# Test Three Results

As with the first test, each question was worth up to 4 points, for a possible total of 36. The highest score in the class before extra credit was 30, a little lower; the median was a C+, and the distribution of grades was much more towards the center. The grade scale works out like this:

 Grade starts at distribution A+ 30 A 28.5 7% A- 27 B+ 25 B 22 30% B- 20 C+ 18 C 14 45% C- 12 D+ 10 D 7 17% D- 5 F under 5 1%

If you answered 9 questions, but failed to answer one from each chapter, I took a 2 point penalty off your grade. (If you didn’t answer all 9 questions, I did not)

If you want to discuss your performance, and how you can improve it next time, feel free to come by my office hours. If you want to dispute your grade, feel free to do so in writing.

I will be in the office for a good portion of tomorrow, Thursday, at least from 10-3; if you want to pick up your test on Friday, let me know because I haven’t set a schedule yet.

# Test Two Results

As with the first test, each question was worth up to 4 points, for a possible total of 36. The highest score in the class before extra credit was 32 again; the median was a C+, which is OK but lower than the first (and the distribution of grades shows this); again, nobody who took the test failed. The grade scale works out like this:

 Grade starts at distribution A+ 32 A 30 15% A- 28.75 B+ 26.25 B 23.25 25% B- 20.75 C+ 18.25 C 15.25 40% C- 12.75 D+ 10.25 D 7.25 20% D- 4.75 F under 4 0%

If you answered 9 questions, but failed to answer one from each chapter, I took a 4 point penalty off your grade. (If you didn’t answer all 9 questions, I did not)

If you want to discuss your performance, and how you can improve it next time, feel free to come by my office hours. If you want to dispute your grade, feel free to do so in writing.

# Test 1 Results

One of the reasons it takes so long for me to grade tests is that I grade by questions or chapters, which means that I can be more consistent across tests. It also means that your grade on each question is independent of your grade on the other questions: it’s entirely possible to get 4 points on some, and zero on others, depending on how well you’ve understood and expressed everything.

Each question was worth up to 4 points, for a possible total of 36. The highest score in the class before extra credit was 32; the median was a B-, which is good, and nobody who took the test failed. The grade scale works out like this:

 Grade starts at distribution A+ 32 A 30 20% A- 28.75 B+ 26.25 B 23.25 35% B- 20.75 C+ 18.25 C 15.25 35% C- 12.75 D+ 10.25 D 7.25 10% D- 4.75 F under 4 0%

If you answered 9 questions, but failed to answer one from each chapter, I took a 2 point penalty off your grade. (If you didn’t answer all 9 questions, I did not)

If you want to discuss your performance, and how you can improve it next time, feel free to come by my office hours. If you want to dispute your grade, feel free to do so in writing.

# Results from the First Test Post-Survey

The first test, like most of my survey tests, was a short-essay ID test, with terms taken from (and arranged by) the textbook chapters, supplemented with theory terms and a few names from the lectures. Twelve terms (out of 25 choices, out of about 50 terms on the study guide) over a 50-minute class.

The class after the first test, I did a short anonymous survey to see how people felt about the event. I feel reasonably good about the first question, though their views may change once they’ve actually seen grades: it suggests, though, that I prepped them appropriately for the kind of work. Question 2 is pretty typical results, it seems to me, though the “studied regularly” number should be higher given that I’ve assigned regular homework this semester which feeds directly into the test. The third question results are interesting: there doesn’t seem to be a correlation between amount of study time and expected grade (I’ve not actually performed any statistical tests on this data, though; N=28); the distribution of answers is a little more optimistic than my test results tend to be, but I won’t know until they’re graded. The comments are not particularly surprising, overall.

Quick Post-Test Survey

1. The test was

0%                  a. a cakewalk

15%                b. easier than I expected

60%                c. about as hard as I expected

20%                d. harder than I expected

5%                  e. impossible

2. I studied for the test

7.5%              a. not at all

15%                b. a little

25%                c. right before the test

20%                d. several hours in the week leading up to the test

7.5%              e. off and on for a few weeks

25%                f. every week, as part of regular homework

3. I think I got a grade of

10%                a. F

10%                b. D

27%                c. C

33%                d. B

20%                e. A

• I think 50 minutes for covering 12 definitions fully is not OK
• Multiple choice?
• Tough, but well rounded
• Seeing my grade will help me study for the next test
• Too many words on the study guide
• I’m guessing that if I had studied more I would have had a better outcome.
• Dates threw me off a lot.
• So many things on first list but not on the test, that it caused me to not learn the subjects
• I didn’t have the book long enough to study the material
• Ran out of time. Need about 15-20 minutes more, or learn to write less or faster.
• Not a good form/type of test.
• Unrealistic.

