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View Full Version : Is it a bad thing I have a B+ in a class...



Dr.Epic
2011-03-25, 05:18 PM
...and that's the lowest grade? This week I got my midterm and apparently everyone got an A- except me (my professor is young and new, but still a cool guy and knows what he's talking about and A- is sort of the default). I talked to him and he told me the problems I have and that they're manageable and I can improve (and I intend to do what he says). I just wondering how I should feel.

grimbold
2011-03-25, 06:24 PM
What did you get percentage-wise compared to the rest of the class?
If you're off by like 4% then its not a big deal and you should feel happy. Anyway a B+ is a good grade, one you can feel proud of, yes you can improve but I would not worry to much. Its not a big deal that you're 1-4% worse than your classmates that can just be attributed to statistical error

tl;dr you're fine, be happy

Dr.Epic
2011-03-25, 06:41 PM
What did you get percentage-wise compared to the rest of the class?
If you're off by like 4% then its not a big deal and you should feel happy. Anyway a B+ is a good grade, one you can feel proud of, yes you can improve but I would not worry to much. Its not a big deal that you're 1-4% worse than your classmates that can just be attributed to statistical error

tl;dr you're fine, be happy

Kind of hard to say percentage wise (the class is sort of odd like that). The thing that bugs me with this is it's something pretty much every professor has told me to improve which I've been trying and it feels like it's this bolder I'm trying to push uphill but can never get to the top (who was that Greek guy?).

Deathslayer7
2011-03-25, 06:48 PM
There is nothing really wrong with a B+, even if everyone else pulled an A-. Why? Because a B+ is still a good grade. But do you really think everyone else got an A-? I find that hard to believe as statistic shows that test grades are usually a bell shaped curve.

Trust me on this. I've had tests where I pulled a Low D/high F and that was a good grade. Not kidding on that part either. :smallsmile:

Although I'm in college now, and it is a bit different but not by much.

Dr.Epic
2011-03-25, 06:49 PM
But do you really think everyone else got an A-? I find that hard to believe as statistic shows that test grades are usually a bell shaped curve.

Everyone said that's what they got in class.

Eleanor_Rigby
2011-03-25, 06:51 PM
Kind of hard to say percentage wise (the class is sort of odd like that). The thing that bugs me with this is it's something pretty much every professor has told me to improve which I've been trying and it feels like it's this bolder I'm trying to push uphill but can never get to the top (who was that Greek guy?).

Sisyphus, I think.

And yeah... the "proper" thing for me to do is to tell you that what your classmates are getting in terms of grade doesn't matter - the best and healthiest thing to do is to focus on your grade and on getting it/ keeping it on the sort of level you'd like it to be.

...But most people have "academic envy" the way you're describing, I find. I know I sure do and I'm meant to be relatively bright. I think that's something that's frustrating - you know you're bright but still there are all these people out there doing better than you. And when there's a specific area you know you need to improve in but despite trying different things for different subjects and teachers, people still point out you're lacking in that area so you're like "I know I suck at that! Tell me how to fix it please!" even if you're aware that it's something you really have to work out for yourself....

It's also tough to finish behind other people and never get a satisfying explanation as to why that is. But I guess it's just something most of us have to live with.

Deathslayer7
2011-03-25, 06:51 PM
and everyone says they didn't put their hand in the cookie jar either. :smallbiggrin:

I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. There really is no reason to worry about a B+ but just try to improve. :smallsmile:

Eleanor_Rigby
2011-03-25, 07:06 PM
But do you really think everyone else got an A-? I find that hard to believe as statistic shows that test grades are usually a bell shaped curve.



Everyone said that's what they got in class.

