Tuesday, December 23, 2014

From the UC-Riverside Highlander.

Grade Grub

Grade grubbing is the process of constantly seeking out professors or TAs to keep meticulous track of your grades. Grade grubbing is a serious art. It requires diligence and consistency. It may sound important because it actually is, especially to students who want to keep track of their academics. Do you have the symptoms of grade grubbing?

If you wait for your professor after everyone disperses after class to ask them about your grade multiple times a week you may fit in that category. If you go to office hours despite having a good grip on the material just to reinforce to your TA that you are a good student, it’s also likely you suffer from grade grubbing. Be wary that this isn’t a sure-fire method to excellent grades. It is actually a double-edged sword.

You don’t want to annoy teachers and antagonize them. Bombarding professors with requests or further inquires about a 10-point assignment will only make it worse — professors are veterans at weeding out brown-nosers from stressed students.

However, grade grubbing can be the last resort to make it out by the skin of your teeth (insert war flashbacks for those who barely made it out of language courses). Maybe don’t wait for professors after every class like their daytime stalker, but try to go to office hours, so they do see you are trying to make an effort. Having good rapport with a TA or professor is better than not having one at all: They will remember your name when doing final grades, and hopefully do it with a smile rather than a scowl.

Other Shit.


  1. ". . .when you really need to focus and get that grade. . ."

    Interesting that that phrase was used instead of "learning the material."

  2. The article reminds me something I noticed shortly after I started teaching 25 years ago. Early after term began, a number of "how to be a student" sessions were offered by, I think, the student services office. Among the information that was conveyed were gems like "ask questions", "take notes", and "do your assignments".

    I shook my head in bewilderment, wondering how anybody could ever be a student without knowing things like that.

  3. The lexicon must be drifting. When I was an undergrad, grade grubbing was trying to argue for more points on tests and assignments.

    "[The] process of constantly seeking out professors or TAs to keep meticulous track of your grades" was being an asshole and/or unnecessary. It took no time to record each new grade in the back of your notebook, and calculating a running weighted total was simple math.

    1. Indeed. And attempts to gain a few more points through getting the professor to like you -- which were often transparently annoying to everyone but the student perpetrating them -- were known as "brown-nosing."