# The distribution of midterm grades

Here is a histogram, arranged so that each bin corresponds to a letter-grade with optional plus or minus:

And here are the quantiles:

5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 55% 60% 65% 70% 75% 80% 85% 90% 95% 64.0 67.5 69.1 70.6 74.6 76.0 78.2 80.0 81.2 83.0 84.3 85.5 86.3 87.5 88.5 90.0 91.5 93.0 94.5

The median grade is 83, or B-, which is low relative to the results in previous years. I don't like the concept of "grading on the curve", since it implies that for someone to do better, someone else should do worse. But I see no reason to think that this year's students are half a letter grade below the level of students in previous years.

So I've decided to give everyone one question's worth of credit for spelling their name correctly. This adds 5 points to everyone's score, and makes the median grade 88, or B+, which is in line with the experience of midterms in previous years.