Grading System - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures enact PPL 3.10.02a Assessment – Policy and PPL 3.10.02b Assessment – Procedures.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

GPA – Grade Point Average (GPA) is defined as the average of the grades obtained by the student in all courses in which the student is enrolled, weighted by the unit value of each course in accordance with the following formula —



G = the grade in a course; and

P = the unit value of that course.

If a student is enrolled in a course but gets no result, G=0.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all students and staff at The University of Queensland.

4. Procedures Statement

The following generic descriptors provide university-wide standards for awarding final grades. Course coordinators may develop criteria and standards for specific assessment tasks but the determination of the final grade must reflect the descriptors given below. See PPL 3.10.02 Assessment – Procedures for further details. Each passing grade subsumes and goes beyond the grades lower than it.

These procedures only contain current grades.

5 Grades in a Course

5.1 Results in each course must be graded in the range of 1–7, where 7 is the highest grade.

5.2 Subject to 5.1, PPL 3.40.11 Enrolment, and the relevant program rules, a grade of 4 is the lowest passing grade.

5.3 Despite 5.1, the executive dean may designate courses as non-graded. See section 7.

6. Numeric Grades (1-7) and Descriptors

Final Grade



Fail. Fails to demonstrate most or all of the basic requirements of the course.


Fail. Demonstrates clear deficiencies in understanding and applying fundamental concepts; communicates information or ideas in ways that are frequently incomplete or confusing and give little attention to the conventions of the discipline.


Fail. Demonstrates superficial or partial or faulty understanding of the fundamental concepts of the field of study and limited ability to apply these concepts; presents undeveloped or inappropriate or unsupported arguments; communicates information or ideas with lack of clarity and inconsistent adherence to the conventions of the discipline.


Pass. Demonstrates adequate understanding and application of the fundamental concepts of the field of study; develops routine arguments or decisions and provides acceptable justification; communicates information and ideas adequately in terms of the conventions of the discipline.


Credit. Demonstrates substantial understanding of fundamental concepts of the field of study and ability to apply these concepts in a variety of contexts; develops or adapts convincing arguments and provides coherent justification; communicates information and ideas clearly and fluently in terms of the conventions of the discipline.


Distinction. As for 5, with frequent evidence of originality in defining and analysing issues or problems and in creating solutions; uses a level, style and means of communication appropriate to the discipline and the audience.


High Distinction. As for 6, with consistent evidence of substantial originality and insight in identifying, generating and communicating competing arguments, perspectives or problem solving approaches; critically evaluates problems, their solutions and implications.

7. Non-Graded Results (P/N)

7.1 There may be some courses in which the course coordinator judges that the number of grades to discriminate among students' performances should be fewer than the seven normally used. If there is an essential level of competence all students must attain, but either it is of little significance whether they progress beyond it, or the distance they have progressed beyond it may be very difficult or even impossible to measure, it may be appropriate to use the non-graded pass (P) and the non-graded failure (N). Schools make a case to the executive dean to endorse the course being assessed on a pass/no pass basis.




Non-graded fail


Non-graded pass




7.2 If a grade of P or N is awarded and it is necessary to calculate a student’s GPA —

(a) subject to section 7.3, a course in which P is awarded must be excluded from the calculation; and

(b) N must be regarded as a grade of 2.

7.3 If applying section 7.2 results in a student becoming a warned student or being required to show cause under PPL 3.50.14 Academic Progression, the course must be included in calculating GPA and P must be assigned a grade of 4.

8. Other Grades

The following are also used in certain circumstances:




Credit cancelled or refused (generally on disciplinary grounds) – [see PPL 3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct].


Incomplete: additional work required before grade can be awarded. Note that a deadline for submission must be given to the student in writing and be consistent with the deadlines set out in PPL 3.10.12 Finalisation of Grades and the due date recorded in SI-net.


In progress: completion of course expected in a later semester and only used when a course spans more than one semester.


Course cancelled with academic penalty by the student after the relevant Census Date.


Senate determined that credit for course be cancelled or refused.


Deferred examination approved.


Results withheld: normally granted pending payment of fee or fine, failure to produce identification during an examination or pending disciplinary action.


Course credit transferred.


Course cancelled without academic penalty.


No assessable work received.


Thesis submitted.

Note: For grades of G, M, K or X, an equivalent numerical grade of 0.00 will be applied for the purposes of GPA calculation.

9. Supplementary Assessment




Supplementary assessment granted (where x = 3, N)


Fail following supplementary assessment 


Pass following supplementary assessment 


Fail following supplementary assessment on a grade of N


Pass following supplementary assessment on a grade of N

3S-, NS-    

Fails to undertake supplementary assessment

9.1 The maximum grade available for a course in which a student is granted a supplementary assessment is a grade of 4 (or P).

9.2 The final grade for a student who has undertaken a supplementary assessment in a course is the higher of the grades obtained from either the original assessment or following the supplementary assessment.

9.3 The GPA will be calculated on the basis of the higher of the two grades.

Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson