Possibility of failing/discretionary? Forum

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SomeRandomASDF

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Possibility of failing/discretionary?

Post by SomeRandomASDF » Mon May 09, 2022 6:25 pm

I just finished one of my final exams and it was an absolute punch in the gut. There were 3 questions (equal weight), and the ratio of the length of my answers to them is approximately 3:2:1. I think altogether I barely eked out 2,900 words (and half of that was just my first answer, lol).

I have no idea what to expect, I'm genuinely horrified right now. I'm going into my summer job in a few weeks and I feel like I'll constantly be worried that I might get no offered at the end of it because of this exam. What if it ends up being a discretionary grade, or worse - an F?

For context, I'm at a T5 and have an above median GPA (probably not for long - this class is 3 credits).

How bad does it have to be to get a B-, C, or F?

talons2250

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Re: Possibility of failing/discretionary?

Post by talons2250 » Mon May 09, 2022 7:02 pm

It sounds like you’re at Columbia or possibly NYU because you’re speaking in terms of regular letter grades. If so, you’d be surprised at how many truly bad exams can manage to squeak by with a B. Wait until you receive the grade before you start contemplating worst case scenarios. It’s all on a curve, after all.

nixy

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Re: Possibility of failing/discretionary?

Post by nixy » Mon May 09, 2022 7:54 pm

Unless the 2900 words you eked out were all "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," you're not going to fail for writing a lopsided exam. I can't comment on the discretionary grade part, but you're graded on a curve and unless you have some truly objectively valid reason to think you are somehow different from everyone else in your class, they probably struggled just as much. I regularly got better grades on exams I thought were the hardest and got median pwned on the ones that felt easy.

SomeRandomASDF

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Re: Possibility of failing/discretionary?

Post by SomeRandomASDF » Tue May 10, 2022 1:36 am

nixy wrote:
Mon May 09, 2022 7:54 pm
Unless the 2900 words you eked out were all "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," you're not going to fail for writing a lopsided exam. I can't comment on the discretionary grade part, but you're graded on a curve and unless you have some truly objectively valid reason to think you are somehow different from everyone else in your class, they probably struggled just as much. I regularly got better grades on exams I thought were the hardest and got median pwned on the ones that felt easy.
I'm almost certain everyone else did better, but I guess we'll see to what degree that's the case. How are discretionary grades usually awarded? I really just need a benchmark of some kind.

nixy

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Re: Possibility of failing/discretionary?

Post by nixy » Tue May 10, 2022 7:24 am

SomeRandomASDF wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 1:36 am
nixy wrote:
Mon May 09, 2022 7:54 pm
Unless the 2900 words you eked out were all "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," you're not going to fail for writing a lopsided exam. I can't comment on the discretionary grade part, but you're graded on a curve and unless you have some truly objectively valid reason to think you are somehow different from everyone else in your class, they probably struggled just as much. I regularly got better grades on exams I thought were the hardest and got median pwned on the ones that felt easy.
I'm almost certain everyone else did better, but I guess we'll see to what degree that's the case. How are discretionary grades usually awarded? I really just need a benchmark of some kind.
Have you discussed the exam with every single person who took it? (If so, don’t do that.) Is there some reason to think that you actually performed drastically differently from everyone else who took it (like you found out that you used the wrong textbook all semester or you passed out partway through taking the exam or something)? It’s just that it’s almost impossible to measure yourself against the unknown of others’ performances. (Like I said, I don’t know how the discretionary grading works, sorry! Hopefully someone else can comment.)

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talons2250

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Re: Possibility of failing/discretionary?

Post by talons2250 » Tue May 10, 2022 10:07 am

SomeRandomASDF wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 1:36 am
nixy wrote:
Mon May 09, 2022 7:54 pm
Unless the 2900 words you eked out were all "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," you're not going to fail for writing a lopsided exam. I can't comment on the discretionary grade part, but you're graded on a curve and unless you have some truly objectively valid reason to think you are somehow different from everyone else in your class, they probably struggled just as much. I regularly got better grades on exams I thought were the hardest and got median pwned on the ones that felt easy.
I'm almost certain everyone else did better, but I guess we'll see to what degree that's the case. How are discretionary grades usually awarded? I really just need a benchmark of some kind.
I know of two people at CLS/NYU who got discretionarily low grades in 1L courses. One got a C and the other got a D. Both of them simply didn't answer approximately one-third of the questions on the test. Just never got to the questions due to poor time management.

SomeRandomASDF

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Re: Possibility of failing/discretionary?

Post by SomeRandomASDF » Tue May 10, 2022 2:01 pm

talons2250 wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 10:07 am
SomeRandomASDF wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 1:36 am
nixy wrote:
Mon May 09, 2022 7:54 pm
Unless the 2900 words you eked out were all "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," you're not going to fail for writing a lopsided exam. I can't comment on the discretionary grade part, but you're graded on a curve and unless you have some truly objectively valid reason to think you are somehow different from everyone else in your class, they probably struggled just as much. I regularly got better grades on exams I thought were the hardest and got median pwned on the ones that felt easy.
I'm almost certain everyone else did better, but I guess we'll see to what degree that's the case. How are discretionary grades usually awarded? I really just need a benchmark of some kind.
I know of two people at CLS/NYU who got discretionarily low grades in 1L courses. One got a C and the other got a D. Both of them simply didn't answer approximately one-third of the questions on the test. Just never got to the questions due to poor time management.
Well, my answer to the third question was incredibly underwhelming (barely addressed it) so I kind of feel like that's equivalent to just not answering... Fuck. Then again, everyone complained about that question and it was totally unexpected.

nixy

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Re: Possibility of failing/discretionary?

