The ECE 313 Grading Scheme
Grade Distribution Formula:
Scores on homework and examinations will
be weighted as shown below in determining your grade.
To avoid fractions, the Final Exam is worth a maximum of 225 points,
the Hour Exams are worth a maximum of 100 points each, and your
average homework score is normalized to a maximum of 75 points.
Your Grand Total score thus has a maximum of 500 points.
- 15% Homework
- 20% Each Hour Examination
- 45% Final Examination
In computing your average homework score, your lowest
homework score (which could be a 0 for homework turned
in late or not turned in at all) will not be included in the average.
After computing each student's Grand Total score
as the sum of the average homework score,
hour exam scores, and final exam score, we find the mean m and the
standard deviation s of the Grand Total scores.
Letter grades are assigned using cut-offs that
are based roughly
on a mixture of
that m-s is at least 250 and that the ranges stated below make
sense when the scores are all recorded, we intend to award
- objective criteria (85% = A, 70% = B, 55% = C, etc.),
- statistical criteria (above-average scores = B or better, etc.),
+ and - grades are typically awarded at the edges of the above cut-offs.
The percentages of A's and B's awarded in ECE 313 are comparable to those
awarded in 300-level required courses in the ECE Department.
- A's to scores greater than min(m+s,425)
- B's to scores in the range min(m,350) to min(m+s,425),
- C's to scores in the range min(m-s,275) to min(m,350)
- D's to scores in the range max(m-2s,225) to min(m-s,275)
- F's to scores below max(m-2s,225)
Trivia regarding grading practices
- The reason for saying roughly
is that we reserve the right to make minor adjustments
downwards) to each cut-off
to avoid discriminating between students on the basis of very
small differences in scores. If we must determine a given cut-off where
there is no obvious gap in
scores, we will be favorably influenced by strong performance on the final
- Regardless of your exam performance and the settings of the
cut-offs, however, you will receive the same grade as everyone who has
the same Grand Total score as you, and nobody who has a lower
Grand Total score will receive a higher grade than you.
- The above grading scheme applies only if m-s is at least 250
points. We have a great deal of difficulty in giving passing
grades to those who score less than 50% of the total points on
the course. If the number of such students is large, well ...
that's when the soul-searching begins.