Your final grade in … is “A”

February 12, 2013

Grades are not the most important thing when doing an MBA, but it is nice to get an “A” every now and then. Unfortunately Sasin has never been very open about the grading process they apply and after writing an exam you have to wait for 4-6 weeks to receive an email with only one letter in there.

A little more feedback would be nice; we spend hours studying for an exam so we should at least get decent feedback how we did.

A little more feedback would be nice; we spend hours studying for an exam so we should at least get decent feedback how we did.

While many people don’t care about their grade as soon as they see they got an A, and some don’t even care when they got a B or a C, for me that is different. When I spent so much time studying I would like to get some decent feedback on how well I performed so I will know, for next time, what I should work on. 

Instead of just giving the details in the first email you have to email back, every time, with the same standardized text asking for the details.

Instead of just giving the details in the first email you have to email back, every time, with the same standardized text asking for the details.

So normally I would reply to the registrar with the request to get the details of my grade. And while this is still not all the information I would like to have, it is a good start. It would often take a few days or weeks before getting a reply, but so far I have not been let down as long as I keep sending emails till I got an answer; persistence they call that.

Now I know I probably need to spend a bit more time on the final exam, but participation in class is enough.

Now I know I probably need to spend a bit more time on the final exam, but participation in class is enough.

Recently a discussion was started in class about the way we get our grades, and the Student Council started some lobbying with Sasin if it would not be possible to get the details of our grades right away instead of having to ask for it all the time. To my surprise they did not make a big deal of it. Why this surprised me? Well, it is pretty obvious, to me at least, that feedback on how you performed for a course in one sentence (“you got a final grade of A”) is inadequate. So I assumed former classes would have lobbied for more details for years already, and we were just joining them in line. Apparently former classes never complained about it…

A nice surprise; without even asking for it we got the details for the course negotiations.

A nice surprise; without even asking for it we got the details for the course negotiations.

As one could expect the first time we got the details of our grades it did not take long before we figured out the cutoff point where one goes from a B to an A, and the natural reaction of many people who got a B but scored close to an A was to complain about the cutoff point. Some debates started on Facebook if we should approach Sasin with the request to lower the cutoff, even though there was no reasonable argument for asking this besides a “because then I get an A also”. An action like that would probably cancel out all the lobbying done earlier to get the details, so I was happy to hear that in the end common sense won and we would not approach Sasin as a group to ask for a lower cutoff point. Maybe some people took action by themselves anyways, but I doubt that would make much of a difference.

Just a percentage score would have been enough, but this is extremely nice of course for the course Accounting for Decision Making.

Just a percentage score would have been enough, but this is extremely nice of course for the course Accounting for Decision Making.

Getting the details of our grades is in my view just a first step though. Next step would be to also get the cutoff point so we don’t have to figure that out ourselves and some more descriptive statistics would be nice also (number of A’s, number of B’s, highest score, lowest score, average score, median score, etc.). We just learned how to get all the descriptive statistics in one action in Excel during the class “Statistical methods for management decisions” so now seems the perfect time to share this knowledge with the Sasin staff to get even more information.

Descriptive statistics are a piece of cake in Excel, thanks to Sharad Borle who explained all this during the course "Statistical methods for management decisions".

Descriptive statistics are a piece of cake in Excel, thanks to Sharad Borle who explained all this during the course “Statistical methods for management decisions”.

And if I look how well Sasin responded so far to suggestions I think we might have a decent shot of getting this fixed for us also, and all the classes coming after us.

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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