In most European universities, the overall student's grade for a course is determined exclusively by this student's performance on the final exam. All intermediate grades -- on homework, quizzes, and previous texts -- are, in effect, ignored. This arrangement helps gauge the student's performance by the knowledge that the student shows at the end of the course. The main drawback of this approach is that some students do not start studying until later, thinking that they can catch up and even get an excellent grade -- and this hurts their performance. To motivate students to study hard throughout the semester, most US universities estimate the overall grade for the course as a weighted average of the grade on the final exam and of all intermediate grades. In this paper, we show that even when a student is already motivated, to accurately gauge the student's level of knowledge it is important to take intermediate grades into account.