Grading Scales?

I’m three tests in Bio I (my first stop on my pre-med journey.) I realized today when I was reading the syllabus the grading scale for this class is:

A-: 90-95%

A: 96 and above.

This seems a little harsh (if not borderline draconian.) Is this pretty typical of hard science grading scales? If so, I have newfound respect for all the peeps that get a 4.0 in their post-bacc work : /

Hi, Slambo.

I’ve seen all kinds of grading scales so far, from standard minimum 90% = A to 80% = A. I’ve also had teachers that looked at the distribution of grades at the end of the course and gave grades in respect to how the class as a whole preformed. So, not all hard science classes are this way. My recent biochem class was 85%+ = A. 95% does seem a little harsh, but I don’t think that all classes are like that.

A 93% here at OSU will usually get you an A. How big is your class size? Class rosters here can run anywhere from 250 to 500+ students.

Maybe the teacher will curve after the final test…I dunno’.

If memory serves the class average for the first three has been between 68-74% (read: D+/C-)(silly undergrads). It would make sense to bump these otherwise inauspicious numbers up.

I’m hanging tough. 94.5% with one exam left. Time to lock-it-up!

Edit: The class has ~100 people.

…reminds me of the crazy grading scale I had during Orgo I.

A score of 50-60% was a “B”… imagine my excitement when i managed to pull a 54 on that exam…

My bio I was done at CC and had a standard 90-100 = A.

My bio II class was done at the 4 year I’m enrolled with now and 93-96 was A with 87-92 an A- if I recall properly. It went down every ten points from there. I still only managed a B-. Apparently I landed with the toughest most detail oriented prof in the school who didn’t seem to care for general concepts in the slightest lol.

I was in the top 5 of her class so I console myself that way.

I’ve seen a lot of grading scales but never that harsh! In upper division Physics some classes had an average test score of 35%,thank God for the curve.

Funny you should say that… we had a bio teacher at UC who did the same thing (96 or up is an “A”, etc). She recently left the school, I wonder where she’s teaching now

When the grading is that strict, you can’t relax until after the final (but getting an A IS doable). On the bright side, we were given many opportunities to earn extra credit. Hopefully you will also.

So far my only experience with different grading scales was when I was in nursing school (A=94+. B=86-93, and C=80=85. and everything below was failing). Right now it is each grade is about 10 pts, which can stink when you are at an 89 and you get a B and someone at an 80 also gets a B.

I’m looking back over the OP and really 90% as an A- really seems reasonable to me. The only difference in that scale is the lack of the A+ factor. Generally at scales starting at 90 it’s

90-93 A-

94-96 A

97-100 A+

I’ve never seen a grading scale lacking the A+ factor.

  • LC2Doc Said:
I'm looking back over the OP and really 90% as an A- really seems reasonable to me. The only difference in that scale is the lack of the A+ factor. Generally at scales starting at 90 it's

90-93 A-

94-96 A

97-100 A+

I've never seen a grading scale lacking the A+ factor.

90% as an A- seems reasonable, but 95% doesn't.

AMCAS counts all "+" or "-" grades, even if your school does not. At some schools, a "+" or a "-" counts as n.3 or n.7, at others they count as n.5.

This is how AMCAS treats plus & minus grades, but I'm not sure I understand what they mean.

Oh, then I’m just a shade of confused lol. I’d be going back asking what constitutes an A+ then.

Isn’t the lack of standardization great? Thankfully, my college required everyone to adhere to the same grading scale, but of course profs could modify grades in many other ways. Charmingly, my very traditional college did not use any + or - grades, only letter grades, such that a 89.4 is the “same grade” as a 79.6. They have since changed that method, but it sure hurt my GPA when I had a number of B+ grades in BCPM. sigh Well, I guess the post-bacc is my chance to augment my ancient undergrad grades. However, my current university does not stick to one grading scale and it seems there are oddities such as the ones you guys have mentioned. Not looking forward to that so much…

Ive actually had proffessors that drop the lowest grade. So, if you got an 86, a 61, and an 89 then the 61 will be dropped.

Anyone else have anything like that?

I feel like my department offers various “perks” (extra credit, dropping grade, incredible curves, VERY detailed study guides, several practice tests) because the content is so hard. If there was a normal grading scale, there’d be a horribly low pass rate. And there are people that STILL dont pass…

There are MANY that don’t pass our biology classes. But then again my school takes pride in the fact that their bio program is a weeding class. I however, do not like the weeding factor. LOL

I was thinking about this the other day. My school is 94+ A, 90-93 A- etc. but there’s no A+.

Kinda burns me actually

LC2Doc, my original undergrad also took pride in the highly difficult nature of both the bio and chem departments and they definitely had the ‘weeding out factor’ built in to several of their classes, especially A&P, biochem, and organic chem. I guess we all just have to accept the ways of academia… :’-(

I don’t know whether our Bio class is “hard” in the grand scheme of things. The material does not strike me as especially arcane or difficult. (Though cellular respiration was, OMG, confunsing.) Yet, the class average has not been higher than a C- on any of the exams. I think that there aren’t a lot of pre-meds in the summer session Bio.

We also get to drop an exam. I.e. take 4, count 3. I’ve gotten a 90, 96, and 98 on the first three. And I STILL don’t have an A! I’m mulling over whether I should even bother taking the last exam. We cover 8 chapters on viral genetics and evolution in four days. Thus, the volume of material for the last test will be ridonculous and I can’t miss more than three questions to get an A.

This grading scale is killin’ me. It’s like pre-med classes are, like, hard or something… ; )

Actually, I am one that is not against the weeding out process as long as it is fair.

I’m not against it…unless of course it’s ME that’s struggeling lol.