Forgive me if this is not appropriate, but here goes:
Out of two hundred biology students only one student scored an A on our first exam.
The 'mean' was 50%, with about 95% of the students scoring between a 60 and 30 percent.
There is no curve.
Another professor, whose 'identical level' class I sit in on and who teaches the same material, had multiple A's and a healthy range of grades that spanned the entire gamut, where the majority did not fail, without the assist of a curve, but with extra credit questions on an electronic overhead system that we did not have. Everyone took the same test with the same questions with this instructor, as I was told by matching 'stories' via word of mouth, which from listening to the grape-vine, were hardly difficult.
Our professor required advanced application theory for each process and function, as well as it's participants from organ systems to hormones, proteins and etc...all learned in order to deduce questions. Definitely not the same level of understanding.
Obviously this may, or may not, be an issue with one professor simply expecting more and making a higher difficulty exam....and could seem to have little merit. However, as a student I'm concerned that in a study of my peers the majority could not even achieve a passing average...which suggests the professors determination for us to 'apply everything learned in hypothetical situations within questions' is above our current capabilities, whereas another professor is expecting not so much.
I won't bore you with the details of my near compulsive study habits & perpetual prowling of the learning center's allotted hours so- the 'study more' is already an agreed answer, but not a simple solution, nor a complete one, considering current 'review time' as is.
While it's common sense to take a different approach to the next exam and, as is the answer with most things, try harder...I'd like to know:
What rights does a student have when nearly all the students within two of a teacher's periods fail a test and -one- lone student returns with an A?
(That abnormality is what is bothering me specifically.)
Should they accept this & not react, create an approved signed student petition for a curve, speaking to the head of the department, trying to pose an intelligent 'question' to the professor concerning what he would suggest to his failing student body...? I'm curious.
As professors or TA's out there, what are your thoughts when you are presented with this sort of occurence?
I apologize if this sounds like a sob story.
The grades simply seem so startling that I had to question.