Sabotage? Failed by 0.1%

  1. A week prior to my final I calculated my grades and knew I needed an 80 on the final to pass the class. I met with my instructor to review the previous quiz. It was a test question that she said she would throw out because it could have been two answers. I didn't think about it any further until after I made a 79 on the final which made me fail the class. I needed a 79.5 to pass the class and I had a 79.4

    I emailed my instructor. Asking about the test question she said she would throw out because if she threw out that one question then I would pass. She emailed me back and said "Sorry all test are final and grades can not be changed. I misspoke during test review regarding throwing out that question."

    Is that fair that she can tell me one thing and then go back on her word? Especially when that one question will pass or fail me? What would you do in this situation?
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  2. 49 Comments

  3. by   Snowana
    I am so sorry to hear this! You are sooooo close!! I wish I had advice to offer on this exact scenario... While my scenario does not have to do exactly with a tenth of a percentage, it does have to do with a small technicality...and it did come out in my favor.

    For my ADN-BSN program, for the management clinical, I was assigned to a day shift nurse executive. What she intended to do was have me "stuff envelopes for the nursing awards banquet". I had requested to work with the nursing supervisor on my night shift. My clinical instructor initially told me "no" because the nursing supervisor I wanted to work with...while she had been in this position for 40 years, and the nights I was scheduled to work was during the "Occupy (insert city name)" fiasco...because she had a diploma and not at least a bachelors degree, I could not precept with her. I ended up going to the dean of nursing and asked "how does stuffing envelopes for an awards banquet teach me anything about management??" She agreed it was a waste of time, and found a way around the technicality that I had to precept with at least a bachelors degree prepared nurse.

    I hope this helps illustrate that small, little things don't necessarily need to be the final word. A tenth of a percent is not a huge deal (unless you're making a critical drug calculation)...and that percentage is really at the discretion of the instructor. I've had instructor grading curves vary greatly. Particularly since you have in writing that she "misspoke"...you might have a case for your dean!

    I wish you luck, and hope that things turn in your favor!
  4. by   gpnbe1a6
    Yes I have it in writing and I am hoping I can use it to my advantage. You can't tell a student on thing and go back on your word especially when that will help me pass. I think the Dean would reason with me. Well I hope so anyway.
  5. by   NuGuyNurse2b
    One of my buddies in nursing school missed the cutoff by .2 and they didn't round up for him, either. It sucks but most places will allow you to repeat the semester and learn from your mistakes. At my school, no matter how ridiculous an exam question was, they never threw it out, so it was never an option for us to have a question revised and thus alter scores.
  6. by   gpnbe1a6
    Do you think I have a fight at getting the point since she agreed to giving it to me? and then took it back? I have the evidence in an email. It seem like a Dean would give it to me since she said it originally.
  7. by   fibroblast
    I think you should, sounds like she just doesn't want to go back and fix it. Print out the email and go to the dean.
  8. by   roser13
    Quote from fibroblast
    I think you should, sounds like she just doesn't want to go back and fix it. Print out the email and go to the dean.
    Be careful who you aggravate unless you're just about to graduate.

    Some would say that if you're .1 % away from failing, that you really are not showing a mastery of the material and should take the class over. Don't aim for the minimum possible passing score - aim higher.
  9. by   akulahawkRN
    Just be careful about appealing this, depending upon the standing the professor has with her colleagues, it could cause you trouble or additional scrutiny in later semesters. That being said, it's not out of the realm of possibilities for you to appeal this. Though I would caution you that she very well could have documentation that she discussed that particular quiz with the other instructors there and determined that the question or two that she initially said would be thrown out shouldn't be. I would also suggest looking into whatever readmission process they have to hopefully allow you to re-enroll in the program and retake the failed semester. If they allow you to, your best bet is to figure out why you ended up failing by so close an amount whereas your classmates passed. Nursing schools are going to be notoriously strict in their grading policies.... rarely will they round-up anything. In any event, once you figure out how you study best/most efficiently, use that so you can pass the program with as high grades as you can manage.

    A classmate of mine failed out by a similar margin, was readmitted and he's been a nurse for just over 3 years now. I failed out, was on the bubble a least once and I figured out my own issues, and was readmitted. In the process I went from a student that the professors were concerned about to a student that the professors never had to worry about, indeed occasionally pointing me out as an example of what a successful student is.

    Best of luck!
  10. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    Quote from roser13
    Be careful who you aggravate unless you're just about to graduate.

    Some would say that if you're .1 % away from failing, that you really are not showing a mastery of the material and should take the class over. Don't aim for the minimum possible passing score - aim higher.
    I agree with this. If you were close enough to failing that it came down to one question, you weren't grasping the material.

    I'd recommend you take ownership of your inability to reach the required grade, and retake the class if that's an option.

    Fairness is relative. And yeah, it sucks to fail by .1, but the truth is that it wasn't one test that failed you - it was your performance throughout the semester.

    Best of luck to you.
  11. by   meanmaryjean
    But here's the thing- you had AMPLE opportunity to get all of the other questions right, and didn't. I see this so often, students focus on 'that one question'. No one fails an exam because of one question. One question can be the tipping point for sure- but all of the other questions you got wrong indicate a basic failure to master the exam content.
  12. by   caliotter3
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    But here's the thing- you had AMPLE opportunity to get all of the other questions right, and didn't. I see this so often, students focus on 'that one question'. No one fails an exam because of one question. One question can be the tipping point for sure- but all of the other questions you got wrong indicate a basic failure to master the exam content.
    Agree. Consider that it is ALL the missed questions that provide inadequate care to a patient. When does that inadequate care actually cause harm?
  13. by   Ben_Dover
    I would try and fight it at least. But do it in a cordial way and get your facts ready. You have more to lose if you don't. That's just me.
  14. by   Union-Jack
    Ugh - I had the exact same thing on one of my pre-req Bio classes.....had 79.4% and needed 79.5% to round up to an A grade. I wrote to the teacher, and she refused to round up, so I ended with a B for that class which was super annoying!!! I feel for you!!

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