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JumpStart Your Learning Tutorial: Interpret Grades/Grade Ranges

Grade Ranges and Grading Criteria

  At the end of this section, you should be able to interpret the grading criteria and grade ranges used at USask.

Unlike in high school, your grades in university are an important indicator of your academic standing. Your academic standing is determined by your weighted average. To see an example of how this is calculated, see Calculating Your Average. Knowing your weighted average is important because it can influence your eligibility to continue in a particular program or obtain/maintain a scholarship.

Being able to interpret your grades, based on the assessment criteria laid out by the university, will help you understand your academic standing and determine if you need to see an academic advisor. Academic advisors are available in all colleges to help you assess your progress and make adjustments if necessary. If you are ever in doubt about what to do next, book an appointment with an academic advisor.

Interpreting Your Grades

Remember from Module 1 that, at university, you are assessed on your ability to recall information but, more importantly, on your ability to organize, analyze and synthesize your ideas, to critically evaluate the material given and to express your thoughts fluently1.

The following activity will help you to interpret the grades you receive based on the descriptors set out by the university or the college you belong to. Some direct-entry colleges (like Engineering and Kinesiology) or non-direct entry colleges (like Nursing and Law), may have very specific grading criteria tailored toward their discipline. It is important to check your course syllabi to see if the grading criteria is different than what is outlined in the activity below.

                            To complete this activity, first visit the Understanding your Grades page and read the information for undergraduate students.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

1. Grade Descriptors, Item 6.3 in "Academic Courses Policy on Class Delivery, Examinations, and Assessment of Student Learning." Policies. June 18, 2020. Accessed August 10, 2021.