Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-22-76


Traditional way to compute the overall grade for the class is to use the weighted sum of the grades for all the assignments and exams, including the final exam. In terms of encouraging students to study hard throughout the semester, this grading scheme is better than an alternative scheme, in which all that matters is the grade on the final exam: in contrast to this alternative scheme, in the weighted-sum approach, students are penalized if they did not do well in the beginning of the semester. In practice, however, instructors sometimes deviate from the weighted-sum scheme: indeed, if the weighted sum is below the passing threshold, but a student shows good knowledge on the comprehensive final exam, it makes no sense to fail the student and make him/her waste time re-learning what this student already learned. So, in this case, instructors usually raise the weighted sum grade to the passing level and pass the student. This sounds reasonable, but this idea has a limitation similar to the limitation of the alternative scheme: namely, it does not encourage those students who were initially low-performing to do as well as possible on the final exam. Indeed, within this idea, a small increase in the student's grade on the final exam will not change the overall grade for the class. In this paper, we provide a natural idea of how we can overcome this limitation.