In July, all UC Santa Barbara students’ grades from the past six years were made available online on GitHub through a Public Records Act request made by a UCSB alumnus. The data shows an increase in the percentage of students receiving A’s and better grades overall since Winter Quarter 2020.
The Nexus also created a website for students to look through past grading trends.
In July, the Nexus reported that all UC Santa Barbara grades from Fall 2015 to Winter 2021, which were obtained through California Freedom of Information Act, were published online by an anonymous UCSB alum. In total, 1,739,704 grades were received by students in the 44,788 courses offered over 22 quarters.
From the 2015-16 to the 2018-19 school years, the average number of courses taken by students in the fall, winter and spring quarters were fairly constant. From 2015-16 to the 2017-18 school years, students averaged taking just under four courses per quarter.
In the 2018-19 school year, the average number of courses taken by students increased to 4.41 courses for the fall, winter and spring quarters, compared to an average of 3.91 in the previous three years. Winter Quarter 2020 was the first time since the 2015-16 school year that students took fewer courses, on average, in the winter quarter than in the fall.
In the summer quarters from 2016 to 2019, students took 2.51 courses on average. For Summer Quarter 2020, students took 3.42 on average, nearly an entire course more than the previous years.
Many courses changed their grading distribution to accommodate students during the pandemic. Compared to grades given before Spring Quarter 2020, 409 courses changed the percentage of A’s, B’s or C’s given out by more than 30 percentage points.
Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology 3 (EEMB 3) is the largest course, in terms of the number of students, that had the percentage of a grade change by more than 30 percentage points since before Spring Quarter 2020. The percentage of students receiving an A in EEMB 3 increased from 22%, prior to the pandemic, to 71% since Spring Quarter 2020.
As a greater percentage of students received A’s in EEMB 3 since Spring Quarter 2020, the percentage of students receiving B’s decreased by 18 percentage points and the percentage of students receiving C’s decreased by 22 percentage points.
From Fall Quarter 2015 to Winter Quarter 2020, students received 1,324,937 grades, 91% of which were letter grades. From Winter Quarter 2020 to Winter Quarter 2021, an additional 414,767 grades were received, 93% of which were letter grades.
The percentage of students receiving A’s increased from 46% to 63% as the percentage of students receiving every other grade decreased after Winter Quarter 2020.
Prior to Winter Quarter 2020, 5.6% of courses were taken as Pass/No Pass which decreased to 4.1% in the quarters after Winter 2020. Over this time period, the percentage of students receiving a No Pass grade decreased from 4.3% to 3.1%.
The percentage of students receiving No Pass grades is also higher than the percentage of students receiving F’s for every quarter except for Summer Quarter 2016, 2017 and 2018, and the last two available quarters, Fall Quarter 2020 and Winter Quarter 2021.
For the upcoming Winter Quarter 2022 registration, the Nexus has published a website to view past grading distributions by course, professor and general education
requirements, which can be found here: dailynexus.com/interactives/grades.
A version of this article appeared on p. 5 of the Oct. 28, 2021 print edition of the Daily Nexus