Gotta say if I were you I'd be kind of suspicious of that. I know I'm paranoid but Deathslayer's right - it is pretty rare to have results like that unless something's a bit hinky in the marking or you're not getting the full truth. Sounds almost like your nice young teacher just got a bit bored and started marking most of them with an average grade (A-) and yours got marked when they were trying to be more professional and honest about it. :smalltongue:
But as far as the distorted truth thing goes, unless you've seen the list of grades for your whole class I wouldn't buy into the "everyone got an A- but me" thing too wholeheartedly. When we got the results back for our end of school English exams (Higher - the level above is/was Advanced Higher but I got in to uni on my Higher grades as do most Scots, Advanced Highers aren't too common and I think they're being eased off because of that) a nosey neighbour of ours was despairing to my Mum how nobody, nobody at all[I] had managed an A in our year group for the exam - not even the really smart girl in her daughter's class and she knew this because she'd been asking other parents and she'd told her daughter to be nosy - my Mum told her that wasn't true and the neighbour was shocked and insisted she'd been pretty thorough. Mum knew it wasn't true because [I]I'd got an A but I didn't tend to share my grades with other kids because whatever either of you got it was usually kind of awkward (get higher than them and you make them feel bad, get lower than them and you feel bad, only win is if you miraculously got the same and that seems kind of coincidental). I feel I can boast about that because whilst I was pretty good with the English I also took maths and struggled with it - I tended to keep very quiet about my maths marks because whilst they weren't appalling I always wished I'd done better. I'd guess there's at least one person in your class who got a lower grade and lied so they didn't stick out after hearing so many A minuses!

Short version: I'd be a bit surprised if there wasn't some poor, totally average, less-gifted kid in your class who either kept schtumm about their mark of just wasn't noticed! It usually pays to factor such a kid into your calculations of where you are in the class 'cause even if there's not one, imaging there is can make you feel better. I tended to be the slightly "off" kid who melted into the background in a lot of my classes. Still am at uni. :smallbiggrin:

THAC0
2011-03-25, 07:15 PM
I don't know that I'd buy the everyone else has an A- thing.

Anyway, not a huge deal, particularly since it is a midterm, not a final grade. If it bothers you, see if the teacher will work with you to help you bring up your grade.

Don Julio Anejo
2011-03-25, 10:34 PM
There's also selection bias. Chances are since you feel bad about getting a B+, most of your friends in that class are the same way and have really really good marks. You simply don't interact with people who are barely struggling to pass.

Cyrion
2011-03-25, 10:43 PM
It sounds kind like a lot of graduate class grades- in many graduate classes, the average really is an A-, a B+ is OK, and a B is acceptable, but C's in graduate school mean you're failing out. If your prof is brand new out of grad school, he might be grading your class in a similar way. (I'm offering that just as a possible explanation, not a likely one.)

In any event, I wouldn't worry about getting a B+. B+'s won't keep you from getting a job or moving on up the education ladder, so you're not looking at losing opportunities.

Of course, it will feel better getting better grades...

Mauve Shirt
2011-03-25, 10:55 PM
I'm not a good student, so I might not be a credible source of advice, but I don't think there is anything wrong at all with a B+, or anything down to a B-. Don't be disappointed.

Eloel
2011-03-26, 02:03 AM
There's also selection bias. Chances are since you feel bad about getting a B+, most of your friends in that class are the same way and have really really good marks. You simply don't interact with people who are barely struggling to pass.

This, happens way too often.

Dr.Epic
2011-03-26, 02:04 AM
I'm not a good student, so I might not be a credible source of advice, but I don't think there is anything wrong at all with a B+, or anything down to a B-. Don't be disappointed.

The problem is if A- is the norm, it feels like I'm behind.

grimbold
2011-03-26, 04:10 AM
The problem is if A- is the norm, it feels like I'm behind.
if you feel behind talk to the teacher, chances are he will talk to you and help you out
but don't lose sleep over it youre only slightly deviated from the rest of your class

Form
2011-03-26, 05:30 AM
The problem is if A- is the norm, it feels like I'm behind.

I understand what you mean, but if it's just one class there isn't any reason to worry about it. I'm sure there are other classes in which you score higher than average, right?

zeratul
2011-03-26, 08:15 AM
...and that's the lowest grade? This week I got my midterm and apparently everyone got an A- except me (my professor is young and new, but still a cool guy and knows what he's talking about and A- is sort of the default). I talked to him and he told me the problems I have and that they're manageable and I can improve (and I intend to do what he says). I just wondering how I should feel.

nothing in particuilar? There's no reason for you to feel bad about this I mean, a B+ IS a good dread as much as some people try to convince everyone it isn't. If there's stuff you can do to get your grade up then sweet, do that stuff, if not your grade is still fine so there's really no reason to freak out.

