Grading Standards

In assessing your performance in a course, HKUST adopts the following general standards for the A to D grades.

Not all of the learning outcomes in the table will be achieved or assessed in a particular course. Your instructor will determine the learning outcomes you are expected to achieve and the weighting for these outcomes in assessing your achievement.


Standards for Student Achievement
Key Learning Outcomes Grade A:
Excellent Performance
Grade B:
Good Performance
Grade C:
Satisfactory Performance
Grade D:
Marginal Pass
Understanding and ability to demonstrate subject knowledge Comprehensive grasp of the subject matter; study beyond core requirements Good knowledge and understanding of the main subject matter Adequate knowledge and understanding of core subject matter Threshold knowledge of core subject matter
Ability to apply concepts and knowledge
– Defining and solving problems; competence in discipline specific skills / skills for professional practice
Expertise in problem solving and skills for professional practice Competence in problem solving and skills for professional practice Competence in dealing with familiar, well-defined problems; adequate skills for professional practice Threshold ability to deal with familiar, well-defined problems; potential to achieve key professional skills
Demonstration of higher cognitive skills
– Creativity; analysis and synthesis; making comparisons, judgments and evaluations
Demonstrated creativity and significantly high ability to think critically in analyzing and evaluating issues Demonstrated capacity for analyzing and evaluating issues; makes well grounded judgments Some capacity for analysis, critical thinking, and making judgments in familiar situations Ability to make basic comparisons, connections and judgments, but work is generally descriptive and reproduces content
Ability to learn
– Setting goals; motivation, reflection and accountability; aptitude for working with others on learning goals
Demonstrated capacity for scholarship and cooperation with others to achieve goals High motivation to learn, persistent effort, and an ability to work with others Evidence of persistence and effort to achieve broadly defined learning goals Has benefited from the course and has the potential to develop in the discipline