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Queen's University

Centre for Teaching and Learning

Grading at Queen's - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the new official grading system for Queen's University?

Queen’s University Senate approved an official grading system for the University comprising letter grades, grade points and grade descriptors. The new grading system will facilitate the transferability of credits for students taking courses across Faculties, and will be advantageous to Queen’s students applying for competitive admission to advanced degrees at institutions of higher learning across North America and Europe.

After Senate approval in May 2009, SCAP passed a motion on March 30, 2010 stating that Queen’s adopt the grading scale and set of non-evaluative grades set out in the memo from the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures (SCAP) to Faculty Boards on November 26, 2009, with the following changes and provisions:

  • The grade for the top of the scale is an A+ at a 4.3 grade point, with a percentage conversion scale of 90 to 100.
  • An additional failure grade of FR (Failure with Review) is added, indicating that the failing grade is being reviewed and/or the student has the opportunity to write a supplemental exam to improve the grade.
  • Faculties and Schools may use only a subset of the full set of grades and non-evaluative grades available if they wish, but need to inform SCAP of any change in the set of grades that they use.
  • Grade descriptors will be established at the Faculty/School level. Faculties and Schools should submit the rubrics that they are using as descriptors to SCAP for information and keep SCAP informed if the descriptors are changed.

How do I deal with ties? For example, what if three students in a program end up with a 4.3 GPA? Who gets the Medal in the subject at Convocation?

Only one medal per subject is awarded. The Senate Committee on Scholarship and Student Aid (SCAP) is defining guidelines for the awarding of course prizes, awards, scholarships and medals. It should be noted that analysis of three years of data examined by SCAP indicated that students completing four-year degrees demonstrate sufficient grade differentiation that will enable a process to distinguish among the top students for medals.

How will incomplete forms be handled?

Incomplete forms are managed according to Faculty regulations. For example, in the Faculty of Arts and Science, an IN form is available and its use is highly recommended but not mandatory. The instructor is asked to fill it out and give a copy to the student.

How will submission of grades be tracked? Will this be done manually or will the system tell us that grades haven't been submitted on time?

Once an instructor submits their grades, they will be placed on hold in the PeopleSoft system until they are reviewed and approved by the Head of Department. Once the Head of Department approves the grades, they are posted immediately to the student record (Note: this applies to Arts and Science, other Faculties may wait for all grades to be submitted before posting to student records; the mark release policies are unchanged with the introduction of the new grade system).

Will there be a common due date for grades across faculties?

The current practices for grade deadlines will continue.

How will changes of grades be done in the new system?

The exact approval process will depend on the faculty involved, but this process is not expected to change. Change of grade requests may be generated by instructors and submitted to the faculty office using paper change of grade sheets as is done currently. Faculty office staff will enter the change of grades into the PeopleSoft system.

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