areusure? |
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Nope not a math professor but a Biomechanics/Exer Phys and Applied statistics professor. But yes I know the rules for rounding...However, it's easy to always argue why whatever grade should be rounded up....why not 86 = 90? If grades are based on the "every 10 points or % is a new grade" then why not round by the 10s instead of the ones which means an 85% is rounded to an A = 90%? But let's look at the whole point of rounding...precision. What if I give 2 exams (mid-term & final) which determine your whole grade and 90% is an A. Each test has 200 questions and you scored 179 on each exam. You earned a precise 89.500000 so no need to round since I can get your exact grade and you earned a B right? |

iamnotconvinced |
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This is simple: If the syllabus says that 90 is an A, then your 89.5 is an A because it becomes a 90. If your syllabus says that 90.0 is an A, then you have an 89.5 which is not an A. It's all about sig figs. Either way, work a little harder next time so you won't have to worry about this. |

Psyched Out |
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This brings back memories of an undergrad Psych class I had to take when I was in college 20 or so years ago. The professor gave 4 tests and your grade was based on your overall points (with the max being 400 points) on those tests with nothing else figuring into the mix. An "A" was given if you accumulated 360 or more points (i.e. 90% or better). As you'd expect, a "B" was awarded starting at the 320 point level. You'd figure that he'd just split the difference and award a "B+" starting at the 340 point level. However, that's not what this jackass did...he said that a "B+" was awarded for people that were just below "A" status and as such, his "B+" level was defined as 355-359 points! Of course, I scored 352 points and didn't miss an "A" by very much; but because of his screwy grading scheme, I didn't even get the "B+" consolation prize. He had it in his syllabus, but I still complained to him and the administration. It didn't work for me, but I think he eventually changed his ridiculous grading scheme. The only small satisfaction I got was shredding him in his evaluation - not that it means much with tenured professors, but hey, it still felt good. |

Wise Guy |
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Just another data point: at the schools I have attended 89.5 = A. I had a teacher that gave me a B with an 89.5 once; I went in to her office and was like "WTF?!" She gave me an A. |

Another college prof |
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Flagpoles twin sister - Your "solution" isn't helpful because we are dealing with a real-world situation, not answering a math question. Consider what happens when a hypothetical profs writes on the syllabus "90 or higher = A-" Many students (such as the OP!) won't know if this means grades will be rounded up. After all, there are many situations where rounding up is not appropriate. For example, one (normally) can't buy a $100.00 appliance with $99.50; the store will demand the full $100. Some profs do require that receiving an A- requires earning the full 90 points. So let's have our hypothetical prof write "90 or higher = A-; rounding up will be done." Many smart students (like you!) will know this means that 89.5 will be rounded up but 89.4 will not be. But some students will not know this and there will be a flood of emails to the prof asking if 89.2 is close enough. So let's have our hypothetical prof write ""90 or higher = A-; rounding up will be done in cases of an 89.5 or better" This will clarify things but still will seem arbitrary to a student who has an 89.4; after all, if 89.5 is automatically rounded up, then earning an A- in fact only requires an 89.5, so 89.4 is exceedingly close. Why shouldn't it be rounded up? So rounding is not the issue. It's about drawing an arbitrary line in the sand, making it clear that although it's arbitrary, it's the same line for every student. Math geek = someone who can apply one rule inflexibly, can't think outside of his own experience, and has inflated sense of math's usefulness and their own meager talent. |

Wise Guy |
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You forgot something - understands the concept of significant digits. |

whining about my grade |
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I feel like this is the correct answer. If it doesn't say anything abour rounding in the syllabus, and it doesn't specify grades to the first decimal place, it should be expected that percentages will be rounded to the nearest whole number. If 90% is an A, 89.5 is an A; 89.4 is a B, because it rounds to 89. Seems pretty cut and dry to me. Another bit of info you guys might enjoy, I had an 88.6% in another class, went in and talked to the TA who basically runs everything, and he found a legitimate error in the grade entries that brought my average up to 89.7%. We hadn't even looked at the final yet and he said I'd get an A regardless because he rounds. I wouldn't even have bothered to go in with an 88%, but I knew the likelihood of a mistake somewhere was high due to the large number of assignments and ambiguity of many test questions. |

pointer out of the obvious |
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Unless it's math or something where you can convince them of the value of something they missed you're probably out of luck. Sometimes, they will give it to you if just try. Just go with a plan and a solid point (or argument). |

areusure? |
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What if the decimal is simply truncated? 89.9 is 89 which is not 90 so you get a B? |

another average american |
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Agreed with the just study harder and earn the 90, but, ummm...double rounds? You can only do "double rounds" if you take each digit individually, and that's, uh, not how you round. Since you're a teacher, areusure, here's how rounding works: You have to round to something, to the nearest hundredth, to the nearest tenth, to the nearest whole number, to the nearest ten, etc. 89.5 rounded to the nearest 10th is, well, 89.5. To the nearest whole number is 90. To the nearest ten is 90. To the nearest hundred is 100. If 90.0 is the cutoff, the OP's 89.5 is a B+. If 90 is the cutoff, a whole number, you round to the nearest whole number, which would be a 90, which would be an A-. 89.4999999999 rounded to the nearest whole number is 89. If you want to get to a whole number, this is how you do it. According to your logic, 89.445 would "round to 90" for the nearest whole number because 89.445 would round to 89.45, which would round to 89.5, which would round to 90. But clearly 89.445 does not round to 90. There is no "double rounding." But your most recent point of dropping the last digit is a valid one. You have to do this for GPAs -- if you have a 3.39 you can either say you have a 3.39 or a 3.3, but you can't round up. The college might have a policy on this, but I doubt it; it's usually up to the prof. This is usually where the subjective part comes in if there's no policy. If you've been working hard all semester, going to office hours, improving each exam, etc., the prof might give you the higher grade. That won't work to get an 89 up to a 90, but just might for an 89.5. As a prof, I would consider an 89.5 to be a 90, and I think most do. |

luv2run |
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Count your blessings that she did not file a harassment claim against you. |

areusure? |
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I know there is no double rounding yet I've had college kids say what is the difference between single and double rounding...They will say 89.49 rounds to 89.5 but my 89.5 then rounds to 90 since someone who actually scored 89.5 gets rounded to 90!...remember kids are trying their best to get a grade they don't earn. Why do you expect rounding to occur at the .10s place why not .100s so only an 89.95 rounds up. Or since most people don't comprehend beyond the 100s place go to .1000s! So I will round up an 89.995 to 90 but 89.994 rounds to 89.990 = B. Here is a crazy idea: JUST TRY HARDER NEXT TIME KIDS! When I was an undergrad (school finished 9th in 94 at XC nats) there was like 1 099 math class. Now I have many students with 20 or more credits on 099 or 090 classes from many areas??? |