It’s Academic

Steven Taylor ponders the question of why a student mathematically eliminated from passing his class would nonetheless take the final exam. My hypothesis, based on anecdotal evidence only, is that the kid isn’t very smart. That, alas, is often the case with people failing introductory political science courses.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. That answer had occurred to me.

    Of course, it remains a baffling practice…

  2. yetanotherjohn says:

    Or he needs the class for his major, so knows he will be there next year. Thus he decides to see what the final looks like. How much he studies for it is an open question.

    Of course if your failing a class required for your major, you may want to reconsider your major.

  3. This doesn’t elevate my view of poli-sci majors. The Ph.D.’s are still cool. 😉

  4. James Joyner says:

    This doesn’t elevate my view of poli-sci majors.

    My guess — based on four-year-old experience teaching at that institution — was that the student was an education major forced to take Poli-Sci 101.

  5. In college I ripped on the poli-sci majors. Studying the more analytical social science, economics, made me a bit of a snob. Poli-sci majors I knew always were double majoring yet still had plenty of time to drink and party. The University of Minnesota Duluth program couldn’t have been that difficult.

    At the bottom of my majors scale were the education majors taught by people with Ed.D, fake doctorates. Then there were the business majors who thought the business stats course was tough. They should have sat in my stats course I took for my math minor. It would have made them cry.