Undergraduate Capstone Open Source Projects

What Grades Mean

Posted by Greg Wilson on 2009/11/21

We’re getting close to that time, so here’s the official definition of what grades mean in Arts & Science at the University of Toronto. If the scale at your school is significantly different, please let us know.

Percentage Letter Grade GPA Value Grade Definition
90-100 A+ 4.0 Excellent Strong evidence of original thinking; good organization; capacity to analyze and synthesize; superior grasp of subject matter with sound critical evaluations; evidence of extensive knowledge base.
85-89 A 4.0
80-84 A- 3.7
77-79 B+ 3.3 Good Evidence of grasp of subject matter, some evidence of critical capacity and analytic ability; reasonable understanding of relevant issues; evidence of familiarity with literature.
73-76 B 3.0
70-72 B- 2.7
67-69 C+ 2.3 Adequate Student who is profiting from his/her university experience; understanding of the subject matter; ability to develop solutions to simple problems in the material.
63-66 C 2.0
60-62 C- 1.7
57-59 D+ 1.3 Marginal Some evidence of familiarity with subject matter and some evidence that critical and analytic skills have been developed.
53-56 D 1.0
50-52 D- 0.7
0-49 F 0.0 Inadequate Little evidence of even superficial understanding of subject matter; weakness in critical and analytic skills; with limited or irrelevant use
of literature.

One Response to “What Grades Mean”

  1. Louie said

    UBC has a 4.3 for A+ so we can blow that 4.0 chart. Also, I just want to point out that this sounds exactly the first few levels of the dreyfus model of skill acquisition, except broken down into numbers.

    Summary of first 3 levels of dreyfus taken from http://www.361points.com/articles/novice-to-expert/ :
    # Beginner [roughly equal to a C]
    * Little or no previous experience
    * Doesn’t want to learn: wants to accomplish a goal
    * No discretionary judgement
    * Rigid adherence to rules
    # Advanced Beginner [roughly equal to a B]
    * Starts trying tasks on their own
    * Has difficulty troubleshooting
    * Wants information fast
    * Can place some advice in context required
    * Uses guidelines, but without holistic understanding
    # Competent [roughly equal to an A]
    * Develops conceptual models
    * Troubleshoots on their own
    * Seeks out expert advice
    * Sees actions at least partially in terms of long-term plans and goals
    [There are 2 levels beyond competent]

    I would say the goal of education should be to bring everyone up to the level of Competent, the minimum level necessary before self-correction and introspection can take place. Before this level, it is exceedingly difficult to learn things by yourself (mainly because textbook exercises bore people to tears and without the whip of their masters…I mean professors…only very motivated people would make it through). Unfortunately, I don’t think straight A’s is a reasonable expectation of every single student, so I hereby make the unorthodox suggestion of making things more difficult =]

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