Grades and Exam Information for Math 127

Spring 2021

As it says on the course syllabus, there are quizzes mostly every week (worth 30% of your final grade), a midterm (worth 25% of your grade), and a cumulative final exam (worth 30% of your grade). The balance of your grade comes from homework (10%) and participation.

No Make-up exams will be given. If you miss an exam due to a documented medical or family reason, that score will be replaced by the grade on the balance of the course. If you miss both the midterm exam and several quizzes, you should probably withdraw from the course. If you miss the final for a documented reason, you should discuss an incomplete in the course with Professor Sutherland.

Weekly Quizzes

The weekly quizzes are held during the last part of the second lecture each week, and cover pretty much the same material as on the homework due that week in Lumen Ohm. If you understand how to do the problems, the quiz should be easy (of course, if you just got the right answer by guessing or looking on the internet or asking friends, not so much.)

Here are all the quizzes given so far:

Grades: Here's how people are doing (overall) on the quizzes. This is a histogram of the number of people with various averages on the quizzes, binned up into some grades. These statistics and grades include dropping the two lowest quiz grades, as stated in the syllabus.

low score: 3% mean: 66% median: 70% high score: 100%
range letter grade
80-100% A-, A
62-80% B-, B, B+
44-62 C, C+
35-43 C-
15-34 D, D+
0-14 F

Homework scores

Some students are doing much better on homework than the quizzes or the midterm. This is a sign of a disconnect: the quiz questions are not harder than the homework questions. A significant number of people have perfect homework grades, which is a sign of something double-plus-ungood. Remember that the homework only counts for 10% of the course grade, but is an essential part of learning the material, so should not be skipped. As with the quiz grades, the statistics and histogram drop the two lowest homework scores.
(Since homeworks are of varying weights, "lowest score" means the score that improves your average the most when omitted. The homework average is computed by adding up all of your points and dividing by the number of possible points, not by averaging the percentages. The number of possible points can range from 159 to 176, depending on what was dropped.)
low score: 0% mean: 73% median: 90% high score: 100%
range letter grade
90-100% A-, A
75-90% B-, B, B+
50-75% C, C+
40-50% C-
20-40% D, D+
0-20% F

The Midterm

There is one midterm in MAT127 this semester, worth 25% of your final grade. It will be held in class on Wednesday March 24 or Thursday March 25 (depending on which class you are in). It covers all the material we have covered up to that point, that is, everything in chapters 5 and 6 of the text (on infinite series, including power series).

You should certainly be familiar with (let us say "memorized") the Maclaurin series for common functions (see Table 6.1 in the text which lists these) and know how to use the various tests for convergence (summarized in this table; we did not cover the root test, but you can use it if you want to). A strategy for which convergence test to use is in this announcement from blackboard.

Preparing for the test: To prepare, you should do lots of problems. This can include making sure you can do all of the quizzes from all three lectures (see above) and all of the homework problems (on Lumen Ohm); the problems at the end of each section of the text are good to do, as well; the odd numbered questions have solutions given.

We will post parts of previous MAT127 exams here. Keep in mind, however, that exams occur at different places in the semester, and so the coverage will vary.

Taking the test: While the exam is not open book or open internet, you are encouraged to write one page of notes (front and back), which you will be able to use during the midterm. Using any other sources constitutes academic dishonesty and will be immediately reported to the Academic Judiciary.
The test will be held during class, and you will have 80 minutes to do it. If you have an extra time accommodation from SASC, make sure your lecturer is aware of it in advance.

Midterm grades: Below is the distribution of grades and their interpretation as letter grades for the midterm.

low score: 3 mean: 33.5 median: 35 high score: 58
range letter grade
47-60 A-, A
32-46 B-, B, B+
22-31 C, C+
16-21 C-
10-15 D, D+
0-10 F

The midterm itself: There were three very similar version of the midterm, one for each lecture. (Just so you know, all three professors contributed questions to this midterm, and then each version was slightly modified from the others, keeping the question very similar. So everyone in each lecture got a roughly equivalent test.) These are Wednesday pm (solutions), Thursday am (solutions), and Thursday pm (solutions). It will take a few days to grade the exams, so be patient. If you see errors in the solutions (this happens!), let us know.

The Final

The final exam counts for 30% of your total course grade, is cumulative (but with an emphasis on the material since the first midterm) and will be held on Wednesday May 12 from 11:15am - 1:45pm for all three lectures. You may take the exam online or in person (your choice): the in-person exam will be held in ESS-001.

As is its nature, the final exam covers all the material we have done in this course since the beginning. Refer the the schedule if you forgot what we have done.

Below are some final exams from recent semesters, to help you prepare. Note that there are minor variations in emphasis and coverage from semester to semester, and some exams are harder than others (and the grades are assigned accordingly). Nevertheless, these should give you some idea of what to expect. We will try to get solutions posted, but this takes time...

On our final, you may use one sheet of notes (front and back) with whatever you want on them.

Final exam: Below is the distribution of grades on the final and their interpretation as letter grades.

low score: 6 mean: 73 median: 74 high score: 144
range letter grade
110-145 A-, A
75-109 B-, B, B+
50-65 C, C+
35-49 C-
20-34 D, D+
0-20 F

Overall grades in the course

Here is a distribution of the grades in the course overal (including the final):
The median grade is on the B/B- line, but as you can see, grades of C and A- are almost as common. This is a fairly typical grade distribution for this course.

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Page last modified on May 20 2021, 5:44pm