ucl grading scheme

provided for reference in the various assignments i will upload, for which i will also upload the feedback i receive.

  • (86.00-100) The analysis is deeply insightful and original, and demonstrates an exceptional level of argumentative rigour. It is incisive, demonstrating a deep probing, testing, or defence of a specific argument. The structure is superbly organised, and the writing is outstandingly clear and polished. The work advances knowledge enough to be publishable or nearly so.
  • (80.00-85.99) An essay which manifests all of the qualities expected of an absolutely outstanding first-class answer (see below) to an exceptionally high degree and which in addition demonstrates a notable degree of originality and individual flair, showing fine command of intellectual debates and making a creative contribution to them.
  • (75.00-79.99) An essay which manifests all of the qualities expected of an absolutely outstanding first-class answer (see below) to a high degree and which in addition provides an intellectually stimulating argument.
  • (70.00-74.99) An outstanding essay which shows a thorough knowledge of all the relevant material and an ability to deploy that knowledge in a relevant and focused manner.  The essay shows clarity and precision of expression, structure and argument to a high degree. The essay also demonstrates a certain capacity to think independently of secondary sources and to make pertinent and persuasive use of examples.
  • (60.00-69.99) An essay which shows good organisation of material and good textual knowledge and is clearly and concisely argued. It indicates a potential, at least, for independent critical thought, even if this may not be particularly profound or far-reaching.
  • (50.00-59.99) An essay which shows knowledge of the relevant material ranging from (at worst) patchy to (at best) sound. The essay indicates a satisfactory level of critical ability and draws sensible conclusions, but these conclusions may be somewhat naive or lacking in subtlety and are normally lacking in insight and originality. Overall this essay is sound and reasonably coherent, but limited and unimaginative.
  • (40.00-49.99) An essay which demonstrates a basic awareness of the issues raised by the question and makes an occasionally successful attempt to frame a focused response, but the grasp of source materials is uncertain and the ability to develop a sustained critical argument rather limited. The material is, typically, poorly organized.
  • (35.00-39.99) The grasp of what the question is asking is limited, and the knowledge of source texts ranges from poor to non-existent. The argument is inconsistent or not discernible and the structure deficient.
  • (20.00-34.99) An unstructured and ill-informed answer. An essay in this bracket is devoid of critical awareness and fails to express coherently a basic argument.
  • (10.00-19.99) This essay exhibits all the flaws associated with the previous category (20.00-34.99), but may do so in superabundance, and/or may add extreme brevity.

Interpretation of marks

Any scheme used for translating marks obtained in a university in the United Kingdom to those used by colleges and universities in the United States is fraught with difficulties. The recommended U.S. equivalents of the University College London marks are based on a system developed over many years experience of working with U.S. colleges and universities. However, it is only a guideline and individual institutions may wish to interpret the UCL grade differently. Registrars and other interested persons should be aware that at UCL, as at many other U.K. institutions, the pass mark in the majority of first degree courses is 40% and most students score between 40% and 70%. Indeed, despite the competitive nature and high entry standards of institutions, only about 10% of students achieve an average score of higher than 70% and by the nature of marking involved this figure is much lower for arts-based than for science-based students.