There will be six pop quizzes (top five will count for 4 points each), two scheduled midterm exams (50 points each), and one scheduled final exam (80 points), for a combined total of 200 points. The final exam will be comprehensive. The scheduled exams will be mixtures of short essays (60%) and various types of multiple choice (40%). If you do not participate in a pop quiz this means you got a zero-score on that quiz. No make-up quizzes will be given. Make-up exams for midterms or the final will be given only if you bring a physician's statement or equivalent document explaining why you were unable to participate in the scheduled exam. Such make-ups will usually be oral.
If you have any questions about the grading of a pop-quiz or mid-term exam, please check the posted key before you ask the grader or instructor. Re-grade requests will be considered only during the week after the pop quiz or mid-term exam has been returned. Final grades are final unless a clerical error has occurred.
You may earn extra credit by writing minipapers. A typical minipaper will review and evaluate data from scientific journals or books that pertain to a topic from the syllabus. You may write up to five minipapers, with a maximum of 2 extra point per minipaper. Thus, the maximum of extra credit for each student is 10 points, equivalent to half a letter grade. The deadline for submitting minipapers is indicated in the syllabus; there will be no extensions.
The final grade will be determined as follows. Cumulative scores will be added from pop quizzes, midterms, and the final exam, and the average of the top three cumulative scores will be normalized to 100%. A normalized score of >90% will translate into a grade of A, >80% into B, >70% into C, >60% into D, and 60% or less into F. Extra credit will be added after this normalization procedure. In borderline cases, your participation in the discussion sessions will be considered.
Although the grading procedure described above would make it possible for every student in a class to receive a grade of A, this has not been happening. Over the years, the average grade distribution in my ZOO 321/BIO 349 classes has been approximately as follows.
A 20% B 20% C 25% D or CR 10% F 10% Q or W 15%
If you want to do well in BIO 349 consider my suggestions on How to Study Effectively in This Course.
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Last modified: 4 May 2005