Chemistry Department University of Minnesota

CHEMISTRY 3502/4502



Spring Semester 2006

The average on the final exam was 90 out of 150 (60%). The average for total points in the entire course was 318 (63.6%). Since the absolute grading scale dictated in the course syllabus placed the B/C breakpoint at 70% and the C/D breakpoint at 55%, a 63.6% average is found in the middle of the C range of grades.

I considered such a placement to be unnecessarily harsh, as I felt that most members of the class worked quite hard to master the course material. Thus, I adjusted all of the grade breakpoints downwards (which is my prerogative as the instructor). An A grade was awarded for 374 points or above (26 people), a B grade for 300 points or above (39 people), a C grade for 230 points or above (27 people), a D grade for 200 points or above (7 people), and an F otherwise (7 people).

Having moved the breakpoints in this manner, my inclination was to award many "minuses" and hardly any "pluses". Rather than engage in such an unbalanced exercise, I elected to use neither, and only assigned A, B, C, D, or F grades.

I hope that many of you will be pleased by the results of this adjustment in the grading scheme. If you have questions, feel free to contact me. Best wishes for success in your future endeavors.