Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Students Behaving Badly - One Way to Always Fail a Test

I got the following e-mail from a student after his class had a test.
I am having difficulty understanding what we have been going over. I am not for sure what would be best thing to do about it. Thought about dropping the class. It would be best for me to take class over next semester, but still take it this semester. Didn't take test today because I didn't know what the result of a bad exam score would do to my over all grade. Let me know what you advise. Thanks.
 My response was the following.  I didn't really say precisely what I meant in the first sentence of the second paragraph, but I hope I got the point across.
[name omitted],

                Since you didn’t take the test, your score will be zero.  You can use your final exam score to replace the missing grade, but that will only work for one test.

                As far as dropping the class because you are not following the material, remember that you will have the same trouble next semester.  You need to get help in the tutoring lab or in my office hours to catch up in the class.
 So, college students should remember the following.

  1. Not taking a test will always result in a bad grade (0 to be precise).
  2. Dropping a course will not get you ahead the next time you take the course.  In fact, you will forget more of the prerequisite material, and you may need to retake the prerequisite course.  That will put you behind two semesters.
  3. Getting help from the professor or tutors is better than sitting at home and trying to figure it out yourself.