Percentage Grades

Let me just say, right from the start that I am already very aware that absolutely nothing will come from this blog post. It won’t change my professor or his grading policy or the outcome of the semester or the world but it might, just might, at least alleviate a bit of the annoyance that I feel and that my friends is my goal. I just want to alleviate a little bit of the annoyance I feel and so without further ado…

I hate the way my Small Business Management and Administration Professor grades our class. It’s obnoxious! It’s also fairly common amongst the teaching profession but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. When it comes to grading, here is my train of thought.

  • 10 assignments worth 10 points apiece = 100 possible points
  • 10 quizzes worth 50 points apiece = 500 possible points
  • 5 tests worth 100 points apiece = 500 possible points
  • 2 exams worth 300 points apiece = 600 possible points

Are you with me? Now, let’s assume that I earned 100 points on my assignments, 445 points on my quizzes, 460 on my tests and 520 on my exams. I would have earned 1525 points out of a possible 1700 points. That would make my grade percentage 89% which would be a “B” grade. Did you follow me? Easy. Right? Yes.

Those percentages, they make sense!!!

Now, I’m a smart woman, I promise you I am but I fail to see how this following grading procedure makes sense unless the Professor is just trying to deliberately be complicated which may be the case considering how this class has gone so far. Just to make sure I didn’t skew any of the numbers or misrepresent his grading policy I am copying this directly from the syllabus. Here we go… *sigh*

  • 12 case studies worth 10 points apiece = 120 possible points
  • 50 assignments worth 5 points apiece = 250 possible points
  • 23 quizzes worth 20 points apiece = 460 possible points
  • 2 articles worth 70 points apiece = 140 possible points
  • Business Plan Draft worth 100 points = 100 possible points
  • Final Business Plan worth 150 points = 150 possible points
  • Legal Requirements Checklist worth 150 points = 150 possible points

Whew. Ok, so now as if his breaking it down so much isn’t obnoxious enough it continues…

Final course grades are determined by:

  • Average of Tests = 35%
  • Final Exam = 10%
  • Research Paper & PowerPoint (see attachment #1) = 35%
  • Case Study, Assignments & Article Reviews = 20%

Total  = 100%

Now, my questions and frustrations…

  1. FINAL EXAM?!? We didn’t have a mid-term exam, there is no Final Exam listed on the calendar, there is no Final Exam listed on the course blackboard and there is no reference to the Final Exam in any of the paperwork, in the syllabus, or in any of the discussions. The Professor also has not answered a single question regarding whether or not there really will be a Final Exam. I’m going to assume that there is but there is nothing to indicate that is true.
  2. Is the “Research Paper” that he mentions the Business Plan we are supposed to be developing or is it a separate project? Again, no mention of it anywhere nor is he responding to any questions regarding it.
  3. Also, what PowerPoint presentation?! That is not in the Business Plan assignment packet, nor has it been addressed by the Professor, nor is there any attachment so while I would LOVE to “see attachment #1” there is no attachment and my requests for said attachment have gone unfulfilled. My classmates also do not have “attachment #1” so this mysterious attachment must be lost somewhere in the dark universe with all of my missing socks.
  4. Why the percentages?!?!?!?!?! Really Professor? Must we make this more complicated?!

I’ll be honest. The percentage break down annoys me more than anything else. If I add up all of my grades and points earned to date and then do the basic division by possible points I have a 93.8 in the class which means I’ve earned an “A” to date. But oh no, not in this class, because you see there are those damn percentages to contend with so I don’t really have any idea what my grade is because I’m not sure how to calculate my points earned in each category and then weight those points earned by his established percentages to calculate what I’ve really earned versus what was really possible to determine where I really am. Why can’t he just do it my way? If he wants something to be worth more than something else he can just make it worth more points. Why the percentages? Why be complicated? I swear that I’m convinced he has one of two things going on, either he enjoys being complicated or he doesn’t really keep track of our grades and he makes up this formula in order to keep us all off track so at the end of the semester he can just give us any grade he feels like based on what kind of effort he believes we’ve shown. He seems to be meticulous on grading though and everything comes back with little notes and marks on it so I’m inclined to go with theory #1 and just believe that this guy is a super nerd who just enjoys making things complicated.


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