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anxietybanana

Subjective marking in undergrad killed me.

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Just finished my final undergrad term. Applying next cycle. Prof of one of my classses this term marked very arbitrarily, not only did she tell me that the comments she gave on a presentation do not reflect the mark that she assigned, she also lowered my mark after initially having given me a higher mark today (classes ended 2 weeks ago). What happened was that the presentations were done in groups, so everyone in the group gets the same mark. However, she raised my mark for our first presentation after I emailed her about it. I didn't realise she didn't do it for anyone else in my group. So when my group found out, I knew they were going to email the prof about this, or at least I thought they would. So I thought I would take charge first and email her first. In hindsight, I shouldn't have. But I did. Her response? 'Thanks for bringing up this discrepancy, it is absolutely crucial that everyone in the group gets the same mark, I have now readjusted your mark to reflect the mark of the group'. This resulted in a 1-2% drop of my total grade for that course. And brought my cgpa down. Thing is I don't know why she raised my mark in the first place, so I don't have any backing to say she can't do this.

I guess my question is, is there a way I can tell the admission committee what happened, and why I have this shit grade in my final term that does not look normal compared to my grades for my other courses? I just feel that this is unfair but I don't know how to proceed. Or, is there a way I can talk to the prof about this or go the administrative route to appeal? I just don't know what my grounds would be for an appeal. Anything helps.

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3 minutes ago, anxietybanana said:

Just finished my final undergrad term. Applying next cycle. Prof of one of my classses this term marked very arbitrarily, not only did she tell me that the comments she gave on a presentation do not reflect the mark that she assigned, she also lowered my mark after initially having given me a higher mark today (classes ended 2 weeks ago). What happened was that the presentations were done in groups, so everyone in the group gets the same mark. However, she raised my mark for our first presentation after I emailed her about it. I didn't realise she didn't do it for anyone else in my group. So when my group found out, I knew they were going to email the prof about this, or at least I thought they would. So I thought I would take charge first and email her first. In hindsight, I shouldn't have. But I did. Her response? 'Thanks for bringing up this discrepancy, it is absolutely crucial that everyone in the group gets the same mark, I have now readjusted your mark to reflect the mark of the group'. This resulted in a 1-2% drop of my total grade for that course. And brought my cgpa down. Thing is I don't know why she raised my mark in the first place, so I don't have any backing to say she can't do this.

I guess my question is, is there a way I can tell the admission committee what happened, and why I have this shit grade in my final term that does not look normal compared to my grades for my other courses? I just feel that this is unfair but I don't know how to proceed. Or, is there a way I can talk to the prof about this or go the administrative route to appeal? I just don't know what my grounds would be for an appeal. Anything helps.

How is a 1-2% drop a “shit grade” and how does it substantially affect anything?

Pro tip: next time, if a prof does you a favour, don’t go bragging about it to everyone else. I would not bring this up either to law school ad coms or Admin st your school.

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Posted (edited)

Wouldn't a 1-2% drop mean that it was a shit grade to begin with? If you're talking the difference between an A+ and an A, save yourself.

Edited by SlickRick
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19 minutes ago, anxietybanana said:

Just finished my final undergrad term. Applying next cycle. Prof of one of my classses this term marked very arbitrarily, not only did she tell me that the comments she gave on a presentation do not reflect the mark that she assigned, she also lowered my mark after initially having given me a higher mark today (classes ended 2 weeks ago). What happened was that the presentations were done in groups, so everyone in the group gets the same mark. However, she raised my mark for our first presentation after I emailed her about it. I didn't realise she didn't do it for anyone else in my group. So when my group found out, I knew they were going to email the prof about this, or at least I thought they would. So I thought I would take charge first and email her first. In hindsight, I shouldn't have. But I did. Her response? 'Thanks for bringing up this discrepancy, it is absolutely crucial that everyone in the group gets the same mark, I have now readjusted your mark to reflect the mark of the group'. This resulted in a 1-2% drop of my total grade for that course. And brought my cgpa down. Thing is I don't know why she raised my mark in the first place, so I don't have any backing to say she can't do this.

I guess my question is, is there a way I can tell the admission committee what happened, and why I have this shit grade in my final term that does not look normal compared to my grades for my other courses? I just feel that this is unfair but I don't know how to proceed. Or, is there a way I can talk to the prof about this or go the administrative route to appeal? I just don't know what my grounds would be for an appeal. Anything helps.

