What is a “weed-out” class? Bio 221 is used by several majors as a “weed-out” class. That’s not necessarily as terrible as it sounds. Our curve is designed so that roughly the top 1/3 of the class gets an A or B, and roughly the top 2/3 gets an A, B or C. So if your major requires a B in this class, what they’re saying is that they think only the top 1/3 of students can succeed in the major. If it requires at least a C, the bottom 1/3 to 1/4 of the class will eventually encounter insurmountable problems later on. The class is supposed to be taken in your Sophomore year, before you have a lot invested in a particular major, and before you encounter the really difficult courses in the upper division of the major. The point is that if you struggle making a particular grade in a “weed-out” course, you’ll really not be able to progress in the more difficult courses later on, and it’s better for you to redirect your educational efforts than to enter upon a plan of study in which you are unlikely to succeed. These courses are NOT
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