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Detailed Grading Policy




The raw scores earned on each of the exams in this course will be converted to Standard T-Scores. The Standard T-Score is computed as follows:

T = [(x-X/s) 10] + 74


x = your raw test score

X = the class mean score = S x/N

N = number of test scores

s = standard deviation = [S (x-X)2/(N-1)]1/2

Using Standard T-Scores allows an effective averaging of grades without introducing a bias in favor of tests with the greatest standard deviations. Since it is based on a normal (Gaussian) distribution, it generally represents the fairest way of grading. (Nearly all national exams such as the SAT, MCAT, and GRE use a similar form of Standard T-Scores)

Your final course grade will be calculated as 30% of your best midterm T-score, 30% of your second best midterm T-score and 40% of your final exam T-score. There will be three midterms during the semester, so this means that your lowest midterm exam T-score will be dropped OR you will be able to miss one midterm for any reason with no penalty.* The following conversion table will be used to calculated final course grades:

T-Score .............................Letter Grade

93.0000 < T ...............................A

90.0000 < T < 93.0000 ..............A-

87.0000 < T < 90.0000 ..............B+

83.0000 < T < 87.0000 ..............B

80.0000 < T < 83.0000 ..............B-

77.0000 < T < 80.0000 ..............C+

73.0000 < T < 77.0000 ..............C

70.0000 < T < 73.0000 ..............C-

67.0000 < T < 70.0000 ..............D+

63.0000 < T < 67.0000 ..............D

60.0000 < T < 63.0000 ..............D-

T < 60.0000 ...............................F

*Missing two midterms or the final exam without a documented, valid excuse will result in a failing grade.


*****Important Notice****** In general, using T-scores increases everyone's grades compared to using absolute percentages. Nevertheless, we will keep track of your percentage scores on every test. If the percentage scores are ever higher than your T-score, we will use the percentage score for your course grade calculation. Thus, if everyone does extremely well in this course, no grade will be lowered by using a curving system!


Homework: READ THIS

There will be two kinds of homework assigned in this class. There will be weekly homework sets that will be turned in BEFORE CLASS on the day it is due. These will be graded, and the points you earn will amount to extra credit that is added to your next exam grade as T-score points or Percentage points, whichever is in your best interest. The second type of homework will involve book problems that are assigned, but not collected. These are extremely important, as the only way to master organic chemistry is to work many, many problems over the course of the semester. Click here to see the homework assignment web page. The links will become active when the homework is assigned.


Academic Dishonesty:

The University of Texas at Austin has formally adopted the following academic honor code:

Honor Code

The core values of the University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the University is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect toward peers and community.

Any violation of the above Honor Code that occurs during an exam or in the regrading process will result in a 0 being assigned for that exam and the student involved will be formally reported to the Dean of Students, where they will be subject to additional penalties or actions. The exam with the 0 will be automatically counted in the final grade calculation at the end of the semester.

To guard against altered exams being submitted for a regrade, we routinely copy a large number of exams following grading but prior to handing them back.



Exams can be turned in for regrades as long as they were taken in permanent ink, not pencil or erasable ink.  Regrades must be submitted within 7 days after the exam is handed back.  They can be submitted in the labeled class slot adjacent to WEL 2.212 or you can hand the exam to myself or one of the TA’s. You must indicate what problems need to be regraded, and provide a brief explanation for your concern.  The entire exam will be regraded. 


Exam rules: 

No notes or books are allowed used during the exams.  Because of recent incidents, you will not be allowed to interact with your cell phone in any way during exams.  No exceptions.  Turn them off, or leave them at home.  ***Interacting with a cell phone during an exam will be considered a violation of the Honor Code and will result in a 0 being recorded for your grade on the exam, no matter what you were actually doing with the phone.***



An incomplete (X) is a temporary delay in reporting the final course grade.  An X may properly be assigned for students who must miss the final due to illness or other imperative nonacademic reasons. An X may also be given when the student has not been able to complete all the required assignments for reasons other than lack of diligence but only if the student has a passing grade on the work completed. Documentation of non-medical excuses will be required. In general it is best for students to see a counselor in their Dean's Office regarding non-medical excuses for missing the finalJust to be clear, you will be required to have a written medical excuse signed by the person who treated you if the reason for the request for a postponed final is illness. Students have one long semester to make up an X and extensions are rare. After one long semester, the X converts to an F if no other grade is reported.

An X will not be assigned to allow the student an opportunity to repeat the entire course; the only assignments or exams that should be completed to resolve the X are those that were missed for legitimate reasons during the semester. In addition, the X should be assigned only if the student has been informed and the exact procedures by which the student will make up the work are agreed upon. The assignment of an X constitutes a contract between the student and the instructor. It is often helpful to have the arrangement in writing, specifying what the student is expected to do to complete the course, including due dates.


Policy on Exam Coverage:

You will be responsible for all material covered up to the Friday lecture the week before each midterm. That way you will be able to think about the material for almost an entire week before you are tested on it. Also, the pace of the class can vary, so do not be concerned if we are not on the same schedule as descibed below under "proposed exam topics". The bottom line is that you are only responsible for the material covered in the previous Friday's lecture, NO MATTER WHAT THE SCHEDULE IN THE SYLLABUS SAYS ABOUT "UNITS" COVERED ON EACH MIDTERM.