# A note on final grades

As you know, for test grades I use the highest raw score in the class as the 100% mark and adjust everyone’s grades up accordingly. I don’t use a “curve” which assumes that there’s a certain percentage of the class which deserves A, B, C, etc.

I don’t use quite so dramatic an adjustment on the final course grades — since I’ve already done it on tests, and dropped the lowest one besides, it would be excessive. But I do shift the final raw scores up some.

Each question was worth up to 4 points, for a possible total of 32. The highest score in the class before extra credit was 26; the median was a B-, which is good, and nobody who took the test failed. The grade scale works out like this:

 Grade starts at distribution A+ 26 A 24.5 20% A- 23.25 B+ 21.25 B 18.75 40% B- 16.75 C+ 14.75 C 12.25 30% C- 10.25 D+ 8.25 D 5.75 10% D- 3.74 F under 0%

If you answered 8 questions, but failed to answer one from each chapter, I took a 2 point penalty off your grade. (If you didn’t answer all 8 questions, I did not)

If you want to discuss your performance, and how you can improve it next time, feel free to come by my office hours. If you want to dispute your grade, feel free to do so in writing.

For the overall test grade, the average of the highest 4 grades (including students who have not taken the last few tests), the median grade is right on the B-/C+ border and the approximate distribution was like this

 Grade %age A 15 B 35 C 25 D 5 F 20

# Test 4 Results

Each question was worth up to 4 points, for a possible total of 32. The highest score in the class before extra credit was 28; the median was a B, which is very good, and nobody who took the test failed. The grade scale works out like this:

 Grade starts at distribution A+ 28 A 26 20% A- 25 B+ 23 B 20 45% B- 18 C+ 16 C 13 25% C- 11 D+ 9 D 6 10% D- 4 F under 4 0%

If you answered 8 questions, but failed to answer one from each chapter, I took a 2 point penalty off your grade. (If you didn’t answer all 8 questions, I did not)

If you want to discuss your performance, and how you can improve it next time, feel free to come by my office hours. If you want to dispute your grade, feel free to do so in writing.

# Test 3 Results

Each question was worth up to 4 points, for a possible total of 32. The highest score in the class before extra credit, in both sections, was 25, and due to the lower top end, the median was a B-; the grade scale works out like this:

 Grade starts at distribution A+ 25 A 23.5 15% A- 22.5 B+ 20.5 B 18.25 40% B- 16.25 C+ 14.25 C 12 35% C- 10 D+ 8 D 5.75 10% D- 3.75 F under 3.75 1%

If you answered 8 questions, but failed to answer two from each chapter, I took a 2 point penalty off your grade. (If you didn’t answer all 8 questions, I did not)

If you want to discuss your performance, and how you can improve it next time, feel free to come by my office hours. If you want to dispute your grade, feel free to do so in writing.

I’m not terribly happy with the results of this essay, but it’s only one of many assignments that makes up your grades. The highest grade I gave on the essays was a B; the median and average were D and almost half of the registered population of the class didn’t hand in an essay (Yes, I take late assignments, with appropriate penalties; yes, it’s worth writing something and handing it in still, because even an F with penalties is worth a lot more than a zero). A few thoughts

The biggest grade-killers were essays that ignored instructions

• Essays that didn’t pick a century
• Essays that didn’t have anything to do with food history.
• Essays that didn’t focus on immigration, politics or the media
• Essays that focused on one, but didn’t address the “most important” question, assuming that “important” and “most important” were the same thing. (Some essays claimed to address the contrast/”more” aspect, but didn’t spend anywhere near enough time on the question to be serious.)
• Essays that drew material from one or two chapters and missed important aspects of the issue in other parts of the book.

I’ll try to be a little more aggressive about explaining what I’m looking for on the next essay and final exam essays, but all of those errors could be avoided by reading the instructions carefully.

# Test 2 results

Each question was worth up to 4 points, for a possible total of 32. The highest score in the class before extra credit, in both sections, was 27.5, and the median was again a solid C; the grade scale works out like this:

 Grade starts at distribution A+ 27.5 A 26 10% A- 25 B+ 23 B 20 20% B- 18 C+ 16 C 13 45% C- 11 D+ 9 D 6 20% D- 4 F under 4 5%

If you answered 8 questions, but failed to answer two from each chapter, I took a 2 point penalty off your grade. (If you didn’t answer all 8 questions, I did not)

If you want to discuss your performance, and how you can improve it next time, feel free to come by my office hours. If you want to dispute your grade, feel free to do so in writing.