The ECE 313 Grading Scheme

Grade Distribution Formula: Scores on homework and examinations will be weighted as shown below in determining your grade.

  • 15% Homework

  • 20% Each Hour Examination

  • 45% Final Examination

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.

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.

Letter Grades: 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
  • objective criteria (85% = A, 70% = B, 55% = C, etc.),

  • statistical criteria (above-average scores = B or better, etc.).

As a rough guideline, we intend to award
  • 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)

+ 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.

Trivia regarding grading practices

  • The reason for saying rough guideline is that we reserve the right to make minor adjustments (upwards or 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 exam.

  • 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.

Request to regrade a problem set

  • If you think you should have received more points on a particular problem set you may submit a regrade request. To do so, attach a separate piece of paper to the front of the homework you'd like regraded, with the heading REGRADE along with your name, ID, SECTION (9,10,11, or 1), and what problems you think should be regraded and why, and insert it in the course drop box within one week after the homework was passed back. Typically graded homeworks are returned to you in class on Wednesdays, so if you get it into the lock box by 4pm the same day, it would be returned to you in a week. Or you could put it in the box for pickup the Wednesday a week later. You might keep in mind that problem sets account for only 15% of the course score, whereas each of the two exams during the semester account for 20% each. Thus, one part of one problem on an exam counts about as much as an entire problem set.