Grade Definitions

Find out what your grades mean: HD, DN, CR, PS...

HD

High Distinction: An outstanding performance; mark range 85-100. Indicates that the student has produced outstanding work, and has demonstrated a high level of understanding across the entire content of the course.

DN

Distinction: A superior performance; mark range 75-84. Indicates that the student has demonstrated superior ability to consider the course and its assessment requirements from a number of perspectives and to explore their interrelation.

CR

Credit: A good performance; mark range 65-74. Indicates that the student has demonstrated the ability to think analytically and contextually about the course and its assessment requirements, and to understand/present alternative points of view/perspectives and supporting evidence.

PS

Pass: An acceptable level of performance; mark range 50-64. Indicates that the student has addressed the assessment requirements of the course and has demonstrated an acceptable understanding of the issues entailed.

PC

Pass Conceded. This grade was discontinued after Summer Term 2015/6. A performance below that normally required for a pass. Was granted when the overall performance was considered to warrant such a concession, and allowed progression to another course for which the former course was a prerequisite. 

LE

Late Entry: Late entry. A result has not been submitted by the Course Authority.

EC

Enrolment Continuing: The course is taken over more than one Teaching Period and the assessment will be finalised in a later Teaching Period.

SY

Satisfactory or Pass*: (Pass* was discontinued in the mid-1970s.) Satisfactory completion of a course for which a graded pass is not awarded. No mark is given.

PE

Professional Experience: Student undertaking a course designated as professional experience. Result pending.

XE

Exchange Enrolment: Student undertaking an Exchange program.

NA

Not Assessed: Completion of a course which has no assessment requirements

RC

Research Continuing: Research continuing. No mark is given.

RS

Research Satisfactory: Satisfactory completion of a research program

RD

Result Deferred: Student is unable to complete a course in the current Teaching Period. The student must re-enrol to obtain a result.

AF

Absent Fail: Unsatisfactory performance; no assessment attempted.

FL

Fail: Unsatisfactory performance, below the minimum expected level. This grade characterises work which shows a significant lack of understanding of the topic or its context, and is therefore unsatisfactory.

UF

Unsatisfactory Fail: Unsatisfactory performance in an essential component of the course.

AS

Audited Course: Assessment not attempted; course not counted towards award requirements.

NC

Not Completed: Course assessment requirements have not been completed in a timely manner.

EM

Excluded Misconduct. Student has been permanently excluded on the grounds of academic misconduct.

NF

Course discontinued without failure. Enrolment in this course is not recorded on myUNSW or an official academic transcript.

AW

Academic Withdrawal. Student discontinued the course (new grade Summer Term 2014/5 onwards)

Please be aware that UAC and tertiary institutions will count all units of credit with an AW grade as fails when determining your GPA

PW

Permitted Withdrawal. Student was permitted to discontinue the course without financial penalty (new grade Summer Term 2014/5 onwards)

WC

Result not finalised. The student has submitted a request for Special Consideration, for which the outcome is pending.

WD

Result not finalised. The student has not submitted or completed one or more components of the assessment requirement.

WJ

Result finalised but not released. Awaiting the outcome of an unresolved matter.

Distribution of grades
The proportion of marks lying in each grading range is determined not by any formula or quota system, but by the way that students respond to assessment tasks and how well they meet the objectives of the course. Nevertheless, since higher grades imply performance that is well above average, the number of distinctions and high distinctions awarded in a typical course is relatively small. At the other extreme, on average 6.1% of students do not meet minimum standards, a little more (8.6%) in first year courses.

See also