Interpretation of grades

In the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, student work is assessed according to how well it achieves a unit’s specified learning outcomes.

Most tasks that students complete in their units of study are given a numerical mark. Each student’s final marks are calculated at the end of the semester, once all assessment tasks are in and results collated. The final mark is the basis for awarding a particular grade for that unit: fail, pass, credit, distinction or high distinction.

Student work is always assessed for the quality or standard of achievement against the marking criteria, as set for each individual task. Student work is not judged in direct comparison with the work of fellow students in the same class or cohort.

Because each academic discipline is different, Departments and Programs in the Faculty usually state their own interpretation of the standards required to achieve a particular grade.

The advice provided in the links below offer a selection of quite broad descriptions of the standards applying in various Departments for typical assessment tasks. For the most part, these interpretations of grades refer to essay tasks. A similar range of standards would also apply to the grading of other kinds of assessment task.

Unit of Study coordinators will also, as needed, provide similar descriptions for specific assessment tasks. Sometimes these grade descriptions or guides are published online, sometimes in unit outlines and sometimes handed out in class.

Below are links to a range of examples of grade interpretation models used in the Faculty: