A note about test grades

Many of you earned grades on test #1 that you’re probably not that happy with. When I returned your tests in class, I mentioned that these grades tend to be pretty good predictors of final exam grades. What this means is, if I had to guess your overall course grade now, many of you would be stuck with an F. While your lowest test grade does not count toward your overall grade, it tends to be really hard to pull yourself out of such a deep hole.

The deadline to withdraw from the class is Thursday, April 16 (the week after spring break). The point of the timing of test #2 is to give me a chance to grade and return it before the drop date. For many of you, your decision whether to remain in the course, or to withdraw from it, will probably be based on your performance on test #2. If I were you, I would spend the whole weekend and next week practicing as many exercises as I could. I would do the same ones over and over again until I was confident that I could do them in my sleep. You should consider test #2 a test of whether you actually understand the material, not a test of whether you prepared enough.

It might not feel like it, but for many of you this is your last chance to pull yourself out of that hole. If you wait to fix this problem, it will be too late.

(I know old people always scold young people about this kind of stuff, and I don’t want anyone to feel discouraged. I’ve just seen too many capable students suffer at the end of the semester because they waited too long to care about their performance in the course. Right now, you still have a chance to do something so I hope you give it your very best shot.)

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