5The New Grading Scale

New Students

The 2014/2015 Grading Policy implements changes in the grade bands, percentage marks, and quality points (points used in calculating Grade Point Average) associated with each letter grade. The table below outlines the differences between the adjusted 2014/2015 Grading Policy and the previous grading policy.

2014/2015 Grading Policy
Grade Quality Points Mark%
A+ 4.3 90-100
A 4.0 80-89
A- 3.7 75-79
B+ 3.3 70-74
B 3.0 65-69
B- 2.7 60-64
C+ 2.3 55-59
C 2.0 50-54
F1 1.7 45-49
F2 1.3 40-44
F3 0.0 0-39
*Adjusted 2014/2015 Grading Policy
F1 1.7 40-49
F2 1.3 30-39
F3 0.0 0-29
Previous Grading Policy
Grade Quality Points Mark%
A+ 4.3 86-100
A 4.0 70-85
A- 3.7 67-69
B+ 3.3 63-66
B 3.0 60-62
B- 2.7 57-59
C+ 2.3 53-56
C 2.0 50-52
C- 1.7 47-49
D+ 1.3 43-46
D 1.0 40-42
F 0.0 0-39


  • Note that a new grading policy was introduced in the 2014/2015 academic year.
  • Changes have been made to the undergraduate failing grades with effect from the 2016/2017 academic year as follows
    • Pass mark changed from 40% to 50%. Students must earn a minimum of 50% to pass a course
    • 'C' is now the minimum pass mark
    • 'C-', 'D+' and 'D' letter grades have been eliminated
    • Three levels of failures are introduced as letter grades 'F1', 'F2' and 'F3'
    • Letter grades 'F1' and 'F2' are assigned quality points of 1.7 and 1.3 respectively
    • The mark % range for all grades have been changed.
    • The mark % range for three levels of failures for the 2014/2015 Grade Policy were adjusted:
      1. 'F1' from 45-49 to 40-49
      2. 'F2' from 40-44 to 30-39
      3. 'F3' from 0-39 to 0-29

6Grade Descriptors

When the Board for Undergraduate Studies (BUS) approved the recommendations for a revised grading system as set out in BUS Paper 14 (2010/2011), the Board also agreed that grade definitions and grade descriptors should be established for The University and applied to all programmes/courses at all levels. To this end, the Office of the Board for Undergraduate Studies (OBUS) developed a discussion paper (dated February 2013) which explained the case for the use of descriptors and provided a set of possible generic grade descriptors that could be adopted by the University as a whole, and used as guidelines for assessment in individual disciplines. It was also stressed in the proposal that the grade descriptors should be used to generate assessment rubrics, assignment-specific marking schemes and marking criteria for every course in the undergraduate degree programme. This would allow lecturers to identify and assess the range of knowledge and skills demonstrated by students more effectively.

Please click to view Grade Descriptors


Three failing bands, F1, F2, and F3, have been introduced to ensure that the existing rules on academic progression at UWI can be applied fairly under the 2014/2015 grading policy. Students who have marginal failures on their transcripts, but who are otherwise progressing well, will have an opportunity to recover from those failures and attain the minimum Grade Point (2.00) to continue, because quality points will be awarded for marginal failures.


Under the 2014/2015 Grading Policy, a new passing mark of 50% has been implemented and replaces the previous passing mark of 40%. Students will now be required to earn a minimum mark of 50% to pass a course. While the 2014/2015 Grading Policy introduces a new passing mark, this will not impact the inherent standards for determination of a student’s passing or failure of a course. A student’s course evaluation is based primarily on the skills, competencies and knowledge demonstrated by the student, not on raw scores. It continues to remain each course lecturer’s responsibility to set examinations that fairly evaluate each student’s abilities, and to ensure that the student’s work is fairly assessed. Consequently, a student who demonstrates the minimum skills, competencies and knowledge required in any course will still pass, just as they would have previously done.

As part of the 2014/2015 Grading Policy, the University has also introduced generic Grade Descriptors which define the general level of skills, competencies and knowledge associated with each grade band. These will guide lecturers in setting and marking examinations, and will make the grading process more objective and transparent. Lecturers are also being encouraged to provide their own, more detailed descriptors for the benefit of their students, setting out the specific skills and knowledge required in their courses. With greater insight into the associated requirements underlying the grades and percentage scores that are awarded by lecturers, students will be better able to understand and monitor their own levels of achievement and determine where efforts to improve should be focused, when needed.

Students should also note that no changes will be made to existing marks and grades received under previous GPA regulations. These will remain the same as originally awarded and will be maintained as a part of each student’s historical record. They will therefore be reflected accordingly on transcripts.


Effective 2014/2015, students will be awarded letter grades for Foundation courses and those grades will count in semester and summary GPAs such as Cumulative (term), Total Institution, and Total Overall.

Letter grades awarded for Foundation courses do not count in calculation of Degree GPA.