Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/411

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401
DISTRIBUTION OF COLLEGE CREDITS

bution of college grades, does certainly come nearer the correct frequency curve than the normal curve, or than that representing the present practise of any college or university in the country. In institutions where many sons of rich parents are dragged just above the failure line by tutors, the curve would be skewed even more than in Fig. 10.

As we proceed upward through the years of school and college we should thus expect to find the curve skewed more and more in a positive direction, provided the standards are appropriately higher each year and a new base line is taken for each successive group. Those who accept the principle of normal distribution only for freshman courses in college, or for any single period in the school life of the child, would be at a loss to prove its peculiar fitness for that period.

TABLE III

Records in Harvard College of 363 Honor Graduates in Law and Medicine

Number of Students receiving Grades in Certain Departments ABOVE their General Average in all Departments

Fine Arts Natural sci ences Mathe matics Philo logy His tory Modern lan guages English Clas sics
Law graduates 24 68 33 78 86 67 12 41
Medical graduates 32 88 36 53 42 50 12 24
Total 56 156 63 131 128 117 24 66
 

Number of Students receiving Grades in Certain Departments BELOW their General Average in all Departments Law graduates

Fine Arts Natural sci ences Mathe matics Philo logy His tory Modern lan guages English Clas sics
Law graduates 40 55 33 32 29 84 46 41
Medical graduates 45 19 48 33 53 55 109 32
Total 85 64 81 65 82 139 155 73
 

Summary

Number above 56 156 69 131 128 117 24 66
Fine Arts Natural sci ences Mathe matics Philo logy His tory Modern lan guages English Clas sics
Total 85 64 81 65 82 139 155 73
 

At least two institutions now enforce a distribution of grades on a scientific basis. At the University of Missouri, an A is approximately equal to an A, a B equal to a B, in a defined sense; so that grades may be intelligently and fairly used for administrative purposes. According to the definitions adopted in June, 1908, grades A + B must equal