Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Just Passing Through

Grading at Yale is entirely pass/fail.

Though there is also an opaque "high pass" and "low pass" distinction, it doesn't even apply in my case. I'm just carrying naked credits back to Stanford.

So, anyway, I took six classes this semester. For a rough description at how this grading structure might effect how seriously course work is taken here, I offer the following actual exchanges as examples. All are from the last week alone.

Law of Democracy
Me: "I actually had a multiple choice exam last year. I just figure the Professor didn't want to grade papers."
: "That's never really been a problem for me. I can usually grade an exam in around five minutes."

Administrative Law
Prof (to class, re: final exam):" Credit is given for attempting to answer the question."

Public Welfare Law
Me: "When should the research paper be turned in?"
Welfare Prof
: "Whenever you'd like the credits."

Prof (to class, re final exam): "There are no rules. Just write that on your exam and you'll get your pass."

Supreme Court Reading Group
Me: "Hey -- about your last e-mail to the section. I know my attendance wasn't perfect. How's my standing?"
Reading Group Moderator
: "Oh? I was just kidding about that. I was trying to scare some up to attend. Yeah, you're good for your credit."

Race and the Constitution
Prof: "Write something demonstrating you attended my class this semester."


At 7:49 AM, Blogger Dennis said...

I'm so jealous, although I did take a mandatory one credit, six-week pass/fail litigation basics class, in which the professor answered a question about his grading style by saying, "I'm going to read your exams and pass you. If your exam is terrible, I'm going to read it again and again until I find a reason to pass you."

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Jacob said...

-laughs- You got this from the Onion, right? I guess a high LSAT and acing undergrad is the key to getting a cakewalk in law school. Have they invented time machines, yet? DARPA get on that.


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