I am finally done with classes for the quarter! woo hoo! It feels so good to be able to have some free time. At the end of every quarter, before finals week, I try to figure out my final grade without the final exam grade and estimate how well i have to do on the final to get an A in the class. For three of my four classes this quarter, I have a good chance of getting an A in the class if I do well on my final. The fourth class, I should have a solid B in even if I only do okay on the final.
I won't state specifically what class it is, but I have a class where exams are 90% of the final grade. I really don't like classes that are set up like this. If you're a person that does bad on exams, you will most likely end up with a bad grade in the class. I don't do all that bad on exams, but it is still difficult to get a good grade in a class that is set up this way. Especially since we have three to four hours of homework a week that counts as the other 10% of the grade, and a recitation session that doesn't count at all for the grade. I think these elements should be given a higher priority than they are being given right now.
I guess what I'm really worried about is keeping my GPA up as high as possible. I am trying to enroll in the BS/MS program for electrical engineering and we need a 3.4 GPA at the end of our second year to be accepted into the program. If you are accepted into the BS/MS program, you can receive both your Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in the same time period as other students receive just their Bachelor's Degree. This would save me a whole year and approximately $36,000 since I would have one less year of schooling to go through. If it wasn't for this BS/MS program, I would still worry about my GPA, but not as much as I do now.
I don't know if this is helping students or hurting students, but RIT only uses letter grades as final grades. There is no B+ or C- and there is no exact numerical grade either. You either receive a final grade of A, B, C, D, or F. Because of this, one or two points on your final grade can make a huge difference. If you happen to be receiving an 88 in a class that would lower you to a B, but if you are receiving an 89.9 in a class, you would end up with an A. In some cases, this system helps students, but it also hurts many students grades as well.
I know I've just been rambling on about the good and the bad, but maybe this will get you to think about some of these things, whether you're an RIT student or not.