Thursday, March 09, 2006

Grading at HBS 
One of the things that bothers me about grade disclosure at HBS is the arbitrary nature of grading at the school.  Most classes base 50% of your grade on your final exam or paper and 50% on class participation.  The final semester grade is in the familiar 1/2/3 format, with ~20% receiving 1’s, ~70% 2’s, and ~10% 3’s.  Final exam grades are shown on your grade report as well, though for those they use I/II/III/IV to denote the quartile ranking of your exam grade within the section.  For classes with papers you only get a final semester grade, they don’t tell you what you got on your paper.

Now, this is all well and good, except that it has come out in conversations with fellow students that grades sometimes don’t add up.  Here are a couple of examples from trusted sources:

Anyway, I have more stories but I don’t have approval from those people to share them so I’m not going to.  I no longer think grade disclosure is going to be the cultural disaster that I once made it out to be, but I still think it causes unnecessary stress in the first year and is troublesome due in part to the arbitrariness of the grading system at HBS.

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