OIRAE analysis of repeat courses indicates that while the course grade raises on second attempt, long-term results are mixed

It is common, and at times necessary, for students to repeat a course after failing or withdrawing mid-semester, but repeating a course after earning a C or D yields mixed results. 

Looking at the long term, sometimes it’s helpful to their academic careers, sometimes it’s harmful, according to the latest briefing from the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness (OIRAE).

For example, students who repeated “Fundamentals of Speech Communication,” also known as COM 114, after earning a C or D are more likely to have a higher GPA at time of graduation, the OIRAE report says. However, students who repeated “Modern Mechanics,” a foundational physics course known as PHYS172, after earning a C or D are less likely to have an improved GPA and to graduate within four years.

More repeat course facts: Top 5 courses with the largest number of repeats  1.Fundamentals of Speech Communication, COM 114 2. First-year Composition, ENGL 106 3.Elementary Psychology, PSY 120 4. Intro Sociology, SOC 100 5. General Chemistry, CHM 115 Top 5 courses with the highest rate of repeats (of non-repeatable credit courses)  1. Linear Circuit Analysis II, ECE202 2. Introduction to Digital System Design, ECE270 3. Plane Analytic Geometry and Calculus I, MA161 4. Introduction to Probability Models, STAT225 5. Thermodynamics I, ME200

A public forum on the report will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 11, in the Purdue Graduate Student Center, Room 105 A/B.

Why, exactly, repeating some courses produces better cumulative GPAs and graduate rates than others is not clear, according to the report. There are several factors to be considered, but further analysis would be necessary to determine if factors such as course content and grading strategies have a significant effect on whether a course should be repeated or not.

Students who repeat a course after failing or withdrawing pass the repeat course 77 percent of the time. There is little-to-no effect on cumulative GPA if a class is repeated with the exclusive goal of earning an A grade.

To read June’s briefing visit: http://www.purdue.edu/oirae/documents/OIRAE_Briefings/Courses_Repeated_June_2017.pdf

Writer: Kirsten Gibson, technology writer, Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), 765-494-8190, gibson33@purdue.edu

Last Updated: July 3, 2017

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by ITaP

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact ITaP at itap@purdue.edu.