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Making Straight B's. 1st year PhD student

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I am not failing. Thank God. But I am making straight B's. I cant seem to get an A on anything, other than quant work.


Any advice on how to get A's in grad school.


My funding is dependent upon me making an A average...So I am worried.


I only take Saturday night off, Thursday night off (after 10pm on both nights) and I try to work out a hour a day to stay sane. So I am putting in a ton of hours.



Also, when there is "grade inflation" in grad school. Does that mean professors drop down the grading requirements for A's. For instance, instead of a 90 being a A, they may drop it down to a 80 for a A? Everyone keeps telling me (students), that its ok and dont stress, but my old college NEVER inflated anything (unless you were in engineering). If you got a 79.9, that is a C.

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Grade inflation is not a guarantee, so don't count on it. Usually it goes the other way - the A may still be a 90, but in reality, the student wrote a B paper.


Studying is not about how many hours you put in, it's about learning the material. If someone can study an hour for a final exam and get an A on it, that person is studying effectively. If you're making As in Quant, that's good - stats are the hardest thing to study for. So, for your other courses, mix it up a bit. Have you tried Mnemosyne?

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Why don't you talk to your professors about what you can do to improve? They will likely be the best individuals that would know why you receive B's on your written work.  If they tell you that your writing needs work, then utilize your school's writing center if there is one.  If there isn't a writing center, ask a trusted friend who is a good writer for tips on how to improve your writing.

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The amount of hours that you put in don't necessarily determine your grade - you have to be using that time wisely.


And no, that's not what grade inflation means - it's not a numerical thing but more of an expectations thing.  It's like, if your work is up to par in graduate school, it's expected to be A work.  If it's middling but ok, you get a B.  Most assignments that I've had in graduate school haven't been numerically graded but were papers that were sort of subjectively graded, and if you did normal grad-school level work you got an A.  Work that was less than what was expected, but acceptable, garnered a B.  But for the classes in which I did have some numerically graded work (mostly statistics classes) an 85 was still a B.


The hardest classes for me to study for were actually not stats - stats was pretty easy for me (I'm a methodologist with strong quantitative training).  They were a sociological and anthropological theory class I had to take in my first year (I'm in an interdisciplinary program and I'm a psychologist by training, so I wasn't used to reading Marx and Durkheim or thinking in such an abstract way) and a cognitive psychology class I took in my first year as well (I'm a social psychologist, and it was very boring.  Not because cognition is boring, but the professors just were not interesting).

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