Main Handout: Grading

Physics 131, Fall 2011

Prof. E. F. Redish

Non-Honors Section

Grades in this class arise NOT solely from your performance on exams but from a mix of many different ways to judge your work. Be sure you understand the components so you don't get a nasty surprise at the end of the term!

The result is a grade that is a more accurate representation of your performance in the class. It also means that you can blow one midterm exam and still get an A if your work in other categories is first rate! Here is the breakdown.

Honors Section

The only difference between the non-honors and honors section is that the honors students will also write a term paper. Yes, if you expect to get honors credit for the class, you will have to do more work!

If you are signed up for the honors section but decide you do NOT want honors credit, we will be able to change your registration after classes start.

For honors credit you will have to write a 10-20 page paper during the semester. You will be expected to (by negotiation with the instructor) come up with a reasonable topic that demonstrates a use of physics in biology. (I have a list of possible topics available.) For the paper you will have to

A few weeks into the term you will meet with the instructor to decide on a project and find an advisor who can answer your questions on the topic. You will be expected to produce two (short -- one page) progress reports during the term and to meet with the instructor once to discuss your project.

Since you will be writing a term paper, other part of your grade will not count as much in order to leave points for the term paper.

Hour exams (100 pts each) 200
Quizzes (scaled to) 50
Final exam (200 pts) 200
Homework (scaled to) 150
Lab (scaled to) 150
Participation (approximately) 50
Term paper 200
Total 1000


University of Maryland Physics Department Physics 131 Home

This page prepared by

Edward F. Redish
Department of Physics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: (301) 405-6120

Last revision 11 August, 2011.