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Is this 50 a just grade?

Old 10-17-06, 09:00 PM
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Is this 50 a just grade?

I had a pop quiz in physics yesterday. It was a fairly involved 2 dimensional motion problem with friction forces mixed in. WEll I completed the problem, my answer was off a bit because of a rounding error, but I had the proper process and documented my steps.

I get my quiz back, with a 3/6 for a grade. The teacher tells me that the Diagram I drew was unsufficient, that I did not write out my formulas and THEN plug in values, did not show exactly how I substituted values in for teh equations I guess. Basically everytime I used an equation, I would just write down the equation I would be using, rather than write a generic equation with no #'s out first.
He did make corrections and comments a bit on the first 1/2 page, he told me looked down at the rest of the page and did not see equations written so I got a 3/6. It sounds like he did not look at page 2 (on the back, with an arrow pointing on the front page). There was no writing on the second page. If he had looked at the second page, he would have seen the entire second half of the problem, and my final answer. Without equations written out yes.

I just don't feel that not showing your equations in this instance should constitute a loss of 50 points. I did write equations out, just not the generic form with variables instead of #'s. I don't even think he looked at page 2.

Do you think this is a fair grade? Also, should I attempt to speak to him about this tomorrow?
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Old 10-17-06, 09:01 PM
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It's a pop quiz, not a cummulative final. Get over it.
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- it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.
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Old 10-17-06, 09:03 PM
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Here's a life lesson for you. When you're doing something for someone else, doing it the way they want you to is more important than doing it "right" or "best."
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Old 10-17-06, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SaabFan
Here's a life lesson for you. When you're doing something for someone else, doing it the way they want you to is more important than doing it "right" or "best."
Ayup. Also, burn down his house.
 
Old 10-17-06, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by explody pup
Ayup. Also, burn down his house.
Am I the only with "talking heads" talking in my head right now?
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Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
- it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.
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Old 10-17-06, 09:08 PM
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One of the secrets in life is giving people what they expect...

I got A grades in some of my classes instead of the Cs I really deserved just because I went to the prof's office-hours and BS'ed with them. Found things to complement them on (be sincere) and made them feel good. Sure beats the heck out of spending hours and hours in the library...
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Old 10-17-06, 09:50 PM
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Explain it to him, if he doesn't change his mind, jump up on his desk, drop trow and squeeze out a Cleveland steamer on his desk. That will teach him to give you a 50!
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Old 10-17-06, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
One of the secrets in life is giving people what they expect...

I got A grades in some of my classes instead of the Cs I really deserved just because I went to the prof's office-hours and BS'ed with them. Found things to complement them on (be sincere) and made them feel good. Sure beats the heck out of spending hours and hours in the library...
AW, JEEZ!!! I've wasted all those decades trying to do a good job, when
all they really wanted was a b*** job.
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Old 10-18-06, 12:09 AM
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Yeah, but are you good at it?
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Old 10-18-06, 01:25 AM
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How about saying to your instructor: "Thank you for the advice. I will make sure I write out the formula before plugging in values in future. The grade of 3/6 I found disappointing because I normally do better. Is this going to effect my final grade? If it is, is there anything I can do to make it up or put extra work in?"

As in, talk to your instructor, thank them for the valuable advice, recognise you will do that in future, explain your disappointed in the grade (which is your fault not the instructors) and ask how it will affect things/what can be done about it.

Better talking to them than us bunch of monkeys.
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Old 10-18-06, 02:18 AM
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Yes, I think that's fair. Given that your numerical answer was not completely correct, then it comes down to showing how you arrived at it. If you've only written equations with numbers in (ie no generic equations with symbols) then it would be exceedingly difficult to extract your method from this - more effort than most lecturers will be prepared to put into it.

It is your job to ensure they have no choice but to give you marks, not theirs to find excuses to give you marks.
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Old 10-18-06, 04:05 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by j-dowsett
Yes, I think that's fair. Given that your numerical answer was not completely correct, then it comes down to showing how you arrived at it. If you've only written equations with numbers in (ie no generic equations with symbols) then it would be exceedingly difficult to extract your method from this - more effort than most lecturers will be prepared to put into it.

It is your job to ensure they have no choice but to give you marks, not theirs to find excuses to give you marks.
Agreed. I've graded many, many engineering exams and homeworks, and it is not my duty to pull out my calculator and work through all your mistakes. The reason professors and TA's expect you to do it a certain way is not because we want to make you jump through hoops, but because it makes it easier for them to determine what you don't understand (well, good profs, anyway).

On top of that, it is important to work with the symbolic equations because they are the fundamental building blocks of the problem. For fun, I have given quizzes where I give the same problem twice, only with two different sets of numbers. If you do it properly, then, you only have to work the problem once.

To answer the OP's original question: don't bother contesting the grade. Doing it right the next time will impress the prof more than whining over three points. (Unless you're trying to get into med school. Then whining is expected
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Old 10-18-06, 05:16 AM
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You suck and should feel good about the 50.








Teasing. Your GPA will not show up on your diploma or any job interview. Just get through it.
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Old 10-18-06, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by phantomcow2
Do you think this is a fair grade? Also, should I attempt to speak to him about this tomorrow?
Brother? Is that you?


