Grading policy, data, and statistics
TAM 202, Spring 2001

Statistics for prelims 1,2, the final exam and the course grand numerical sum. This is a Matlam M-file that you can run and modify.

All recorded data as an Excel file. This is all the grade information for each student including all lab exam and homework grades as well as rescaled grades on the homework and prelims, the grand numerical sum (GNS), and the final letter grade. No names are included. The file is sorted by the scores on the two prelims, students can find their own data by looking up their prelim scores. At the bottom of the file is a description of the grading calculation which is also presented below. You may find the file easier to read if you delete the rows corresponding to students who are not you.


The letter grade is based on the grand numerical sum GNS with these cutoffs.
The number is the minimumum course total to get the grade

 93 90 87   84 81 78    76 71 59    52 
 A+ A  A-   B+ B  B-    C+ C  C-    D 
 51 and below gets F, No D- and no D+ grades.

Some few students were pushed up above these cutoffs for various reasons, like good performance in section or unusually good final exam scores. Those pushes show as TA bonus points.

THE GNS is calculated like this
         .5  * (best 2 of rescaled HW and 2 prelims, each out of 100)
       +1    * lab (out of 15)
       + .35 * final exam (out of 100)
       +       1 pt for completing a course evaluation
       =       GNS  (nominal best possible is 101)
The prelims and HW are rescaled in a piecewise linear way that
     rescales   0 to   0
              100 to 100    (10 to 100 in the case of homework)
              med to  75    where med is the median of all students

Thus, if the median is above 75 everyone's grade is moved down a little bit with people close to the median having the most movement. If the median is below 75 the rescaling moves everyone's grade up a little bit. The median is used instead of the mean because it is more stable to zero's and very low scores of people who are eventually dropping the course.

The formula used for the rescaling is this (HW used as an example, HWM is the median of the class of the net homework grade)

Rescaled homework = 75 * S / HWM                (if S< HWM)
                  = 75 + 25* (S-HWM)/(10-HWM)   (if S>= HWM)
The homework grade is based on the best 13 of the homework grades which includes 13 homeworks, lab 0, and extra credits for the hexagonal truss, ANSYS, and up to 6 tutorials (no student did more than 4 of theses).

For purposes of the calculations of grades these scores were used as the medians

           Prelim 1:  81.5,     Prelim 2:   71,      and Homework: 8.52

These do not correspond exactly to the medians posted in the data because they were fixed before all grades were corrected
(not recorded properly, say, and then corrected).

Write to TAM 202 Staff, or write directly to us (alr3) if you want an answer.
Send ANONYMOUS comments
if you want to tell us something but don't want us to know who you are
(and to which we cannot respond to you).