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Lab reports are generally due one week after the experiment is performed. Your lab instructor may deduct points or not accept lab reports that are submitted after the date they are due.


Reports are graded on a 100-point scale as follows:

  • Pre-lab assignment: 15%
  • Cover page: 5%
  • Abstract: 10%
  • Data and results: 40%
  • Discussion: 30%

A detailed grading rubric is provided here, and should be used by your TA for at least the first couple of lab reports to give you feedback. An Excel spreadsheet version of the lab report rubric is available here.

Your graded lab report should be returned to you at the next lab meeting. In addition to receiving a numerical score on your report, your instructor should also state the class the average, standard deviation, and range of scores on that particular lab. Note: Lab scores usually start low at the beginning of the semester and steadily improve as students understand what is expected. Typical lab scores for the introductory physics labs range from 65% to 95% with an average around 80%. Lab scores are not automatically normalized at the end of the semester, but the Lab Director may adjust the final scores for a section that has an average that is significantly higher or lower than other lab sections.


Lab scores are reported to your physics course instructor, who counts it as part (usually 25%) of your overall course grade. Your score for the lab portion of this physics course is computed from your lab report scores (80%), and the lab exam (20%). Your lab instructor also has the option of assigning a participation score based on your active participation and intellectual engagement in the laboratory activities.