A new marking scheme

From 2017 Massey University will adopt a new marking scheme. We will drop R grades, introduce a new C- grade, and change the mark range for each grade to be consistent with the other universities in New Zealand.

Our new marking scheme will look like this:

Marking Scheme Cut-off Points

Grade

Mark

A+

90-100

A

85-89.99

A-

80-84.99

B+

75-79.99

B

70-74.99

B-

65-69.99

C+

60-64.99

C

55-59.99

C-

50-54.99

D

40-49.99

E

0-39.99

What has changed?

There are three significant changes:

  • the introduction of the C- grade for marks 50 through to 54.99
  • the elimination of the Restricted (R) pass
  • the adjustment of the range of marks for other grades to align with this change (e.g. a C grade will now be 55 to 59.99)

The changes mean we will have the same marking scheme as other universities in New Zealand. So, the grades you receive at Massey University have equal meaning across the university sector.

How the changes affect you

Is C- a pass grade?

Yes, a C- is the grade for 50-54.99%. It counts as a passing grade.

Will the C- grade meet prerequisite requirements?

Yes, the C- in a course (paper) will mean the course can be used as a pre-requisite.

How many C-‘s am I allowed in my qualification?

A C- counts as a passing grade; there is no limit.

Are you still going to be ‘moderating’ prior to awarding the final marks on which the grades will be based?

There are two issues here, moderation and scaling.

Yes, Massey University will be moderating the marks and grades especially where the course has been offered across campuses or delivery modes. This is to ensure fairness and equivalence.

Scaling would only occur where there needs to be some redistribution of grades.

Will you be showing both the alphabetical graded mark and the numeric percentage on academic records?

No. Your academic record and academic transcript will remain the same; as in, it will record a letter grade for each course. If you have received an R grade in previous years then this will still show as a pass mark.

Will every course (paper) start receiving numeric results, expressed as percentages, or will this be only at the course coordinator’s discretion?

You will be able to access both their alphabetical grade and final numeric mark through the password protected online student portal. You will also be able to see your individual marks and grades for individual assignments.

Will percentages be recorded as ‘80-90%’ (for example) or as a specific ‘84%’?

In terms of the academic transcript, the grade for the course will be recorded, not the mark.

Are the percentages only for the overall course (paper) grade, or will students be receiving these for assignments too?

Assignments may be given either a mark or grade depending on the practice established by the particular academic unit or course coordinator. The weighting for each individual assignment will also be displayed on the course Stream site. For example, there could be three specific assignments worth 30%, 30% and 40% of the final mark. The Course Coordinator could, if they wished, mark each assignment out of 100 and then translate this into the total course mark by applying the assignment weightings. Once the results are released, students will be able to view the specific marks and grades in the student portal.

Are you moving towards being more ‘percentage’ based than a ‘letter (or alphabetical) grade’?

No, Massey University will continue to record grades rather than marks on your academic record and official transcript.

If I believe that I have not received the correct grade, can I challenge this?

Yes. Students have always had the right to request re-marking or re-assessment of their work. There will be no change to this process.

Will you be providing raw grades to students now that we will have a set grading scale?

Students will receive assignments back with either a mark or a grade. The new marking scheme applies to final grades, not individual assignments. Students will be able to see their individual assignment marks and grades.

Will there be any changes to the Grade Point Average calculations?

No, GPAs are already calculated on grades rather than on raw marks. The GPA will therefore remain the same, except that the C- will be added into the calculation place of the R Grade.

What is a pass grade?

A pass grade is a pass in a pass/fail course, and a C- grade and above in a graded course. This equates to a final mark of 50% or above after any moderation and scaling has occurred.

What is a fail grade?

A fail grade is a fail in a pass/fail course and a D grade or below in a graded course. This equates to a final mark of 49.99 % or below after any moderation and scaling has occurred.

Will the pass and fail graded courses (papers) be set at a percentage?

As mentioned above, in courses which are ‘pass/fail’, a mark of 50% will translate into a pass grade. A mark of 49.99% and below will translate into a fail grade.

As R grades are no longer to be used, will this have any implications with regard to information already on my academic record?

Current students who have ‘R’ passes will retain these on their transcript.

In terms of %, where did the ‘R’ pass sit, comparatively?

A restricted pass or ‘R’ grade has generally been awarded for a mark between 47.5% and 49.5%.

Prior to these changes, I received an R grade. How will this affect me in terms of graduating?

The ‘R’ passes will remain, and if applicable, can be counted towards meeting the requirements for graduation as per the current regulations. No student will be disadvantaged in this regard.

Will I be required to repeat courses for which I previously received an R grade?

No, any ‘R’ grade can still be used to fulfil the requirements for the qualification. An ‘R’ grade does, however, not meet the requirements in terms of pre-requisites. It should be noted that a limited number of ‘R’ passes can be credited towards any degree, e.g. 60 credits (4 courses) for a 480 credit degree; 45 credits (3 courses) for a 360 credit degree; 30 credits (2 courses) for a 240 credit diploma and 5 credits (1 paper) for a 120 credit certificate or diploma. No ‘R’ grades are permitted in a 60 credit certificate.

Currently, some courses apply scaling when awarding final marks. As there will now be a common grading system across Massey University, will there be any changes to how the process operates across different schools?

The new marking scheme will be used across all units, schools, institutes and colleges. Scaling may continue to be applied where there is an academic need to do so.

When will these changes take place?

These changes will be effective for the 2017 academic year. That means they will apply to all courses from semester one 2017. Summer school starts before the end of 2016 and so it is counted in the 2016 academic year. Therefore, the changes will apply to semester one 2017.

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