09 December 2007

New site, same old idiot.

As you can probably tell, the site has had an update. Yes, I used a default Blogger theme. The most important change however, is that I got myself a domain name.

http://www.piotrrcola.com/

Yea! How awesome is that? I have a presence on the web now!

Most of you that know I exist know I'm applying to medical school and whatnot, but if you've noticed, I usually refrain from talking about the MCAT or admissions. Whatever, I'm going to medical school.

Well, let the ranting begin. For todays discussion, please refer to the front page article of the latest Vector newsletter.

+/- GPA grading systems. I've read a lot about this system, and I am in complete favor of it. Yes it would make grading harder and perhaps add more stress, but overall, this doesn't mean GPAs will go down. It means that students won't be screwed when they get a high B or a high C.

In fact, ideally, incremental increases in grade should amount to incremental increases in GPA. In fact, everyone I know that's against this policy likes the fact that they can get away with A's by getting mediocre A's (<92).>
These people are complete freeloaders/assholes. Yes, there are some valid arguments to this. Time for an analysis.

Quotes right out of Vector itself:

The faculty has decided what is best for them and not necessarily the students.

Actually, the new system imposes more work on faculty, so it's not really "better" for them, but a student that gets a 88/89 or a 78/79 is much better evaluated.

I was unaware of this proposal until now.

Um, whose fault is that? Idiot.


+/- are for high school.

No. Actually quite a few colleges use it. Also, what's wrong with implementing a high school grading policy? A grading policy is a grading policy. Thanks for wasting my time with a moot point.


I don't think the faculty council really cares about student opinion.

Everytime something bad happens, the "lack of care" argument is always present somewhere. It doesn't work. Just drop it.


If there is no A+, there should be no A-, plain and simple... this idea that an A+ would show up on your transcript is insulting!

What's so insulting about an A+? I'd love an A+ on a transcript. I think you mean to say "no A+'s would show up is insulting". This is somewhat of a valid point - I want to see some A+'s on transcripts.


Why is UT trying to bring down its best students?...Engineering is already hard enough to get a 4.0 without the +/- grading system.

Yes, so. This will help you. Stop complaining.


What assurances do I have that employers and graduate admissions offices will weight +/- GPAs appropriatly?

Good point. My idea is to phase it in slowly, making sure that the system is equally represented in all the majors. In time, graduate admissions offices will know about UT's policy. Heard of Caltech? Many Caltech classes place everyone on a bell curve and run with that. A 3.0 from Caltech means genius.


It reduces error. I don't see why it's such a big deal.

YES. Thank you. Error is reduced. Enjoy your life.


The current grading system measures grades rounded to the nearest 10 points. The A +/- system would round grades to the nearest 3 points. This implies that students can be [sic] evaluated to a degree of accuracy which is unrealistic in a large college course.

This is the best argument against the new system I have read. You're absolutly right, 3 points doesn't define anything, but does 1 point? (89,90) The whole system can be brought down if professors sat down and agreed about this.

Perhaps the biggest problem I have is that this and other valid points are not being discussed and instead, people are complaining that their GPAs will go down, that they won't be able to pull that 4.0 using a 90.5.

I was once in a class called Fundamentals of Biochemistry, CH369. My final grade in the class was 98.6. Yes, you read that right, 1.4 points away from perfection. There was another ass-we-shall-not-name, who ended up with a grade 10 points lower. WAIT! Isn't that a B? This guy was curved up to an A. Now I'm not saying I have a divine understanding of biochem, but, it's certainly better than a B.

To be fair, there was another class, called Physical Chemistry, where I got a 90.5, securing a 4.0. I liked it, but I know it's not fair.

1 comment:

Nivek said...

heeeeeeeyyyyy. awsome. can u post sum pics?. lol!!