Grading

In accordance with Psychology Department policy, final letter grades will be assigned by applying a curve to the final distribution of exam points. This curve is a demanding one, established by unanimous vote of the Psychology Department Faculty, which is designed to reward only exceptional performance with a grade of "A" or "AB". This curve is such that approximately 10% of students may earn A's, 5% AB's, 20% B's, 10% BC's, and 35% C's; approximately 15% of students will probably receive a grade of D, and 5% a grade of F. This distribution results in an average grade of "C" for the course, and is designed to ensure uniformity in grading across the various sections of 202. This curve will be applied before the extra credit points (described below) are added in.

Approximate grade curves will be posted after each exam. Please be aware that your approximate letter grades will tend to be slightly "inflated" because of the tendency over time for people who are performing poorly in the course to drop out (thus the curve changes over time). Also, many people improve their scores over time. So, if you are scoring toward the lower end of the range for any given grade (e.g., A or C) on the first few exams, you should understand that it is a real possibility that you may receive the next lowest grade (e.g., AB or D) at the end of the course. If you are doing well, on the other hand, do not make the mistake of concluding you have a "lock" on a given grade and that therefore you can "afford" to miss or otherwise shrug-off one of the four exams. A number of students have been sorely disappointed when they discovered that this strategy (even with extra credit) left them with a lower grade than they had been expecting.

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