Rules of Engagement: Asking for Points Back
Posted 03/26/2018 04:06PM

by Katie Krantz/Lion Staff


Do you ever feel that your teacher has graded you unjustly? Do you feel that you deserve points back for effort? Is your forty-eight on that math test actually worth a ninety because you “totally stayed up all night studying”?

Well, regardless of what I write, you’re probably going to go on thinking that. I’m not your boss. However, I am your loving guardian angel, here to present you with the rules of engagement when asking unfair, malevolent teachers to regrade assignments. I mean, why would someone devote their life and energy to education if not to torture hardworking students like yourself?

  1. Go to tutorial. You have at least a 10% better chance of getting those points back if you show up to tutorial and ask some questions before the test. Better yet, review your notes beforehand so that you can ask questions based on the material and not about your teacher’s baby. That way, it’ll look like you totally studied. If you know all of the information in the notes, you can absolutely fool your teacher into thinking you reviewed. Just make sure you know enough that if they offer to quiz you, you can ace it and trick them into thinking you studied. If you go to tutorial every day and talk to your teachers, it won’t seem weird if you go when you want, nay need, extra credit. Going to tutorial to ask for points back instead of doing it over email is also a personal touch. Maybe Mr. Morris will recognize your cologne, and you can start with a normal, humanizing conversation to warm him up into points back. Just make sure you’re talking to the right Mr. Morris.

  2. Create a pavlovian response to your arrival. To truly excel in academia, you must prepare ahead. Far ahead. On the first day of school, casually ask your teacher their favorite type of candy, as though you’re trying to make friends with them. For the rest of the year, every time you see this teacher offer them a piece of that candy. This will make them excited to see you in the future. In the hallways, they will always wave to you and smile. They’re not just being weird -- you’ve hacked psychology and forced them to like you. They may be bewildered as to why they get excited when you walk in the room. They may consider forfeiting their position as an educator. However, when in such a vulnerable state,  teachers are generally more agreeable towards giving back points. Be very careful with this method, as running out of the candy could make the teacher angry enough to give out extra homework.

  3. Make eye contact. When you’re preparing to go into battle against a teacher, you must be ready to square up. Think of pro wrestling, except more dramatic. A mask or colorful face paint may even be helpful in this situation. A leotard crammed on over your uniform may not. Regardless of whether you decide to do a full on libre mask and spandex underwear outside of your pants, you must be prepared to make the ring your own. Walk right into tutorial, boxing gloves on, and stare into your teachers’ eyes. You must not break eye contact. Keep your eyes open, unblinking, even if you have to tape your eyes open with duct tape. The more intensely you stare, the better you show your dominance. If you can assert yourself as the alpha human being in this scenario, you will most likely get back the points that you’ve asked for, regardless of whether this is a test, a homework assignment, or a five-point mini pop quiz.

  4. Use a fact-based argument. The easiest way to ask for points back is if they actually graded you incorrectly. Carefully add up the number of missed questions. If your teacher has added incorrectly, you can easily push them over the edge and into giving points territory. However, with this tactic you must proceed with caution. Teachers, math teachers especially, will check your point values, so make sure you’ve done it one hundred percent correctly. Having an actual mistake in the grading makes it completely fair to ask for points back, and likely that you will get them. Force your teacher into fairness with logic! Of course, logic can swing both ways, and when you’re feverishly adding up points to verify your teacher hasn’t messed up, you might discover they’ve given you too many points. At that point, well, there’s no need to beat a dead horse, right? Everyone makes mistakes.

  5. Don’t need points back in the first place. This is the ultimate hack. Who ever needs points back on a 100? By getting full points the first time, there’s no need to don a luchador suit and attempt to punch out your history teacher. Perfection has its privileges.

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