How your tertiary qualifications are graded and assessed

UAC assesses all qualifications using procedures and guidelines agreed to by UAC’s participating institutions. UAC may need to change details as entered by you in your application. These changes may be due to an error or omission in your application, or as a result of the institutions’ assessment guidelines. If your qualification is an international qualification, UK NARIC and AEI-NOOSR are the primary sources that are used to determine the Australian equivalent of your qualification.

Different institutions have different ways of reporting achievement. In order to compare an applicant’s achievement with that of applicants with similar qualifications from other universities, UAC converts grades into numerical values and then calculates a standardised grade point average. UAC considers the grade equivalent of students' marks, rather than the individual marks.

When calculating your grade point average we take the following into account:

  • the grade point average is the average result of all grades achieved by a student during all years of a course of study, including honours.
  • weightings are not applied to a subject based on its level (ie introductory and advanced subjects of the same credit value are considered equal).
  • the grade point average is calculated based on all results available at the time of assessment.
Methodology

UAC uses a 7-point numeric scale, where 7 represents the highest level of achievement and 0 represents the lowest level of achievement. Using this scale, the following numeric values are applied to the following common grading systems (examples only):

Grade

Numeric value

Grade

Numeric value

Grade

Numeric value

Grade

Numeric value

Grade*

Numeric value

High Distinction

7

Distinction

6.5

A

6.5

Pass

4

Honours 1

7

Distinction

6

Credit

5

B

5

Fail

0

Honours 2A

6.5

Credit

5

Pass

4

C

4

 

 

Honours 2B

6

Pass

4

Fail

0

F

0

 

 

Honours 3

4.5

Conceded Pass

3

 

 

Ungraded Pass

4

 

 

Pass

4

Fail

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Withdrawn Fail

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Refers to the University of Melbourne’s standard grading system and should not be taken to mean that an honours degree will automatically derive the GPA (numeric value) shown next to each level.

The GPA is the sum of the credit value for each subject multiplied by the numeric value of the grades, divided by the sum of the credit values for all grades. The GPA can be expressed mathematically as:

GPA  = ∑  (credit value x grade)
           ∑ credit value

This calculation results in a number (the GPA) between 7 and 0, and is usually taken to two decimal places. Where credit points are not assigned to subjects it is assumed all subjects are of equal value.

In UAC’s methodology, ungraded passes are not included in the calculation of a GPA except:

  • where these advantage the student (ie when the student has a GPA of less than 4). In this instance the GPA is recalculated including the value of the ungraded pass(es).
  • when more than 50% of the load presented comprises ungraded passes. In this instance, the GPA would be calculated with the ungraded passes included in the calculation.

UAC assigns a numeric value of 0 to all ‘fail’ grades. Where necessary, an appropriate credit value is also assigned.

Sample grade point average calculation

Sample transcript

2015 Bachelor of Commerce

Semester 1

 

Grade

Units

ACCT1001

Accounting 1A

HD

10

ECON1001

Economics 1

C

40

MKTG1001

Introduction to Marketing

F

10

 

 

 

 

Semester 2

 

 

 

INFS1001

Introduction to Information Systems

P

20

STAT1001

Statistics

P

20

PRAC1111

Practicum

UGP

10      

Using the above transcript, the GPA can be calculated as follows:

 

 

A

x

B

=

C

Subject

Grade

Numerical value of grade

 

No. of units or subjects, per grade

 

TOTAL

Accounting 1A

HD

7

x

10

=

70

Economics 1

C

5

x

40

=

200

Introduction to Marketing

F

0

x

10

=

0

Introduction to Information Systems

P

4

x

20

=

80

Statistics

P

4

x

20

=

80

Practicum

UGP

ignore

 

10

 

-

TOTALS

 

 

 

100

 

4

Grade point average = total of  C
                                 total of  B

                      = 430
                         100

                       = 4.30 

Overseas qualifications

To calculate a GPA on the 7-point numeric scale, a grade average value is first derived on the local scale. When calculating a GPA:

  • any subject loading is factored into the calculation
  • any grade that is considered a fail on the local scale is counted as 0, regardless of home-country practices
  • the GPA is calculated on all grades reported over the entire degree, regardless of home-country practices.

Once a grade average has been derived, this is converted to an equivalent value on the UAC's point numeric scale. The conversion is linear and doesn't take individual factors, such as course difficulty or low/high marking systems, into consideration in line with the policies agreed to by participating institutions.

An example of the mapping for a per cent scale (50% pass) is below.

% scale

7-point scale

80% +

6.0–7.0

70–79%

5.0–5.99

50–69%

4.0–4.99

On this basis, a grade average per cent mark in the range of 70–79% derives a GPA between 5.0 and 5.99 on the 7-point numeric scale. Mapping is adjusted accordingly to match whatever scale is used.

Combined degrees

For the purposes of calculating a GPA, a combined degree (eg Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws) will be treated as one qualification. This means that all subjects completed will be used to calculate a single GPA.

Under no circumstances will individual subjects be grouped in a way that facilitates calculation of a separate GPA for each degree. The nature of combined degrees is such that this is not possible. Where only one of the two degrees has been awarded, all subjects completed at the time of assessment will be included in the calculation. This applies even if you do not intend to complete the second degree.

Credit transfers

Academic results from multiple records which, in their entirety, clearly contribute to the continuation or award of the same course, may be combined in the following scenarios:

  • cross-institutional study which has been fully credited into a bachelor degree
  • non-award study which has been fully credited into a bachelor degree (such as Open Universities Australia study)
  • studies which are a continuation of the same course and can be fully combined into a later period of study (eg where a student has returned to continue a course after a break). The course code or name may vary slightly but it must be a continuation of the same course.
  • combined bachelor degrees.

Academic results from different tertiary courses will not be combined, even where partial credit or advanced standing from a different course has been noted on the academic record.

Courses not assessed by UAC

The following courses aren't assessed by UAC:

  • Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Certificates I and II
  • Statements of Attainment
  • TAFE Statements
  • courses delivered by Australian private providers that are not accredited. Only those courses accredited under the AQF, or by the relevant state/territory accreditation authority, will be taken into account. Qualifications undertaken with private providers will not be assessed without proof of accreditation for the particular course
  • short courses run by a university (eg Project Management Essentials)
  • other short courses such as first aid certificates.