Mauve Shirt
2011-03-26, 08:48 AM
The problem is if A- is the norm, it feels like I'm behind.

Behind by less than a letter grade. Not going to be a problem. Especially if it's just the midterm, not the class as a whole. Find someone with an A-, compare your test to theirs, study the questions you got wrong but they didn't.

Asta Kask
2011-03-26, 01:41 PM
Sisyphus, I think.

Yes, and it's a great story.


Sisyphus was son of King Aeolus of Thessaly and Enarete, and the founder and first king of Ephyra (Corinth). He was the father of Glaucus by the nymph Merope, the brother of Salmoneus, and the grandfather of Bellerophon.

Sisyphus promoted navigation and commerce, but was avaricious and deceitful, violating the laws of hospitality by killing travelers and guests. He took pleasure in these killings because they allowed him to maintain his dominant position. From Homer onwards, Sisyphus was famed as the craftiest of men. He seduced his niece, took his brother's throne and betrayed Zeus' secrets.

One of the secrets of Zeus that Sisyphus gave away was that he told the river god Asopus of the whereabouts of his daughter Aegina. Zeus had taken her away, but regardless of the impropriety of Zeus' frequent conquests, Sisyphus overstepped his bounds by considering himself a peer of the gods who could rightfully report their indiscretions.

Zeus then ordered Thanatos (Death personified) to chain Sisyphus in Tartarus. Sisyphus slyly asked Thanatos to demonstrate how the chains worked. When Thanatos did so, Sisyphus secured them and threatened him. This caused an uproar since no human could die with Thanatos out of commission. Eventually Ares (who was annoyed that his battles had lost their fun because his opponents would not die) intervened, freeing Thanatos, and turning Sisyphus over to Thanatos.

However, before Sisyphus died, he had told his wife to throw his naked body into the middle of the public square (purportedly as a test of his wife's love for him). This caused Sisyphus to end up on the shores of the river Styx. Then, complaining to Persephone that this was a sign of his wife's disrespect for him, Sisyphus persuaded her to allow him to go back to the upper world and scold his wife for not burying his body (as a loving wife should). Back in Corinth, Sisyphus' spirit refused to return to the Underworld and had to be forcibly dragged back to the Underworld by Hermes.

As for the question itself, don't fret about it. I think you should ask the professor what he thought could be improved.

KoboldRevenge
2011-03-26, 01:51 PM
Yeah I've always felt that getting anything less than a A- was a failure for me.
But that's just how I feel when I actually care about the work I did.

Dr.Epic
2011-03-26, 02:24 PM
Yeah I've always felt that getting anything less than a A- was a failure for me.
But that's just how I feel when I actually care about the work I did.

Sarcasm? (I can't tell)

nerd-7i+42e
2011-03-26, 10:59 PM
Two things to keep in mind:

Firstly, grades can improve drastically between midterms and term grades. For example, between extra credit, rocking my final, and finally developing test-taking skills, I got my math grade from an A- to an A+. So don't be disheartened by a B+, you have plenty of opportunity to improve it.

Secondly, it depends what you're shooting for. I generally aim at A's, with a couple A-'s. So for me, that would signal a time to switch into high gear. But if you're going for the A-/B+ area, then there's not much to fuss about; work a bit harder on it, but it's fine. And of course, if you're shooting for less than that, then I would ask why you're even putting the thread up (although I suspect this isn't the case).

Don Julio Anejo
2011-03-26, 11:44 PM
My school has almost no option of extra credit anywhere :smallfrown: At best it's a 1-point question on exams..

Science Officer
2011-03-28, 10:17 PM
Can't say how you should feel, but for me, it's always been

less than an A: unacceptable, a bad grade.
A: Acceptable.
A+: Very nice.

