In a previous post, I showed you how one can effectively utilize a guessing strategy in order to obtain the grade that one desires on a given exam. As useful as that is, it's even more useful to let such a strategy serve as a guide for what one must do in order to obtain the COURSE grade that one desires.

If one is only trying to pass FI 302 with a C- (as opposed to earning a C- on each exam), then once you factor in a timeliness bonuses of 1.50% (which should now no longer be a problem, since it's easy to learn so few problems), an attendance bonus of 3%, a quiz average of 100% (if you take the time to do the problems BEFORE you actually take the quizzes, then scoring 100% on 15 of the 27 quizzes shouldn't be a problem), and a Trading Game score of 90% (if you submit your Bloomberg printouts early in order to earn bonus points and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS [yes, I know they're long and complicated], then a 90% on the Trading Game should be easy), then you only need to earn 38 raw points on Exam 1 in order to be one pace to slide-in at just above a C-.

How many 5-point problems do you need to know in order to earn 38 raw points on Exam 1? Answer: 4.

That's right -- 4 5-point problems is all that you would need to know in order to put you on pace to pass FI 302. I should warn you that the boogies for the other exams are higher than it is for Exam 1 (in other words, you'll have to know more than 4 of the 5-point problems for the other exams), but they are all still very easy to achieve.

If you want to earn a B (continuing with the assumptions above regarding your other scores) in the course then, for Exam 1, you should know -- backwards and forwards -- how to solve 9 of the 5-point problems on Exam 1. In order to score an A, you should know -- backwards and forwards -- how to solve 13.5 of the 5-point problems on Exam 1.

Unfortunately, many students come to me for help after they have scored a 0 on their Trading Game, they have a -1.50% timeliness factor, and they have managed to lose 3% (the maximum) on their attendance "bonus" (yet they still manage to score 100 for their quiz average, either because they have already obtained a quiz average of 100 or I help them to prepare for their quizzes, since they haven't yet taken any of them). For such a student, he (and I do mean "he" because girls don't ever seem to get themselves into such a precarious situation) would need to know -- backwards and forwards -- how to solve 11.5 of the 5-point problems on Exam 1. That means that a student who has slacked-off in FI 302 to such a major degree has put himself in a position whereby, in order to secure a C- in FI 302, he must perform at about the point halfway between where an A and B student must perform.

From a previous blog post of mine, in which I put to rest the myth of the "dangers" of guessing:

You might think that it's risky to guess on so many problems, but if you consider that you are allowed to take each exam 4 times (3 eLearning exams plus one paper exam), you are very unlikely to be a bad guesser on 4 consecutive occasions (since your highest score is what counts, you only have to be an average or good guesser one time). In fact, the odds are less than 7 in 100 that you'll be a bad guesser on three consecutive occasions and they are less than 3 in 100 that you'll be a bad guesser on four consecutive occasions.

Let me end with a caveat: Some people think that I am saying that if you get 4 5-point questions correct, then you should obtain a certain score on the exam. THAT IS NOT WHAT I'M SAYING! What I am saying is that if you know -- with 100% certainty -- how to solve a 4 5-point questions, then you *should* accumulate 19 extra points by guessing. In other words, some people want to double-count their guessing points. Again: you must know -- with 100% certainty -- how to solve 4 5-point problems and you *should* pick up whatever else you need by guessing.