Midterm grades not always necessary

Ashanka Kumari

Although all instructors are encouraged to submit midterm grades, they are only required to for all 100 and 200-level coursework, Louis Jimenez, senior associate at the University Registrar, said.

“Midterm grades aren’t required for 300-400 level classes largely because the grading schemes in upper-level classes are so diverse, and many classes don’t have any substantial grades by midterm,” Joe Benson, interim provost, said.

This semester, students will have the opportunity to view their midterm grades online via myBama on Feb. 27. Midterm grade entry opened Jan. 17, and the last day professors can post midterm grades is Feb. 27.

“Midterm grades do not affect a student’s GPA,” Jimenez said. “They are intended to showcase progress and [are used] as a tool for advising.”

Hannah Brewer, a junior majoring in psychology, said she is only interested in seeing her midterm grades when they are meaningful and her class grade is based on an even number of tests or essays.

“The midterm grades don’t really mean anything if 80 percent of your class is based on the final project,” Brewer said. “There’s just no point in trying to gauge your success in midterm grades at that point.”

Another reason instructors of 100 and 200-level courses are required to report grades is because they are meant to help students during the transition to college, Benson said.

“This is an issue primarily for freshmen and sophomores,” he said.

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Dillon Wastrack, a freshman majoring in economics, said he would be more interested in seeing grades for upper-level courses.

“If the courses are harder, then I might not be as certain about my grade being good,” he said.

Alex Edmonson, a junior majoring in economics, said he thinks it is OK that his upper level course professors are not required to post grades.

“If you are in 300-level classes, you should already know how to calculate your own midterm grades,” he said.

However, Edmonson said midterm grades allow students to see their progress and seek help earlier on if they are not doing well.

“Midterm grades are a good way for students to see if they need to step up their game or to find help before it’s too late,” he said.

Brewer said she believes it is more helpful to check individual grades on assignments rather than just midterm progress.

“I find it more helpful to check my individual grades on assignments because you can see they fit into the equation that calculates your grade for each class, while midterm grades can be misleading,” she said. “Let’s say your midterm grade is an A+, but those assignments only account for 10 percent of your grade. You may get the impression that you are doing better than you are.”

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