I've found my academic performance to usually be acceptable, but not very nice. :smallbiggrin:

Grade inflation is a stitch, isn't it?
I remember a teacher talking about how X-ty years ago, you'd only have a handful of people on the 80+% honour roll, now you'll have far more than half of the students win it.

shadow_archmagi
2011-03-29, 07:59 AM
Naaah.

Doesn't really make a big difference in the long run. Who cares what the rest of the class averaged? Once the class is over, only you will know.

You can hardly go to your next job and have them say "This was a really easy class, Doctor. I can't believe you got a B in it; no one should take that and not get a 100%!"

In fact, most likely, they'll look at your paperwork and say

"So I see you... graduated."

pendell
2011-03-31, 12:01 PM
Naaah.

Doesn't really make a big difference in the long run. Who cares what the rest of the class averaged? Once the class is over, only you will know.

You can hardly go to your next job and have them say "This was a really easy class, Doctor. I can't believe you got a B in it; no one should take that and not get a 100%!"

In fact, most likely, they'll look at your paperwork and say

"So I see you... graduated."

No, but they often will care where you graduated from, at least when you first started out. It took me 8 months to find a computer job after college, because I lived in the SF area and graduated from a place called California State University Stanislaus. When other resumes have names like 'Stanford' or 'Berkeley' or 'UC Davis' on them, it's easy to get left out in an environment with little room for entry level people in the first place.

So grades are only important, from my perspective, to the extent they get you into the college of your choice. As a state U grad, that was never an issue. But IIRC, the elite colleges like Harvard or Yale or Stanford look at far more than just the raw GPA. Extracurriculars et al also play a part.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Anxe
2011-03-31, 07:47 PM
I'd say there's something wrong with you teacher if he isn't planning on increasing the difficulty of his tests in the future. If he doesn't he'll probably get fired for grade inflation.

ThreadKiller
2011-04-01, 12:27 AM
I can sympathize with that grading. In one of my classes, I have an A- and my instructor made me aware of extra credit opportunities to improve my grade. I'm not sure about the grades of other students, but I'm sure a good fraction of them are getting As. In a way, I guess I kind of feel behind as well, but I'll probably do the extra credit. If I still have an A- for the semester, I'll still be happy with that grade.

Anyway, I have nothing else to add that hasn't already been said. If this is an important class for your major/program, I'm sure you'll be able to clinch that small margin that separates a B+ and A-. Hang in there. :smallsmile:

Amiel
2011-04-01, 12:35 AM
What score or percentage mark out of 100 does your B+ represent?
Our uni has B representing a range of scores, from 70-79%.

Moff Chumley
2011-04-01, 12:38 AM
If getting a B+ is wrong, I don't wanna be right... I'd do a lot for a report card of "B+"s right now. Aside from school work. That is one thing I will not stoop to.

Deathslayer7
2011-04-01, 02:36 AM
What score or percentage mark out of 100 does your B+ represent?
Our uni has B representing a range of scores, from 70-79%.

B+ in the the USA ranges from 85-89.

Rockphed
2011-04-01, 02:49 AM
I'd say there's something wrong with you teacher if he isn't planning on increasing the difficulty of his tests in the future. If he doesn't he'll probably get fired for grade inflation.

In my physics class last semester the professor was lamenting that we were getting too good of grades. He then waxed eloquent about how we all deserved the grade we were getting and he wasn't going to force our grades downward, but he had tenure. By the sound of things, Dr Epic's professor probably doesn't, so he will have to adjust grades to fit the university's grading scale. So, if EVERYONE is getting an A- and you are getting a B+, you might end up getting a C to everyone else's C+ in the end.

pendell
2011-04-01, 08:15 AM
B+ in the the USA ranges from 85-89.

Depends on the part of the United States. In Fairfax County B+ is 90-93. Or was, back in 1989 when I graduated from high school.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

t209
2011-04-01, 06:08 PM
It isn't bad to get a B+ ( I got one in Geometary class, in a classroom full of students with D!)