Curving grades is not a new practice. With classes like organic chemistry, it is necessary to curve grades, otherwise people would fail and we would have no doctors in the world. While curving can be a very great thing, if people do well enough on an exam or assignment, the curve, like your expectations, will be shattered. To avoid gambling on a curve that may or may not exist, here are some things you can to do avoid it.
1. Go to class
This seems so simple, yet I see a similar trend every year. People go to class the first day to avoid losing their spot in the class, then attendance dwindles until exam time. This trend repeats after each exam. Yet, there are literally studies that show that you do better in a class by actually going and taking notes. Skipping class might save you time, but it definitely will not save your grade.
2. Go to office hours or seek tutoring
Professors and teaching assistants have office hours, where you can go up to them privately in their office and ask questions you may have about the material. What better place to go than to where the knowledge is? If you feel afraid of being shut down by someone who is higher than you in the class, you can always seek peer tutoring. Someone who has done extremely well in the class will be able to help you and give you tips on excelling in the class yourself.
3. Go study, but not like how you did in high school
I don’t care how much you relied on cramming the night before a high school exam. You will literally fail yourself and your expectations will never be met by relying on high school study habits. Not only do you retain less information by cramming, but your stress levels will be through the roof and your sleep cycle in shambles. It is extremely important to space out your studying so you learn a little more each day. There is also evidence that suggests that studying your notes right after class helps you learn the information. However, if that is not possible, it is still important to make time to study the material over time instead of trying to cram.
-- Ricardo Canelo