Refined Grading Scale

Policy Memorandum No. 3

Recommended by the Commission on Undergraduate Studies, January 10, 1978
Approved by University Council: February 20, 1978
Approved by the President: February 20, 1978
Effective: Fall Quarter, 1979

The University Council on February 20 approved a 12-point, refined grading scale, for implementation beginning in the Fall Quarter, 1979, approximately eighteen months from now. The action was taken after lengthy consideration by the faculty and the governance system.

Following is the 12-point grading scale (these are in addition to the present P, I, X grades):

Letter
Grade
Numerical
Value
A4.0
A-3.7
B+3.3
B3.0
B-2.7
C+2.3
C2.0
C-1.7
D+1.3
D1.0
D-0.7
F0.0

This new grading system will be printed in the 1979-80 Undergraduate Catalog, which soon will go to press, and the Catalog will be distributed to undergraduates a full calendar year before the date of implementation. A description of the grading scale will appear on each transcript. It is important that students be well acquainted with the new grading scale.

Background: The University Council, at its meeting on September 12, 1977, discussed the merits of a proposed refinement in the University's grading scale. The proposal was recommended to the Council in two slightly different versions from the Commission on Undergraduate Studies and the Commission on Graduate Studies and Research. Both Commissions approved the concept of a refined grading scale by unanimous votes, the CUS taking action on April 11, 1977, and the CGSR on April 26, 1977.

The University Council, seeking additional advice and guidance from the faculty, referred the proposal to the Faculty Senate, and the Senate approved the concept of a refined grading scale on November 1, 1977. The Commission on Faculty Affairs was asked to survey faculty opinion to determine the general faculty judgment on a refined grading scale. The CFA distributed a questionnaire. Of the 600 faculty who responded, 57 percent favored the adoption of a refined grading scale. The faculty were divided almost evenly between the two proposed versions: a nine-point grading scale, and the twelve-point grading scale that was approved. After some discussion the CFA voted to recommend adoption of the twelve-point grading scale described above.

The finer grading scale provides interested faculty a mechanism which will permit a more accurate and precise reflection of a student's level of achievement in a course. However, faculty who wish may continue to use the present A-B-C-D-F scale.

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President's Policy Memorandum

URL: http://purl.vt.edu/vtdocs/policies/ppm03