There are many terms in currency around the education world which display ambiguity of meaning. This is an attempt to define a vocabulary which clarifies at least what is meant when we use a word or phrase of jargon in the context of engineering education.  The following list is alphabetical: no further significance is intended by the order of terms.


Assessed work is often given a grade, which might be numerical (0 to 10 or 0 to 100), letter (A to F, for example) or binary (pass/fail).

grade point average

It is common to average grades (inevitably converted to numerical grades) over a year or whole programme.  This results in a grade point average (GPA) often in the range 0 to 4 or 0 to 5. Despite its ubiquity the GPA is fundamentally flawed if it combines different types of grades, as is likely in engineering, where a competence might be graded pass/fail whereas a lectured module might be numerically graded. See also HEAR below, and consider the potential of a portfolio.