Placeholder Quizzes

When I pour all the marbles into the Quia jar, I put them into "quizzes".

These are not quizzes in the usual sense; that is, they're not quizzes where you earn points by answering questions. Rather, these quizzes are simply "boxes" or "categories" where I put the points that you've earned from reading, writing, typing, or class activities. I call them "placeholder" quizzes.

Let's imagine, for example, that we're looking at Julia's Quia homepage.

Overall score

Overall points

15% 578/24,210
Quiz Points Score

01.01 Its / It's



000 Writing Portfolio



000 Typing



000 Class Activities



000 Reading



The quiz at the top of the list is a "true" quiz. Julia earned 8 out of 10 possible points by taking a quiz called Its / It's. If she wants to improve her score, she can retake this quiz.

The other four quizzes on the list are "placeholder" quizzes. Think of them as categories where I've poured the marbles that you've earned from doing non-Quia activities.

The first thing I want you to notice is that they all start with the prefix "000".

Next, I want you to notice that all of them have very large denominators (in the points column). That's because there really is no "upper limit" to how many points you can earn from these activities.

Because of these things, these "placeholder quizzes" have large denominators, and therefore Julia's percentages in these categories is small.

So here is the first—and most important thing—that I want you to learn from this lesson:

For "placeholder quizzes", don't worry about percentages! All you need to worry about is the numerator of the points column. The numerator is the number of points that you have earned in each category.

Similarly, near the top of the page, don't worry about your "Overall score". This percentage is meaningless! The only number that really matters is the numerator of the fraction called "Overall points". This is the total number of points that you have earned since the beginning of the year.

And here is another key point:

You cannot retake placeholder quizzes. That's because they aren't quizzes! They are simply "jars" where I pour all the marbles that you've earned from doing non-Quia activities.

Students who fail to understand this sometimes ask me:

"Mr. Hall, I noticed that I only got 3% on the Reading quiz. Can I retake that quiz to try to get my grade up?

And my answer is this: "Don't worry about percentages. The fact that you have a 3% for Reading is absolutely meaningless. It's the points in the numerator that matter. Right now, you have 300 points for reading. If you want more points in this category, you need to read more. And then you're going to let me know how many more pages you've read, and then I will update the number of points in this category."

Lastly, I want to emphasize this point:

Of all the numbers on your Quia homepage, the numerator of the fraction called "Overall points" is by far the most important—because that is the number that I'm going to transfer over to Synergy. And your percentage on Synergy is what determines your overall grade.

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.