Hi everyone. I am teaching a grade 12 chemistry course this year. It's a highly academic course and most of the students in it are quite concerned about their grades. The students are in the process of applying for post-secondary right now and it's competitive. Also, the students will write a standardized exam at the end of the year. If their marks on the standardized exam aren't within 5% of my class mark, I'll be in trouble. So I have to be pretty careful with the marks I award, and not inflating their grades is actually really difficult. (Things like labs and assignments bring their marks up a lot). We have a unit exam tomorrow and I got two emails from students: - One student asked if she can write the unit exam a couple days late because she needs more time to prepare. She says she has a wedding to attend this weekend, plus she has has homework and tests in her other classes. - Another student emailed me concerned about a quiz mark. He says his quiz mark is lower than normal for him, and wanted to know if I'd drop the quiz mark if he did well on tomorrow's unit exam. I am kind of torn about how to reply to these. The strict side of me wants to say too bad, life happens, and that sometimes means not preparing for a unit exam as well as you'd hoped. That's just the way it goes. For the other one, I want to say that the entire reason I given multiple quizzes AND tests is so that one quiz doesn't completely tank your mark. You had one low mark, we're only halfway through the semester, you still have time to improve it by working hard until June. The other side of me thinks I should be nicer and that perhaps the students' concerns are valid. What do you think? How do you typically handle these types of requests?