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How is UW math marked?

A photo of Raffy Raffy
Do they straight up bellcurve marks in math class?

Waterloo math has a lot of really smart asians straight from china. Won't bellcurving give a somewhat inaccurate representation of university math students in general? Does that mean it's harder to get good grades (not becus of harder math) at UW?

What is their policy on marks for math courses?

P.s. Are AFM generally bellcurved too?
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A photo of aimango aimango
Actually, the faculty of math does NOT bellcurve. Ive taken 4 Math courses this year, no bellcurving experience, none from my CS friends' math courses either. Math is comprehensive and usually what you see on math exams is what you see on your assignments and past exams they post on Mathsoc. This is just from 1st year math though, IDK about upper year. Ive never heard of bellcurving for science faculty either.

The only faculties that bellcurve (from what ive heard from friends and my own experience) are physics and engineering (i mean for each specific discipline, ie. ECE, MECH, NANO, etc.), and sometimes CS - depending on the course, we had some bellcurve goin on for our 2nd term CS, but thats cause there was only 1 section and 1 prof. They do not usually bellcurve for courses with more than 3ish sections cause it gets confusing... profs have to gather and talk about what they should do to raise the average, etc etc.

How it goes in engineering is that they usually just make the exam/midterm/whatever out of a lower mark OR they increase the weight of assignments/quizzes and try to aim for a low/mid 70 avg. The reason they bellcurve for the eng. faculty is cause a lot of our courses are only available in 1 of 3 terms in a whole year. so if half the class fails the course, half the class is screwed and our engineering faculty doesnt like that.

LOL AFM bellcurving? im sorry, but thats hilarious. Faculty of Arts bellcurving... LOL.
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
UW has been known to not bell much really.
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A photo of greygoose greygoose
Averages are expected to be in the 70s or 60s. For a particularly low class average, you can request the dean/associate dean check out the marks if you think they were unfair, and it will be a personal decision of his.

The advanced math classes are known for a bit of scaling or curving, usually through flexible marking schemes--e.g. best scheme for different weightings of final, midterm, etc. However, an actual curve tends to only happen if the marks are significantly too low. Curving is pretty rare in the math faculty in general, even in these advanced classes that supposedly try not to penalize you mark-wise for taking them. (Good luck with that - if that were the case they'd have class averages of 95 :P)

Your first year regular math courses definitely won't see any scaling. Though MATH 135 is being completely reworked for this fall, so there is a slight possibility that might be an exception.

Having taken PHYS 121 and 122, the disastrous first year physics courses, I can safely say both classes had the marks significantly scaled, due to stupid final exams.

But in general, UW tends to mark harder than other universities. I've heard grad schools take this into account.
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A photo of noxx98 noxx98
Bell curving only happens in extreme circumstances, generally when an exam or test was found to be far too difficult or if a question could be interpreted in multiple ways. This will tend to happen more in CS courses, as the wording of a question and how you interpret it could potentially cause a wide range of answers.
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