Grading Guidelines

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In an effort to offer some clarification to Apprentices on what they can reasonably expect, the Dean of Curriculum offers these guidelines:


1. No grades higher than 100% can be given. Instructors are able to award the Apprentice with a Merit point for exceptional work. In addition to this, should an Apprentice thrive in a particular class, the teacher may choose to award a dean's list nomination.  Don’t expect to score 100% on all assignments: in fact, a score of 100% indicates an exceptional, nearly perfect piece of work and should be a rare occurrence. At GSW, what you learn in each class—and your mastery of that information—is more important than the percentage score you receive.


2. The minimum passing grade that can be given is 80%. The system will automatically mark all essays as failed if the percentage given is below 80%.


3. In all grading, the Apprentice’s age needs to be taken into consideration. 


4. Teachers should equate their grades to the grades given in American middle and high schools.

This yields the following grade ranges:

80-82% = B-

83-86% = B

87-89% = B+

90-92% = A-

93-96% = A

97-100%= A+


5. In letter grades, “A” stands for “Excellent” and “B” stands for “above average”. Thus, we expect all of our Apprentices to perform at an “above average” level.  If you are familiar with the system where a perfect score is a “4.0”, the “A” is the 4.0, and an “A+” is a mark of distinction. A “B” equals 3.0.


6. For most purposes, an essay that fulfills all of the requirements, but does so in the shortest possible answer, should receive no more than a B- or B, especially if the answer does not offer any original insight by the Apprentice, and is instead merely descriptive or reflects the opinions of others.


7. A thorough answer, especially one that includes the beginnings of original thought or insight, would thus deserve a higher grade range of about B to B+.


8. Extensive, well researched answers deserve grades in the “A” range, with the lower grades (90-94%) reserved for work that does not contain much original thought or insight, and the higher ranges (95-100%) reserved for deeply insightful, extensive work. The 100% grade being reserved for any work where I just say “WOW” after I’m done reading. This is work that is extensively researched with a lot of the Apprentices own work described and his/her thought, insights, and experiences extensively described.

9. A grade earned on an assignment or on a final exam of 80% are greater is final. Exams and assignments may not be retaken for a higher score unless the grade received in that exam or assignment was a failing grade of 79% or less


10.Apprentices must score at least 80% and must complete an exit evaluation to pass the class and earn the credits.

Completing a Class

In order to complete a class and receive credit for it, you must do the following:

1. Complete all assignments, passing each one with a score of 80% or better.

2. Complete the final exam with a score of 80% or better.

3. Complete and submit a class evaluation. When all of the above steps are completed, the class will show up as finished and you’ll receive your credits.