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Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS)

Honours: Dean's List

Links to below sections of this page:
Course Topic No. of Courses CGPA
1. Mathematics Courses
2. Computer Courses
3. Physics Courses
4. Transfer Credits
5. Elective Courses
6. English Courses
9
13
3
8
4
2
4.00
3.87
3.78
3.67
3.33
3.00
Explanation of GPA value calculations
Inaccuracies of GPA value calculations

 ACADIA UNIVERSITY TRANSCRIPTS

 MATHEMATICS COURSES Course Number Course Name Grade GPA MATH 1013 INTRODUCTORY CALCULUS 1 A+ 4.00 MATH 1023 INTRODUCTORY CALCULUS 2 A 4.00 MATH 1323 MATRIX ALGEBRA A+ 4.00 MATH 1413 SETS, FUNCTIONS AND ALGORITHMS A 4.00 MATH 1423 GRAPH THEORY & MATRIX ALGEBRA A 4.00 MATH 2013 CALCULUS OF SEVERAL VARIABLES 1 A+ 4.00 MATH 2023 CALCULUS OF SEVERAL VARIABLES 2 A+ 4.00 MATH 2413 NUMERICAL METHODS 1 A+ 4.00 MATH 2433 ALGEBRAIC STRUCTURES A 4.00 Average GPA 4.00 COMPUTER SCIENCE COURSES Course Number Course Name Grade GPA COMP 1213 DIGITAL SYSTEMS A 4.00 COMP 1223 ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE AND COMPUTER ORGANIZATION A 4.00 COMP 2013 PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES A+ 4.00 COMP 2023 SYSTEMS PROGRAMMING A- 3.67 COMP 2903 COMPUTERS AND SOCIETY A 4.00 COMP 3553 COMPUTER GRAPHICS A+ 4.00 COMP 3613 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE A 4.00 COMP 3653 SOFTWARE ENGINEERING (Maim Chess project) A- 3.67 COMP 3703 TRANSLATORS 1 A- 3.67 COMP 3713 OPERATING SYSTEMS 1 A- 3.67 COMP 3783 OBJECT-ORIENTED PROGRAMMING A- 3.67 COMP 4223 ADVANCED COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE A 4.00 COMP 4983 PROJECT (Full Tilt project) A+ 4.00 Average GPA 3.87 PHYSICS COURSES Course Number Course Name Grade GPA PHYS 1013 INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS 1 A+ 4.00 PHYS 1023 INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS 2 A 4.00 PHYS 1513 ASTRONOMY 1 - THE SOLAR SYSTEM B+ 3.33 Average GPA 3.78 ENGLISH COURSES Course Number Course Name Grade GPA ENGL 1213 COMPOSITION 1 B 3.00 ENGL 1223 COMPOSITION 2 B 3.00 Average GPA 3.00 ELECTIVE COURSES Course Number Course Name Grade GPA PHIL 1406 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY B+ 3.33 ECON 1013 MICROECONOMIC PRINCIPLES A 4.00 ECON 1023 MACROECONOMIC PRINCIPLES B 3.00 GEOL 1013 OUR DYNAMIC EARTH B 3.00 Average GPA 3.33 TRANSFER CREDITS Course Number Course Name % Grade Grade GPA COMP 1113 COMPUTER PROGRAMMING 1 98 A+ 4.00 COMP 1123 COMPUTER PROGRAMMING 2 98 A+ 4.00 COMP 2113 DATA STRUCTURES / FILE PROCESSING 1 93 A 4.00 COMP 2123 DATA STRUCTURES / FILE PROCESSING 2 93 A 4.00 COMP 3513 SYSTEMS ANALYSIS AND DESIGN 1 75 B 3.00 COMP 3543 OPERATIONS RESEARCH 92 A 4.00 COMP 3753 DATA BASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS 1 80 A- 3.67 COMP 3773 OBJECT-ORIENTED SYSTEMS 72 B- 2.67 Average 87.6 A 3.67

 EXPLANATION OF GPA VALUE CALCULATIONS

Acadia University calculates GPA values via the following conversion table:

Grading system
Alpha grades     GPA Value     Percentage range*     Rating
A+ 4.00 94 - 100 Excellent
A 4.00 87 - 93
A- 3.67 80 - 86

B+ 3.33 77 - 79 Good
B 3.00 73 - 76
B- 2.67 70 - 72

C+ 2.33 67 - 69 Average
C 2.00 63 - 66
C- 1.67 60 - 62

D+ 1.33 57 - 59 Pass
D 1.00 53 - 56
D- 0.67 50 - 52

F 0.00   0 - 49 Failure

W Withdrew

 *These percentage ranges are provided to assist other institutions in interpreting letter grades. Their only internal application is with the university scholarship committee. They are not reported elsewhere.