Post by nixy » Tue May 10, 2022 2:03 pm

SomeRandomASDF wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 2:01 pm
talons2250 wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 10:07 am
SomeRandomASDF wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 1:36 am
nixy wrote:
Mon May 09, 2022 7:54 pm
Unless the 2900 words you eked out were all "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," you're not going to fail for writing a lopsided exam. I can't comment on the discretionary grade part, but you're graded on a curve and unless you have some truly objectively valid reason to think you are somehow different from everyone else in your class, they probably struggled just as much. I regularly got better grades on exams I thought were the hardest and got median pwned on the ones that felt easy.
I'm almost certain everyone else did better, but I guess we'll see to what degree that's the case. How are discretionary grades usually awarded? I really just need a benchmark of some kind.
I know of two people at CLS/NYU who got discretionarily low grades in 1L courses. One got a C and the other got a D. Both of them simply didn't answer approximately one-third of the questions on the test. Just never got to the questions due to poor time management.
Well, my answer to the third question was incredibly underwhelming (barely addressed it) so I kind of feel like that's equivalent to just not answering... Fuck. Then again, everyone complained about that question and it was totally unexpected.
Underwhelming answer (of what sounds like close to 750 words or three pages) =/= not writing any answer at all.
Everyone struggling with it means you’re unlikely to be egregiously bad.

SomeRandomASDF

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Re: Possibility of failing/discretionary?

Post by SomeRandomASDF » Tue May 10, 2022 2:10 pm

nixy wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 2:03 pm
SomeRandomASDF wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 2:01 pm
talons2250 wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 10:07 am
SomeRandomASDF wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 1:36 am
nixy wrote:
Mon May 09, 2022 7:54 pm
Unless the 2900 words you eked out were all "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," you're not going to fail for writing a lopsided exam. I can't comment on the discretionary grade part, but you're graded on a curve and unless you have some truly objectively valid reason to think you are somehow different from everyone else in your class, they probably struggled just as much. I regularly got better grades on exams I thought were the hardest and got median pwned on the ones that felt easy.
I'm almost certain everyone else did better, but I guess we'll see to what degree that's the case. How are discretionary grades usually awarded? I really just need a benchmark of some kind.
I know of two people at CLS/NYU who got discretionarily low grades in 1L courses. One got a C and the other got a D. Both of them simply didn't answer approximately one-third of the questions on the test. Just never got to the questions due to poor time management.
Well, my answer to the third question was incredibly underwhelming (barely addressed it) so I kind of feel like that's equivalent to just not answering... Fuck. Then again, everyone complained about that question and it was totally unexpected.
Underwhelming answer (of what sounds like close to 750 words or three pages) =/= not writing any answer at all.
Everyone struggling with it means you’re unlikely to be egregiously bad.
It was 1500, 750, 400 in terms of length or something like that. Not great... 400 is literally nothing.

nixy

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Re: Possibility of failing/discretionary?

Post by nixy » Tue May 10, 2022 2:24 pm

SomeRandomASDF wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 2:10 pm
nixy wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 2:03 pm
SomeRandomASDF wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 2:01 pm
talons2250 wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 10:07 am
SomeRandomASDF wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 1:36 am
nixy wrote:
Mon May 09, 2022 7:54 pm
Unless the 2900 words you eked out were all "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," you're not going to fail for writing a lopsided exam. I can't comment on the discretionary grade part, but you're graded on a curve and unless you have some truly objectively valid reason to think you are somehow different from everyone else in your class, they probably struggled just as much. I regularly got better grades on exams I thought were the hardest and got median pwned on the ones that felt easy.
I'm almost certain everyone else did better, but I guess we'll see to what degree that's the case. How are discretionary grades usually awarded? I really just need a benchmark of some kind.
I know of two people at CLS/NYU who got discretionarily low grades in 1L courses. One got a C and the other got a D. Both of them simply didn't answer approximately one-third of the questions on the test. Just never got to the questions due to poor time management.
Well, my answer to the third question was incredibly underwhelming (barely addressed it) so I kind of feel like that's equivalent to just not answering... Fuck. Then again, everyone complained about that question and it was totally unexpected.
Underwhelming answer (of what sounds like close to 750 words or three pages) =/= not writing any answer at all.
Everyone struggling with it means you’re unlikely to be egregiously bad.
It was 1500, 750, 400 in terms of length or something like that. Not great... 400 is literally nothing.
okay, that doesn’t add up to 2900, it overlooks around 250-ish words.

But also, 400 words is literally not nothing. It’s literally 400 words. Stop freaking yourself out. You didn’t have to write a tome; you just had to write something better than some proportion of all the other people who complained about the question.

In any case there’s not a damn thing you can do now and there’s no point wasting energy worrying about it until you know there’s a problem. And even if you got a bad grade, you’re not going to get no-offered because of it.

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