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New Grade Point Average for UWI students

Friday, May 16 2014

Starting September, 2014, undergraduate students from all three campuses of the University of the West Indies (UWI) will be assessed by a new Grade Point Average (GPA) scheme. These changes would take effect in the academic year 2014/2015.

There are three significant changes that will be put in place for the 2014/2015 academic year. The letter grade bands will be adjusted along with the quality points associated with them. Quality points are used to calculate GPA and, ultimately, the class of the degree awarded.

For example, a passing grade in the current scheme is represented as a “D”, with a quality point of 1.00. In the revised scheme, a passing grade will be represented by a “C”, with a quality point of 2.00. The “grade descriptors” will be introduced to explain the level of skills and knowledge represented by each letter grade.

This method of assessment will guide percentage scores in an approach that is more transparent and objective, while giving a clearer picture of the level of competencies achieved by each student.

The adjustment of percentage bands associated with letter grades will be altered. This means that the former passing mark of 40 percent will be reset at 50 percent. The upper and lower bands of each grade will also move so that, for example, the band from A-minus to A-plus will have a percentage range from 75 percent to 100 percent.

The new scheme includes three failing bands, two of which have assigned Quality Points: F1 (49-45 percent), QP of 1.70; F2 (40-44 percent), QP of 1.30; F3 (0-39 percent), QP of 0.00. Quality Points were assigned to the top two marginal fail bands to ensure that UWI rules on student progression can be applied equitably under the revised scheme.

The change in percentage band will also alter how the GPA bands are used to determine the class of degree earned, with the exception of the Bachelor of Medical Sciences.

Now, a GPA of 3.60 and above will be equivalent to a First Class Honours; 3.00 – 3.59 will be equivalent to an Upper Second Class Honours; 2.50 – 2.99 will be equivalent to a Lower Second Class Honours; and 2.00 – 2.49 will be equivalent to a Pass degree.

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