There&aposs two that I&aposve used in previous clssaes taught. One isn&apost applicable to you at this point, since you&aposre just getting started at , and have obviously taught this particular class a total of 0.5 times so far. 1) From previous experience with the class, scale the difficulty of the exam relative to the rest of the course so that you don&apost get a 47% exam mean. In my experience, any time I&aposve done a hard but fair&apos exam, it&aposs been more emphasis on the hard&apos, less emphasis on the fair&apos, no matter how hard I&aposve tried to make it fair. My typical rule now has become make it easier than you think you need to&apos, and it works out around the right spot. I don&apost trust myself to remember what the proper difficulty should be for the course, even though I&aposm the one who taught it. 2) Scale the exam to the highest grade. This obviously only works if everyone did more poorly than expected if you have a couple of wunderkind in your class, this will do absolutely nothing. I personally experienced several clssaes back in my undergraduate education where the professor gave apologetically brutal tests and exams but scaled them to the highest mark in the class. On our midterm, the highest score was an 89: the test was therefore out of 89. On the final exam, the highest score was somewhere in the high 70s: that was what your personal score was out of. As I remember, I did quite badly on the midterm, but with the scaling, still got a ~ 60% or so.It works well if your grade shape is correct, but scaled poorly (in more than just mean). In the case where your shape is right, but linearly scaled downwards, you can do a so-called vertical translation&apos and just bump everyone up a certain number of points. With respect to grade distribution and engineers (I mostly have taught engineers, and was one in undergrad), I have tended *not* to aim for a Gaussian distribution of grades. Most clssaes that have worked out well tend toward more of a bimodal distribution, with a peak in the mid-to-high-80s, and a peak in the mid-to-low-70s (maybe high 60s). These are (respectively) the students who got it&apos and did all the work and earned their ~ 90%, and the students who didn&apost really get it&apos, but did all the work and did enough work to pass with a non-51% grade. Emphasizing the exact shape of the distribution of grades was way too much hassle, and almost never worked out as intended.
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