Evaluation System by Letter

What Each Grade Represents?

Grade: A

  • A-level work demonstrates real achievement in grasping what critical thinking is, along with the clear development of a range of specific critical thinking skills or abilities. The work at the end of the course is, on the whole, clear, precise, and well-reasoned, though with occasional lapses into weak reasoning.
  • In A-level work, critical thinking terms and distinctions are used effectively. The work demonstrates a mind beginning to take charge of its own ideas, assumptions, inferences, and intellectual processes.
  • The A-level student often analyzes issues clearly and precisely, often formulates information clearly, usually distinguishes the relevant from the irrelevant, often recognizes key questionable assumptions, usually clarifies key concepts effectively, typically uses language in keeping with educated usage, frequently identifies relevant competing points of view, and shows a general tendency to reason carefully from clearly stated premises, as well as noticeable sensitivity to important implications and consequences.
  • A-level work displays excellent reasoning and problem-solving skills. The A student's work is consistently at a high level of intellectual excellence.

Grade: B

  • B-level work represents demonstrable achievement in grasping what critical thinking is, along with the clear demonstration of a range of specific critical thinking skills or abilities.
  • B-level work at the end of the course is, on the whole, clear, precise, and well-reasoned, though with occasional lapses into weak reasoning. On the whole, critical thinking terms and distinctions are used effectively. The work demonstrates a mind beginning to take charge of its own ideas, assumptions, inferences, and intellectual processes.
  • The student often analyzes issues clearly and precisely, often formulates information clearly, usually distinguishes the relevant from the irrelevant, often recognizes key questionable assumptions, usually clarifies key concepts effectively, typically uses language in keeping with educated usage, frequently identifies relevant competing points of view, and shows a general tendency to reason carefully from clearly stated premises, as well as noticeable sensitivity to important implications and consequences. B-level work displays good reasoning and problem-solving skills.

Grade: C

  • C-level work illustrates some but inconsistent achievement in grasping what critical thinking is, along with the development of modest critical thinking skills or abilities.
  • C-level work at the end of the course, it is true, shows some emerging critical thinking skills, but also pronounced weaknesses as well. Though some assignments are reasonably well done, others are poorly done; or at best are mediocre.
  • There are more than occasional lapses in reasoning. Though critical thinking terms and distinctions are sometimes used effectively, sometimes they are used quite ineffectively.
  • Only on occasion does C-level work display a mind taking charge of its own ideas, assumptions, inferences, and intellectual processes. Only occasionally does C-level work display intellectual discipline and clarity.

Grade: F

Here are typical characteristics of the work of a student who receives an F. A close examination reveals:

  • The student does not understand the basic nature of critical thinking, and in any case does not display the critical thinking skills and abilities which are at the heart of this course. The work at the end of the course is vague, imprecise, and unreasoned as it was in the beginning.
  • There is little evidence that the student is genuinely engaged in the task of taking charge of his or her thinking. Many assignments appear to have been done pro forma, the student simply going through the motions without really putting any significant effort into thinking his or her way through them.
  • Consequently, the student is not analyzing issues clearly, not formulating information clearly, not accurately distinguishing the relevant from the irrelevant, not identifying key questionable assumptions, not clarifying key concepts, not identifying relevant competing points of view, not reasoning carefully from clearly stated premises, or tracing implications and consequences.
  • The students work does not display discernible reasoning and problem-solving skills.