I remember being a senior in high school and wondering how different college would be from high school. Often, I wondered how much more difficult it would be, what the classes would be like, and how the grading system would work for each class. It was terrifying to come to college because I did not know what to expect. I was especially nervous about the academics. After the first day of classes my freshman year, I was much more confident and comfortable about how I would perform academically because there were no major shocks or surprises about what homework and tests would look like in my classes.
Based on my own experience in Marketing classes, the college grading system is not much different than in high school. On the first day of class, each professor will hand out a syllabus that breaks down every point and how your grade will be impacted by different assignments and exams. Typically, the grading systems in the classes that I have taken have been divided up based on a points system. For example, many professors score their entire courses out of 1,000 points, and the syllabus breaks down where every point comes from.
Usually there are two exams – a midterm and a final – but some classes may have three or even four exams. I have never taken a class that had more than four total exams. Exams are usually the biggest chunk of your grade. Most exams that I have taken were worth about 15-25% of my total grade. Besides exams, a large amount of points typically come from group/individual projects. Marketing courses tend to be heavy on group work. Many classes have quizzes once or even twice a week. If you are lucky, occasionally a class will give participation points. Participation points can be a huge help to your grade because they are fairly easy points, as long as you have good attendance and are active in class discussions. One other large chunk of your grade usually comes from papers, with most classes assigning at least one paper. Extra credit is pretty rare, but occasionally a professor offers bonus points for an extra assignment or guest lecture attendance.
Very few classes that I have taken have offered any kind of points for homework, but some classes do assign homework and reward you with points if you complete it. Overall, the college grading system is nothing to worry about and it is quite similar to high school. The important thing to remember is to try your hardest on every assignment.