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Grading Scale For University: How To Keep On Making The Grade
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All through your academic career, you have earned a grade. When you were young, you got smiley faces, stickers and small rewards to tell you what a good job you were doing. In the lower, primary grades you probably moved up to S for satisfactory and U for unsatisfactory in most of your classes.

From there you moved on to the actual letters or percentage point grades that allowed you to see which classes you were doing well in and which ones you need to work at. Being graded never ends, even when you enrolled in a university. Individual policy varies from school to school and professor to professor, but some general guidelines for the grading scale are:

1. Pass/fail. Students enrolled in these courses are expected to put forth a minimum amount of effort, be present and engaged in discussions and turn in all required assignments. Sometimes referred to as an audit or elective course, pass/fail courses may allow a returning or new student to get used to the flow of university life before being required to actually earn a letter or numerical grade.

2. Numerical or percentage grades. In some courses the professor will divide each assignment, including class discussions into a percentage of the total grade. Knowing that a essay is worth 25 points while a quiz is only worth 2 can help a student to prioritize, especially when he is feeling overwhelmed.

3. Letter grades. The gold standard of grading, the letter is hard to get away from even in the upper echelon of academia. Everybody knows that an “A” is good and an “F” is not, so no one needs it to be explained.

You should note that these standards do apply to every level of university- other courses may have much stiffer protocols to follow. For instance, failing to turn in the prep work for your doctoral thesis may set you back on earning your degree. In this case it is not the grade but delay that may be problematic, so it always a good idea to keep track of dates and time lines very carefully.

Going to a university is a privilege that many people cannot afford, and with tuition rising and the economy slipping, it is likely that the number of people who must wait to complete their education will rise. Do not insult those people who would dearly love the opportunity by squandering what you have been given. No one expects you to be perfect in every single class, but pulling straight D’s or earning 60% will not put a smiley face sticker on anybody.


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