I have students who do well all term and then, for no apparent reason, blow off the last assignment or two. No explanation, no excuses, they just disappear or, worse yet, they do a half-baked job on the final work for the class.
Why in the world would someone do that? I read every word of every assignment, so I don’t just say “Oh, he or she meant well. I’ll give him or her the grade….” Nope, it doesn’t happen. Not in this woman’s Army.
Let’s crunch some numbers here. Let’s say that you have an 88 and are sooo close to an 90, which is an A. You have a quiz or small assignment left to complete. It’s nothing particularly mind-bending so it seems that you have said, “She’s a nice lady. It doesn’t matter if I do well or not. I’ve got this.’ Or perhaps you tell yourself, “She’ll give me the A or I will torch her with the end-of-class survey.”
Not so fast here. I might curve the grade of a very good student who started off slowly but understands the topic at hand towards the end of the class, but only if the person is less than a half a point from the next letter grade. Sorry, Charlie but you are two points away and that 88 you have is not an A.
The translation here is that 88 does not equal 90, so do the best you can on the last assignment. Show an effort here. Do not write a three-sentence answer where the instructor has required two five-sentence responses to a question (an all-time favorite but somewhat annoying habit of mine) and think you have made it.
You might say, “Well, this class doesn’t matter. I don’t care if I get an A or a B.” A few years down the pike, you might find yourself applying to graduate school and you might just need that A. Why blow it off? Or maybe you decide to get into education and your potential boss wants to see your transcript. What excuse are you going to make for that B-that-could-have-been-an-A? Blame the instructor? Yep, that will go over well….
So here’s the thing: Do well all the way to the end. That way, you won’t have later regrets over the fact that the curve you were hoping for just didn’t materialize.