HOW TO FIND A PROFESSOR THAT ONLY GIVES A'S
Professors are supposed to grade on a distribution curve so that
there are the same number of A's as there are D's, but this is not
how it really works. Some professors grade high, while other's tend
to grade low. I've had a few professors that only gave out versions
of an A: either an A-, A, or an A+. There are also professors that
feel nobody should get an A, unless they produce work which is absolutely
incredible. These professors seem to give everybody low grades.
You can find which professors give high grades by checking their
doors. Professors post grades on their doors by students' social
security numbers. You can check professors' doors and see what kind
of graders they are; most people, including seniors, don't realize
they can do this. Whenever I share this information with juniors
and seniors at my seminars, they are astonished -- they can't believe
they never thought to do that.
On the first day of class, I heard a college professor say, "I
don't like grades, because I don't like grading. I hate having to
give grades. If I give out a low grade you'll hate me, and I don't
want that. So you are all going to get A's. You will get either
an A-, an A, or an A+. The A is for your parents, and the minus
and the plus is for me and you. The minus means you didn't do a
great job, and the plus means you did!"
Sometimes the same course will be taught by two different professors.
One professor will grade high (or even give only A's), while the
other professor may not be so generous. Checking your professor's
door could be the difference between getting an A or a B in the
You should also know that honors courses and upper level courses
tend to be graded higher. There are more "all A" professors
in these "harder" courses.
The second thing you can do to assure that you get a good professor
takes place during the first couple of weeks of classes. Register
for as many courses as you can. In addition, go to classes you didn't
even register for. Check out all the courses you can -- see what
the professors expect from you in each class. Some professors will
just want a paper, while others will give three exams, two twenty-page
papers, and require you to read three textbooks. At the end of add/drop,
decide which courses you want to take.
You can also go to the school store and see how many books are
required for each course you're considering. The same course can
be taught by two teachers; one may require three books, while the
other requires seven. That's a big difference in work and money.
Skim through these books to see what you will be doing for the semester.
If you decide to take a course before the end of add/drop, and
if you are not open to switching, you could end up taking a hellish
course which would give you constant trouble for the next 14 weeks.
When you are deciding what classes to take, you are making a decision
which will affect the next 14 weeks of your life. If you do your
"homework" the first and last week of classes, you will
make the 14 weeks of class go smoothly.