I have one class that had the chance to take an extra credit opportunity recently. Students should think of this rare bird as an insurance policy, not a bother. Let me tell you why.
You might have a bad day. I heard a story from a friend of mine who only had to take four out of five exams in one of his classes. What did he do? He blew off an early exam, in favor of taking all the rest of the tests for the semester. He went to the beach instead of going to class. That might have been the end of the story, but it wasn’t.
Later that term, the really, really bad flu was going around. He managed to duck it for a few weeks, until disaster struck right before the final exam. Yep, he got the flu. He was so sick he couldn’t see straight. Sadly, he had skipped the earlier exam, so the final was absolutely necessary, if he wanted to pass the course. And he did. Guess how he took that final? Yep, he showed up coughing, sneezing, high temp, feeling really punk, and wrapped in a blanket. It was not a pretty sight, as you might imagine.
Some students came up to me after class when I had just talked about the extra credit and asked, “Is that mandatory extra credit? Do we really have to do it?” (Note that their emphasis was on the word “have.”) I told them that, first of all, they needed it badly and, second, it would help them study for the final exam. Yes, they did “have” to do it.
Now folks, I realize you are busy (let’s compare schedules some time) but why would you give up this chance to turn a mediocre grade into a really nice one? Think about it. Seriously. Then thank the instructor and do the extra work.