Did you know that while you are required to take a minimum of 4 finals this year, you can opt to take more? This can be extremely helpful for those classes in which your grades are borderline.
Final exams will be projects, which are weighed as 15% of your semester grade. To calculate your semester grade, you do the following:
0.85* (grade in the class) + 0.15(final project grade)
The question is, which finals do I choose and why?!
The General Principle
Did you know that if you have a C-, but you do great on the final project and earn an 100%, you can go from a C- to a C+ as your semester grade? The lower your grade is in a class, the more impactful the final if you do well. At the same time, the opposite is also true. If you bomb the final in a class you usually do well in, it will deeply affect your grade, lowering it up to 15% if you earn a zero. Also, keep in mind the rigor of the final project and your ability to do well as you decide.
The Borderline Student
If you are finishing the semester and your grade is on the border of another letter grade, it is the most important class for you to take the final in! You may be thinking, I have a 79.6%, so I am not going to do the final project because it may drop my grade and it is so much work. The only problem is, what happens if the last quiz that gets put into the gradebook brings your grade down? For these borderline classes, I encourage you to take ALL of the exams, not just 4, but one for every borderline class you have!
The Class I am Failing (because really what’s the point?)
If you have 58.24% or more in a class, you can actually raise your grade up enough to pass the class. If you have a 64.12%, you can even raise it to a C-. Just because you are not passing right now does not mean you should give up. Also, there are still 3 weeks left in the semester and more grades to come.
For the Straight A Student
If you are a student with straight A’s and A pluses, how can you possibly decide? If you are worried that a project may bring your grade down, doing the projects for the classes where you have the lowest grades may not necessarily be the best option. If you have a 93.50% – 95.87%, there is no possibility for you to raise your grade to an A+, even with a 100% on your final, and if you do poorly, it could even bring it down. However, if you have a 96% in a class, an 100% on your final will bring it up to a 96.6%, just enough for the A+ (the minimum is a 96.5%).
So which finals do I take?!
Take the final for the class that you have the highest A+ in. If you have a 100% in a class, do that project, as it is less likely that your final will affect your grade. In fact, you would need less than a 77% for it to drop your grade to an A. And, take the final that can bring up that high A to an A+.