Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/400

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advanced courses are grouped by themselves. Some men believe that the credits in an advanced course, which to some extent represents the survival of the fittest students in the department, should be differently distributed from the credits in an elementary course in the same subject. College records everywhere show that a larger proportion of the

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high rank men than of the low rank men, in an introductory course, continue the subject in advanced courses. Indeed, one of the chief objects of the elective system is to enable students to specialize in fields in which they are likely to achieve distinction. But this hardly justifies the extreme and continued variations among the grade distributions of the intermediate group of courses, nor does it account in a satisfactory

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way for the diverse practises among advanced courses. Figs. 3 and 4 show a variation of two per cent, to sixty per cent, in the As given in intermediate courses in Harvard College; and extremes of seventeen per cent, and seventy-four per cent, in the case of grade B, Fig. 4 pictures the statistics of grades C, D and E.