Studying in America and Canada  
8.4 Selecting Courses and Managing your Schedule

You will typically earn a letter grade - A, B, C, D and F - on every course, based on your performance. An aggregation of alphabetical grades on all courses using the Grade Point Average System (GPA) - as discussed in Chapter 3 - represents your overall performance in your program of studies.

As mentioned earlier, your grade on a course reflects your performance not only on the final exam, but also on other intermediate tasks. Your professor for each course determines how the grading will be handled. For example, you professor for a course may break-down the grading as follows: 20% for home work assignments, 20% each for 2 mid-term exams, and 40% for the final exam. This has the effect of promoting consistent work effort on your part throughout the coursel; it can give you multiple chances to improve your performance in a particular course.

Your professor for a course is responsible for all aspects of teaching and evaluation. Pay close attention to what he or she says. Since the professor sets the mid-term and final exams, you have a fairly good idea of what to expect on the exam. The questions on the exams are not likely to deviate wildly from what the professor has taught in the classroom.

There is typically no attendance-taking in the classroom, but you will be well advised not to skip classes. First, you will learn something if you attend the class and, second, what you are being taught in the classroom is directly related to what you are likely to see on the exams.

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