Your grade in this course will be computed using the following formula:
The final exam is common to all sections. Note that a student must score at least 40% on the final exam to pass the course, regardless of the grade computed by the above calculation. The final examination will not be weighted more heavily for students with a higher score on the final than their term mark, although some allowance may be made for students who perform much better on the final examination than they did during the term. (In practice, this rarely happens; the criterion will be set by the Instructor-in-Charge and applied uniformly across all sections.)
Mark Mac Lean, who has been an Instructor-in-Charge for MATH 101 and other courses in the past and who is now the Undergraduate Chair of the Mathematics Department, has shared his perspective on grades and grading, which will give you a very detailed understanding about grades and how your professors look at them.
Because MATH 101 is a multisection course, the grading scheme includes the following structure to ensure fairness and consistency across all sections: disrtibuted marking of the final exam and scaling of term grades to match the final. In brief:
The last page of Mac Lean's perspective on grades and grading goes into more detail about both items.
The final examination will be the same for all sections of MATH 101. The grading of the exam will be distributed among all the instructors and TAs for MATH 101, so that parts of everybody's exam are marked by several different people. Both of these factors help ensure that grades on final exams are given equitably no matter which section you are in.
In each section, the students' term marks will be scaled so that their section's median on the term mark matches their median on the final examination. This important step ensures that no student is penalized for being in a "hard" section or taking an unexpectedly difficult midterm. If a particular section does well on the final exam, then their term marks will most probably go up. (If the term marks are higher than the final exam scores, then it is possible for term marks to go down as a result of this scaling.)
In no circumstance can a student have 100% of their assessment based on the final examination. A student who has not completed a substantial portion of the term work (for example, a student who misses both midterm examinations) will not be admitted to the final examination.
There is no mechanism by which a student can increase their assigned grade in the course after the semester (no “extra assignments” or the like). Please do not ask your instructor about such possibilities; the time to take responsibility for your performance in the course is during the semester.