar worked whatever mathematical magic was necessary.

I don't know if there's a limit on how much profs can bump, but profs at my school could certainly do it (a lot of my profs had a thing about it in their syllabus). I know of at least 2 classes in which I got a bump for participation. (No idea how much, though.)

Myself
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Postby Myself » Fri May 31, 2013 7:23 pm

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Do most profs have the abillity to grade bump?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri May 31, 2013 7:33 pm

I'm pretty sure they can't give the bump based on a person's exam grade. And I think profs have to let you know in their syllabus if there's a chance for a bump - at least, that was the norm at my school. Enough profs stated in their syllabus that they might bump that I think the ones that didn't, didn't follow that policy. (And a number of profs "reserved the right" to bump, which doesn't mean they did bump every semester.)

FWIW, profs can usually tell when someone is talking for the sake of hearing themselves talk or trying to sound smart, and when someone is making good contributions. So if by gunner you mean "annoying blowhard who always talks about their own experience and asks questions in the last 5 minutes of class," I don't think it helps them. If you mean "someone who's prepared for class and answers questions sensibly," then yeah, the bump could vindicate them. (Although since I got bumped, I *would* say this...) There were still lots of profs who didn't care, though.
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bananapeanutbutter
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Re: Do most profs have the abillity to grade bump?

Postby bananapeanutbutter » Fri May 31, 2013 7:34 pm

ajax adonis wrote:Yeah, I was wondering if profs could see what grades students got and then decide whom to give the grade bump to.

Sadly, if profs can grade bump, then I think this vindicates the gunners =/ Wish I knew this in some of my classes where I was sometimes too cool for school.

Myself
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Postby Myself » Fri May 31, 2013 9:33 pm

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notcool
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Re: Do most profs have the abillity to grade bump?

Postby notcool » Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:25 pm

Wait sorry this will be a dumb question okay but if profs can grade bump some people based on participation, does that mean that the ones who DIDN'T get bumped can have their grades moved DOWN after the registrar does their "mathematical magic"?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Do most profs have the abillity to grade bump?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:49 pm

notcool wrote:Wait sorry this will be a dumb question okay but if profs can grade bump some people based on participation, does that mean that the ones who DIDN'T get bumped can have their grades moved DOWN after the registrar does their "mathematical magic"?

I have no idea how this actually works, but presumably if your participation grade increases your overall course grade, yes, this might move you higher in the curve than someone who got a higher exam grade than you did. But it's not that the other grade is lowered - it's more that, taking into account BOTH participation and the exam, the person who got the bump performed better in the class (according to the prof and the artificial requirements of the curve).

Some context that might help: until my 3L year, my school graded on a 100-pt scale. You also got given the 4.0 equivalent of your grades and so I think that's generally what people put on their resumes. But if you got an A, that could be anything from a 93-100 (in theory - I don't think anyone ever gave out 100). When I say that participation gave you a bump, my impression is that was 2-3 points max. So, it might take you from a 92 (A-) to a 94 (A). But it might take you from a 94 (A) to a 96 (A), so less significant. Though yes, this would presumably move you ahead of someone who had a 93 or 95 exam and no bump.

However, in terms of the curve, my school didn't have a fixed distribution of grades (where 10% get As, 15% A-, etc. etc.). Instead, it had a required median. As I understand it, you can distribute grades on a required median in a number of ways (some classes seemed to have very very few As/Cs, and a ton of Bs; some classes had a lot of As, but also a lot of Cs and fewer Bs). So whether getting moved ahead of someone with a 1-pt better exam than yours would actually bump that person down into the next grade category, I don't know, but it certainly wouldn't have to.

Really, I have no idea how much impact any given bump ever actually had on the person getting it or others in the class. Any advantage may have been totally illusory. Since our cumulative GPAs were graded on the 100-pt scale, personally I would take any bump I could get. And I figure it never hurts to make a good enough impression on a prof that they bumped you up - it helps for getting LORs for clerkship apps, or getting the prof to connect you with people, that kind of thing.* But the impact on GPA may have been kind of a wash.

*I know - GUNNER.

tl;dr - I would totally not worry about this unless your profs have specifically said in the syllabus that they will bump for participation. My impression is that it's actually very rare, that I had a weird concentration of profs who did actually care about this, and that very few people in a given class will ever actually get bumped.

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clarion
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Re: Do most profs have the abillity to grade bump?

Postby clarion » Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:50 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
notcool wrote:Wait sorry this will be a dumb question okay but if profs can grade bump some people based on participation, does that mean that the ones who DIDN'T get bumped can have their grades moved DOWN after the registrar does their "mathematical magic"?

I have no idea how this actually works, but presumably if your participation grade increases your overall course grade, yes, this might move you higher in the curve than someone who got a higher exam grade than you did. But it's not that the other grade is lowered - it's more that, taking into account BOTH participation and the exam, the person who got the bump performed better in the class (according to the prof and the artificial requirements of the curve).

Some context that might help: until my 3L year, my school graded on a 100-pt scale. You also got given the 4.0 equivalent of your grades and so I think that's generally what people put on their resumes. But if you got an A, that could be anything from a 93-100 (in theory - I don't think anyone ever gave out 100). When I say that participation gave you a bump, my impression is that was 2-3 points max. So, it might take you from a 92 (A-) to a 94 (A). But it might take you from a 94 (A) to a 96 (A), so less significant. Though yes, this would presumably move you ahead of someone who had a 93 or 95 exam and no bump.

However, in terms of the curve, my school didn't have a fixed distribution of grades (where 10% get As, 15% A-, etc. etc.). Instead, it had a required median. As I understand it, you can distribute grades on a required median in a number of ways (some classes seemed to have very very few As/Cs, and a ton of Bs; some classes had a lot of As, but also a lot of Cs and fewer Bs). So whether getting moved ahead of someone with a 1-pt better exam than yours would actually bump that person down into the next grade category, I don't know, but it certainly wouldn't have to.

Really, I have no idea how much impact any given bump ever actually had on the person getting it or others in the class. Any advantage may have been totally illusory. Since our cumulative GPAs were graded on the 100-pt scale, personally I would take any bump I could get. And I figure it never hurts to make a good enough impression on a prof that they bumped you up - it helps for getting LORs for clerkship apps, or getting the prof to connect you with people, that kind of thing.* But the impact on GPA may have been kind of a wash.

*I know - GUNNER.

tl;dr - I would totally not worry about this unless your profs have specifically said in the syllabus that they will bump for participation. My impression is that it's actually very rare, that I had a weird concentration of profs who did actually care about this, and that very few people in a given class will ever actually get bumped.


Just to bolster this argument, I had 3 out of my 5 spring semester professors state that they would bump for active participation in their syllabuses. I've gotten no grades back yet (>_>) but one of my professors had a rigorous formula for determining who'd get a bump while the other 2 professors were just like "eh. If I feel like it..." But yeah, my understanding is that none of my professors who DIDN'T advertise it in their syllabuses provide(d) grade bumps based on participation or affection or whatever. Could be wrong of course: but that's my understanding.




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