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I'm currently taking a required class where attendance is counted at 15% of the grade. The policy is that if a student misses more than 2 lectures, they lose all 15% of those points. The class itself takes place 5 days a week, and attendance is taken daily and uniformly. I currently hold a 91% in this class, but I missed my third class today and I'm trying to decide how to proceed from here. I feel like all of the time and effort I've put into the class has been totally discounted for a reason that has nothing to do with my knowledge of the course material.

Am I wrong to feel as though this is an unfair mark? On one hand, I knew that this policy existed and the consequences for missing 3 classes. On the other hand, dropping a grade from an A to a C for such a small reason feels absolutely unacceptable to me. How should I approach this situation to help repair my grade?

1 Answer 1

You do not currently hold a 91%. You may have held a 91% percent yesterday, but now you hold a 76%.

Am I wrong to feel as though this is an unfair mark?

Given that you knew the policy in advance and the teacher seems to have been consistent in taking attendance, you seem to have no logical reason to feel the mark is unfair.

You state that attendance is a "small reason", but for whatever reason the teacher feels is is a big reason (15% to be exact). If you felt that the grading policy was unfair, you should have discussed this at the beginning of the semester, not after missing 3 classes.

Realistically, the only thing you can do now is beg (aka grade grub). Your mileage may vary, but most professors do not look kindly on grade grubbing. It is important to realize that to an outside, the policy seems fair. For example, in a typical US semesters of around 17 weeks each class accounts for between 1-2% of the taught material. Further, missing a class likely means you are not at the right point in further classes so each absence is like missing 2-4% of taught material. That sets a minimum of 6-12% of missed material for 3 absences. Multiple absences probably means you have missed even more material. In other words, without knowing the specifics of the class, a penalty of 15% for 3 absences seems reasonable.