What do I need?

Over the course of the semester, you try to plan out your grades and determine the ever-popular “what I need” to get the grade you want in each class. It starts off as a great planning technique that allows you to determine what your strengths and weaknesses are in certain classes and how you deal with each one. You check out the syllabus, figure out what’s reasonable, which classes will let you ride the curve and which ones you’ll need to put some elbow grease into, and you feel like you’re in control and you’ve got it all figured out.

But let’s be real for a minute here: by the end of the semester, it’s all damage control.

What is the minimum grade I can get on the next test and still get an A? How much work do I have to put in to see the results I want? What’s the curve? What do I need?

What do I need?

My Linear Algebra professor’s syllabus told us at the beginning of the semester that, out of 550 possible points we could earn this semester, earning 505 points (or 90% of them) by the end of the semester would guarantee us a grade in the A range. The class didn’t perform very well as a whole on the second and third exams (myself very much included in that), so he told us the other week that we could probably end the semester with more like 485 points (or even as low as 450) and still earn an A- or an A.

The way I’ve been guesstimating my grade for Linear is by subtracting each lost point on a homework assignment or exam from the ultimate goal of 550. So, where I am in the semester right now is this: if I score perfectly on everything from here on out, I’ll end up with 493 lovely little points.

Not as great as I’d like in terms of the original range, but with the new (to-be-determined) curve, I could be doing good. After class on Wednesday, I debated approaching Dr. Fan and asking him if he had gotten a better idea of where the curve would be, but as I stood there watching a swarm of students harass him with questions, I realized that it didn’t matter anymore.

I’m going to get what I get, and knowing what to expect won’t really change how hard I work to prepare for this last exam. No matter the grade I get at the end of the semester, I want to do as well as I possibly can on this final exam, and I’m going to work my rear off to do it. Whether I can expect an A or a B or somewhere in between, it’s go time.

What do I need?

What do I need on this exam to be satisfied? 112, but that’s not really an option, so that’s where the damage control comes in. I’m directing a great amount of my resources towards Linear material this week.

On the other hand, the “what I need” on the Calc final to get an A in the course is 67%, so I’m not really too concerned on that front. I got this.

Love you all,



About Maggie

UB Student. Liverpudlian. Book reader. Food lover. Christian. Writer. Office supply fanatic. Big sister. Math geek. Coffee addict. Listener.
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