Course grades

Last updated 2005 September 20



Computing the course grade

You will receive a letter grade for each report, class test and final examination.

The unix command   /cs/fac/bin/courseInfo 3401 [A, B] [2005-06 F]
will print out your grade record for the course 3401. If there are any errors please let the course director know.

Your course grade will be determined using the following algorithm.

To pass the course the gpa (grade point average) of the practice part consisting of the reports must be 2.0 or higher, AND the gpa of the test part consisting of the two class tests plus final examination must be 2.0 or higher.
  grade assigned to the reports (r1 .. r4  -- 5% each) - 20%
  grade assigned to midterm test (mt) - 25%
  grade assigned to the final examination (fe) - 55%


  weighted report grade(wrg) <- (+/ri) / 4.0
  weighted test grade(wtg)   <- (25*mt + 55*fe) / 80.0  

  IF wrg < 2.0 THEN course grade <- 'F'
  ELSIF wtg < 2.0 THEN course grade <- 'F'
  ELSE course grade <- 0.20*wrg + 0.80*wtg
  FI 

On marks and marking

  1. A numerical score on a paper or exam is never "out of" anything; It is never interpreted as or converted to a percentage. It is the sum of scores assigned to questions, occasionally individually adjusted where appropriate.

  2. Marks are never "belled" or "curved", in the sense of being adjusted to approximate a normal distribution. They usually aren't normally distributed anyway in statistical terms and I know of no statistical transformation such as normalization, arc sin, or log which would make the scores more meaningful and/or accurate.

  3. You can't "lose marks" for anything - you didn't have them to begin with.

  4. I assign letter grades to numerical scores on a basis which I feel is both fair and reflects the meaning of each letter grade as determined by the York Senate and published in the York Undergraduate Programmes Calendar and copied below for your convenience.

  5. Only the letter grades have meaning; the numerical scores are used to compute the letter grade in cases where there are many questions or problems in a single piece of work. Numerical scores are not retained in my files after letter grades have been assigned.

  6. Marks are not a judgement on your intelligence or diligence or good intentions; they are just a reflection of the work you handed in. If you were very busy with other work, or recuperating from an illness, or emotionally stressed, it would be not be surprising if your mark was lower than under optimal conditions. However, a reason does not function as an excuse and does not provide a basis for altering the mark, which is a description of what you did, not why you did it.

  7. Late reports receive a grade of F.

Remarking a piece of work

You may resubmit a piece of work for remarking within 14 days of the return of the work to the class. For remarking resubmit the work together with a note explaining precisely what parts have been under or over evaluated with supporting rationale. You submit the request to the instructor in class or in a sealed envelope at the Computer Science office at CSEB 1003. The entire work will be reevaluated, with particular care to those parts you point out. Your grade may go down, it may remain the same or it may go up.

Guide to the meaning of letter grades

The following is a guideline to the grading scale used. It is a copy of the York University official grading scheme. The first number within the parenthesis is used to combine individual grades into a single grade. When grades are combined exact integers may not result so the range following the first number within parenthesis maps back to the letter grade.

A C grade means doing only what was asked for, a B grade means doing a good job on what was asked for, and an A grade means doing a good job and showing originality. Originality in the undergraduate environment means doing things that were not explicitly asked for but are useful additions or extensions of the work - doing things above and beyond the call of duty.

A+ (9 - 8.5 .. 9) Exceptional - Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques and exceptional skill or great originality in the use of those concepts and techniques in satisfying the requirements of a piece of work or course.

A (8 - 7.5..8.4) Excellent - Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with a high degree of skill and/or some elements of originality in satisfying the requirements of a piece of work or course.

B+ (7 - 6.5..7.4) Very Good - Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with a fairly high degree of skill in the use of those concepts and techniques in satisfying the requirements of a piece of work or course.

B (6 - 5.5..6.4) Good - Good level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with a considerable skill in using them in satisfying the requirements of a piece of work or course.

C+ (5 - 4.5..5.4) Competent - Acceptable level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with considerable skill in using them to satisfy the requirements of a piece of work or course.

C (4 - 3.5..4.4) Fairly Competent - Acceptable level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with some skill in using them to satisfy the requirements of a piece of work or course.

D+ (3 - 2.5..3.4) Passing - Slightly better than minimal knowledge of required concepts and/or techniques together with some ability to use them in satisfying the requirements of a piece of work or course.

D (2 - 1.5..2.4) Barely Passing - Minimum knowledge of concepts and/or techniques needed to satisfy the requirements of a piece of work or course.

E (1 - 0.5..1.4) Marginally failing

F (0 - 0..0.4) Failing