Wow you are exactly like my brother. Even if he got 99% on a final, he'd still go marching to his profs office looking for that extra 1%

As was said before, its just a pop quiz, get over it.
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Old 10-18-06, 07:23 AM
  #15  
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they dont care what the answer is as long as you do the problem exactly there way. When I was in school learning long division (I know its simpler but its just an example) I failed test after test because I would come to an answer in my head and write it down and even though the answer was correct I would fail it for not doing the problem on the paper
You have to conform to the machine man....
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Old 10-18-06, 07:28 AM
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First, how are they supposed to know if you're actually learning the material rather than either copying off of someone or punching numbers into a calculator you programmed. Second, if you have XX number of pop quizzes to grade plus whatever else crap there is from the other classes, you're going to want to make it easy on yourself. If the test/quiz/homework doesn't provide what you ask, bam - 50%, next. Easy. Third, have you burnt down his ****ing house yet?
 
Old 10-18-06, 08:22 AM
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Well now you know, when you get the test, do it the way he wants.
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Old 10-18-06, 09:42 AM
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There is nothing wrong with talking to your teacher about a grade on a test, quiz, homework or whatever if you don't agree with it. This teacher has to grade what 20,30,40,50+ assignments? Graders can, and do make mistakes. Just be respectful about it and don't demand more points. Whether you get the points or not, thank him for taking the time to look at it again. If it doesn't get you the points this time, it at least shows him that you care and gets him to know your name better and the next time there would be a question with your answer, he might be more inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt. Again, just be respectful.
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Old 10-18-06, 01:19 PM
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Well I know now more clearly what he wants, a pop quiz is the same value as 1 or 1.5 homeworks only.

TO clarify though, I did write out the steps I was taking. BUt instead of writing out the formula in a generic form with variables, I wrote out the formula with #'s.

He said I should be practicly imitating him. I also got screwed when taking square roots. I would forget to write +/-, even though I would pick only the + value (because it is a value for time). Or if you have a force, which is always negative in this instance, and you just have to make it a positive value to determine another force, you need to write "By convention". That is, an explanation for why the sign changed. Little things like that are what screwed me
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Old 10-18-06, 01:29 PM
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Little things like that are important. Your teacher isn't just being picky. Showing what generic formula you used justifies your calculation choice. (That way, you are explicitly starting from something that is previously established. Otherwise, you're just claiming something out of the blue.) Showing positive and negative values of a square root ensures that all possibilities are being considered. (Though if clearly only positive values are acceptable, I would side with you on this one issue.) Substituting numerical values as late as possible allows a general problem to be solved once and for all. (It also minimizes the problem of roundoff error.) Forces opposing each other having opposite signs isn't just by convention. That's insight into one of the fundamental laws of Newtonian physics. That should be readily shown in a force diagram.

Conventions are developed because they work really really well. There are very good reasons things are done this way. It's not just because your teacher likes it this way and wants you to do it his way. Don't sweat the grade on one quiz. I'm confident you'll do better next time. But do try to understand why doing it this way actually has merit and to learn to do it this way yourself.
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Old 10-18-06, 01:35 PM
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Having dated a college prof ...

Your quiz got all of 30 seconds of attention --IF that. Don't worry about it. It's a pop quiz. Now, if your prof has set the precedent that he wants the equations identified before being used, well, ya missed it. Make sure you do it next time.

And to Danno's comment below, being a known face/name in your prof's eyes helps him grade. For example, if you spend time with the prof and he comes to know the style of your work he'll recognize it in those 30 seconds he spends grading your work and you get the benefit of the doubt. Yes it's a bit of politics, but that's as much an invaluable skill as actually knowing the subject.



Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
One of the secrets in life is giving people what they expect...

I got A grades in some of my classes instead of the Cs I really deserved just because I went to the prof's office-hours and BS'ed with them. Found things to complement them on (be sincere) and made them feel good. Sure beats the heck out of spending hours and hours in the library...
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Old 10-18-06, 01:46 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by superdex
Having dated a college prof ...

Your quiz got all of 30 seconds of attention --IF that. Don't worry about it. It's a pop quiz. Now, if your prof has set the precedent that he wants the equations identified before being used, well, ya missed it. Make sure you do it next time.

And to Danno's comment below, being a known face/name in your prof's eyes helps him grade. For example, if you spend time with the prof and he comes to know the style of your work he'll recognize it in those 30 seconds he spends grading your work and you get the benefit of the doubt. Yes it's a bit of politics, but that's as much an invaluable skill as actually knowing the subject.

Actually Danno's suggestion works even in HS! Theres one class in particular that I probably deserve an F in as far as work completed and effort goes. But, not to brag, but I already know most all of the stuff in greater depth than is taught in there, and he knows it.
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Old 10-18-06, 01:48 PM
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I wouldnt care since it's out of 6.
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Old 10-18-06, 01:52 PM
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By the way, to hopefully convey the point, I encourage you to look back at the beast of a physics problem thread where we discussed a problem together. Notice how your equations tend to get numerical a lot faster, whereas mine tend to be written in more general terms. Why do it this way? So that you can solve more interesting problems! We can then ask questions like "If a ball is hit twice as hard, how much further does it travel?" Or "What angle optimizes the distance a ball travels?" And we can do it all without writing out any more equations. Those problems can be solved by solving for different variables or even sometimes just by looking at the form of the equation and asking how two variables relate.
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