Quote from llg
what mystifies me (and makes me angry) are those students who don't put forth much effort throughout the entire semester and receive bad grade after bad grade on assignment after assignment. they "assume" that a good grade on the final exam or final paper or whatever will "save them." then, at the end of the semester when they haven't done well on the final project to bring up their failing grade, they argue that one score to death, saying, "but that one grade prevents me from passing the course ... and i don't deserve to fail!" if they had been so concerned about their grade back in october, they wouldn't have put themselves in such a position in the first place. i had 2 students like that this semester. at some point, you just don't know what to say them. they missed classes: they didn't follow directions on assignments: etc. and received several failing grades throughout the semester. yet they never sought help nor took the advice i tried to offer. now that they have failed the course, it's my fault for not allowing them to re-do the final paper.
you make a very good point. while it may seem like only one point (the average at the end) it is hard for them to rationalize that perhaps they needed about 5 more points on the final to bring up their average to a passing grade. it is very complicated. but, as many have said, you have to draw the line somewhere, whch is why we have a point system.
also, i really feel with some (not all) that there is this sense of denial, or invincibility: "not me, i will not fail, all i need is one test to pull me up". but if they have been dong poorly all along, it is virtually impossible to pull it up. where i work, it is a very small school. we council those in danger of failing very early on. we advise them to drop, to avoid the failing grade from appearning on their transcripts, and they could start fresh again. those who were in danger did not take the advice, and sadly, ended up failing
, and cannot return next semester, b/c their gpa is way too low now. that's what a 6 or 8 credit nursing class will do.