 INACCURACIES OF GPA VALUE CALCULATIONS

Introduction

I feel it is necessary to explain the inaccuracies of GPA value calculations, and the errors that can result from the use of these figures. It bothers me that few people are aware of the problem. Universities should explain these inaccuracies to those who will use these GPA values in any form of judgment, but this does not happen. Therefore, I will explain them below.

Problem #1

A 4.0 GPA value is awarded for the letter grades of both A and A+. This results in inaccurate cumulative GPAs, since there is no distinction between the two grades. Any CGPA would remain the same if all A+ grades were reduced to A. This hurts any student who achieves even one A+ grade, and aids any student who has never achieved an A+ grade.

Essentially, the university has awarded a bonus of 0.333 GPA to all grades that are not a perfect A+, and no bonus to any A+ grade. Although this is probably not what the university had in mind (I would hope not!), it is the same problem, mathematically. There is no incentive for students to push themselves to achieve anything over an 87% grade, since anything over 87% will be disregarded, and given a 4.0 GPA. Perhaps someone should consider how far from perfect an 87% actually is . . .

 100%
- absolute perfect mark (4.0 GPA)
 87%
- far from perfect mark (4.0 GPA)
 49%
- failing mark (0.0 GPA)

Problem #2

The A range of grades (A-, A, and A+) covers 20% of the percentage scale, from 80-100%. For all other letters, the range of grades that they cover is only 10% of the percentage scale (B from 70-80%, C from 60-70%, etc.). This means that the average A+ student makes a 6.7% higher mark than the average A student, where as the average B+ student makes only a 3.3% higher mark than the average B student.

If a student is in the A range of grades, students must increment their percentage grade twice as much as normal, before seeing an increment in their letter grade. Even if Problem #1 (above) was fixed (i.e. there was a distinction in GPA values for A+ and A), any student who achieves an 80% (an A) or above, is not being fully credited for their work.

Is it That Bad?

Just to show how ridiculous the scale is bent for the A range of grades, consider the following:

If the GPA conversion table would continue to be linear after the 80% range (as it is before the 80% range), then an 83-86% would be a 4.00 GPA, a 93-96% would be a 5.00 GPA, a 97-99% would be a 5.33 GPA, and a 100% would be a 5.67 GPA (over 40% more than the 4.00 GPA you actually get!).

Essentially, because the scale is bent, it makes it easier for a student to achieve an A range grade, since all you require is an 80% (my high school considers the A range of grades to represent the 90-100% range). But, it makes achieving an A or an A+ grade extremely hard. And those students who did so are credited with very few GPA points (or zero GPA points, in the case of an A+ grade) to indicate their extra performance.

Consequences of the Problems

For each course, a student has a final percentage grade (0 to 100%). These percentage grades are converted to GPA values according to the table above. This table rounds off the percentage grade by up to 2%, with the exception of an A- or an A, in which the percentage grade is rounded off up to 4%, with the exception of an A+ grade, which is always rounded off downwards... And it can be rounded downwards by up to 10%! (this is because an A+ [94-100%] receives a 4.0 GPA value, which represents an average grade of 90%). It is these inaccurate GPA values which are averaged to calculate sessional and cumulative GPA values.

Also, as any person with elementary knowledge of mathematical concepts will tell you, it does not make any sense to take an average of numbers that do not represent a linear scale. You would not find the average volume of a bunch of cubes by averaging the length of one side on each cube, and then cubing the result. This is essentially what universities are doing.

Example of the Problem

Since Acadia University has a policy of not releasing the percentage grades of any course, the problem is usually hidden. Since I do have the percentage grades of my transfer credits above, I can use them as an example.

You will notice that the average percentage grade of my transfer credits is 87.6%. Once these grades have been converted to GPA values, the average GPA value is a 3.67. If I did not know my percentage average (as is the case for any course taken at Acadia University), I would use the average GPA of 3.67 (the grade that the university would release) to calculate my percentage average at 83%. This is off the actual percentage by almost 5%!

What Should be Done

At the very least, an A+ should be awarded a 4.33 GPA value, as it is in some universities, so that they do not hurt the students who are capable of achieving A+'s. This would remove the major round-off errors. After this fix, the only errors left would be the rounding of percentage grades to GPA values. At most, these errors may accumulate up to a 4% difference of the actual value (which is still quite significant, actually). But, at least there would be no discrimination between those students who perform well enough to receive A+'s, and those who do not.

I find it rather amusing that technologically advanced universities cannot perform simple averaging properly to avoid round-off errors; a concept that is taught at the elementary school level.

Thank you for your time in reading this.

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 Jason Allen Doucette | Xona Games | The First Pixel