Estimating Your Projected Course Grade:

As explained in the Syllabus, your course grade is composed of three parts: an Exam Total, a Quiz Total, and a Participation Total. They count respectively for 75%, 10%, and 15% of the semester grade. To estimate your expected course grade, carry out the following calculation.

1. Exam Total: If you have taken only two full-class period exams so far, add your raw scores (which are on a scale of 0 - 75) and divide by 2. (This assumes that your performance on the third exam will be comparable to that on the first two exams.) If you have taken three exams (which may be the case after Thursday, April 26), add your scores and divide by 3. In either case, the resulting number should be between 0 and 75.

2. Quiz Total: Add together the best 5 quiz scores (which are on a scale of 0 - 8) and divide by 4. If you have taken fewer than 5 quizzes, you must average in a 0 for each missed quiz that would count towards the 5 best. (For example, if you've taken only 3 quizzes, you should add these scores plus two 0's.) The resulting number should be between 0 and 10.

3. Participation Total: The participation total includes in-class index cards; the background survey given on the first class day and the re-take of this survey on Tuesday, April 24; up to 2 documented Star Parties; write-ups from Public Lectures. There is now a column on Blackboard called PTOTAL, which includes all participation credits earned up to a particular point in time. In some cases, this number may be greater than 15, but only the first 15 credits count towards the course grade. If you are low on participation points and have not yet earned Star Party credit, this is a good time to attend a Star Party.

4. Course Total: Add together the 3 partial totals above. The resulting number should be between 0 and 100. The course letter grades will be assigned according to the following table of equivalences, which was first established after the class had taken Exam 1. For the Course Total, use the third (right-most) column to project your course letter grade.

NOTE: Because these grade correspondences are already very generous, we WILL NOT ROUND UP the numerical course totals to the next higher integer number.

5. If you are not happy with your projected course grade, you may take a make-up exam for any one of the three previous hour exams. All make-up exams will be given on Thursday, May 3 during class time, but you must choose which of the three exams to re-take. If you missed one of the earlier exams, your choice will be easy. Otherwise, you will probably want to choose the exam with the lowest score. After the make-up exams are graded, we will take the higher value of the two "tries" on that exam, in calculating your course grade. (Note: You do not need a doctor's note, or documentation of a family emergency, etc., to take advantage of this option. Any student may choose to try a re-take of one of the previous exams.)

Letter Grade

% Equiv.