This is an unfortunate situation and I want to assume you're stressed about the minor drop because it changes your cGPA from a 4.0 to like, a point lower. But this is seriously not worth stressing over as a tiny drop in cGPA can be minor if you've got other good things going for you on your app. Next time, don't snitch on yourself. 

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25 minutes ago, anxietybanana said:

 

I guess my question is, is there a way I can tell the admission committee what happened, and why I have this shit grade in my final term that does not look normal compared to my grades for my other courses? I just feel that this is unfair but I don't know how to proceed. Or, is there a way I can talk to the prof about this or go the administrative route to appeal? I just don't know what my grounds would be for an appeal. Anything helps.

Absolutely not.  You will sound like a whiner with sour grapes and you won't win anyone over using words like "arbitrary".  Maybe you are or maybe you aren't, but that's what you will sound like.

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The average undergraduate takes 40 courses to graduate. You lost 1% on 1 of those courses. 1 course represents 2.5% of your overall GPA and you lost 1% of that. This is an overall change of 0.025% on your GPA.

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6 minutes ago, providence said:

How is a 1-2% drop a “shit grade” and how does it substantially affect anything?

Pro tip: next time, if a prof does you a favour, don’t go bragging about it to everyone else. I would not bring this up either to law school ad coms or Admin st your school.

Yeah, I'm sympathetic to people suffering from group work, unfair downgrades, etc. But like you, I don't understand how a 1-2% drop in a single course matters so much nor why it would be worth complaining/whining about.

It would I think either have to be drastically worse unfair change in marks, or based on much worse criteria (e.g. "in grading I have to make sure white males get the highest marks" or conversely "in grading I have to make sure that white males get lower marks than women or visible minorities" even if only 1-2%, would in my view be worth complaining about!).

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12 minutes ago, lawstudent20202020 said:

The average undergraduate takes 40 courses to graduate. You lost 1% on 1 of those courses. 1 course represents 2.5% of your overall GPA and you lost 1% of that. This is an overall change of 0.025% on your GPA.

 

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49 minutes ago, providence said:

How is a 1-2% drop a “shit grade” and how does it substantially affect anything?

Pro tip: next time, if a prof does you a favour, don’t go bragging about it to everyone else. I would not bring this up either to law school ad coms or Admin st your school.

I didn't go brag about it. We were deciding if we should go to the prof and appeal on our second grade that we got. So I brought up the fact that when we went to her the first time, she raised it for us. I didn't know theirs didn't get raised.

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Even if you're a borderline candidate, the minor drop won't affect the fact that you're still borderline.

Complaining about a professor in your personal statement will affect you much more, as @ProfReader alluded to.

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Technically, you didn't even appeal the first time around. The professor was kind enough to give you a higher grade without you going through the formal appeal process.

Although I do see that a 1-2% difference can make or break a 79 from an 80, it's very marginal when in the context of your cGPA at this point. 

1) No, don't tell the admissions committee, that's very annoying 

2) If you decide to appeal, remember that your mark can be brought down even lower from what you were originally graded

 

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7 hours ago, anxietybanana said:

Just finished my final undergrad term. Applying next cycle. Prof of one of my classses this term marked very arbitrarily, not only did she tell me that the comments she gave on a presentation do not reflect the mark that she assigned, she also lowered my mark after initially having given me a higher mark today (classes ended 2 weeks ago). What happened was that the presentations were done in groups, so everyone in the group gets the same mark. However, she raised my mark for our first presentation after I emailed her about it. I didn't realise she didn't do it for anyone else in my group. So when my group found out, I knew they were going to email the prof about this, or at least I thought they would. So I thought I would take charge first and email her first. In hindsight, I shouldn't have. But I did. Her response? 'Thanks for bringing up this discrepancy, it is absolutely crucial that everyone in the group gets the same mark, I have now readjusted your mark to reflect the mark of the group'. This resulted in a 1-2% drop of my total grade for that course. And brought my cgpa down. Thing is I don't know why she raised my mark in the first place, so I don't have any backing to say she can't do this.

I guess my question is, is there a way I can tell the admission committee what happened, and why I have this shit grade in my final term that does not look normal compared to my grades for my other courses? I just feel that this is unfair but I don't know how to proceed. Or, is there a way I can talk to the prof about this or go the administrative route to appeal? I just don't know what my grounds would be for an appeal. Anything helps.

Prof did you a favour, you blabbed, they had to change it to cover their ass. 

Can you elaborate on what your grade was before and after the change? And your GPA? I'm legitimately curious why you're this upset. Even if it dropped you from a 70 to a 68 or something (which I would be annoyed about too), the effect on your cGPA is negligible.

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