knust grading system

KNUST grading system

Welcome to the school where the knot of wisdom is untied only by the wise. You must be proud that you gained admission to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Finally, your efforts and passion have paid off, but the hard work isn’t over. Now that you have been accepted we are sure that you might have a lot of questions about the school and if you are reading this article then you might be looking for information about the KNUST grading system. 

What is the KNUST grading system? 

 The  KNUST grading system is termed as Cumulative Weighted Average (CWA). A CWA is simply a grading system that is calculated by taking the student’s average results for all the subjects in the course. Generally, the examinations at KNUST take up 70% while the remaining 30% of your grade will come from your school involvement such as Practicals, mid-semester examination, assignments, research, punctuality, group works, and other ones which are literarily based on the course and the lecturer’s discretion in accessing you, thus amounting to 100%.

This calculation is based on the mark and value of the credit weighting. The CWA of students in their first semester is 100.00. After the students have gone through the whole semester examinations schedule their weighted average is calculated to determine their cumulative average. The KNUST grading system is as follows: 

First-class 70 and above
Second class-upper 69.99 – 60.00
Second class-upper 59.00 -50.00
Third class 49.00 40.00

READ ALSO: What you need to know: KNUST Students Portal

The score range of the KNUSTgrading system

A 70.00 – 100 Excellent 
B 60.00 – 69.99 Very-Good 
C 50.00 – 59.99 Good 
D 40.00 – 49.99  Pass
F 0.00- 49.00 Fail
I   Incomplete (medical reason)
I*   Incomplete ( mark not available)
I’ Incomplete  ( prevented from writing the examination)
DF could not register or attend lectures for a class
DF* attended lectures but could not write examinations due to work schedule


How to calculate your CWA using the KNUST grading system

The need to get good grades is a common topic of conversation among students, but there is a difference between working hard to get the grades and dreaming or thinking about how to get the grades. So let’s get to it. 

The first thing you have to know is that KNUST allows their students to register 3 to 10 courses under their programme each academic year; the number, of course, you will be demanded to register for will differ based on your programme thus some students will have to register for 11,12 and even 13 courses. However, interestingly a student offering three courses per semester and those offering eleven per the same semester should all have their credit hours totalling between 16 to 21; nothing less or more.

 Now let us use a more practical example: 

Suppose a first-year student of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in the Department of Sociology and Social work has registered for the following courses. 

Course No. Credit Hours 
SOC 153 3
SOWK 155 3
SOWK 157 3
CSM 183 2
ENGL 157 2
MATH 153 2
SOC 151 3
AFS 171 1
Cumulative Credit total 19


READ ALSO: All you need to know about KNUST as a fresher

Sample courses and grades

Course No. Credit Hours  Marks (100%) Cumulative marks  Grade
SOC 153 3 68 204 B
SOWK 155 3 71 213 A
SOWK 157 3 76 228 A
CSM 183 2 63 126 B
ENGL 157 2 67 134 B
MATH 153 2 71 142 A
SOC 151 3 85 255 A
AFS 171 1 76 76 A
TOTAL 19 1378


Calculate your CWA

To get the CWA for a first-year first semester the total cumulative weighted marks is divided by the cumulative credits. To get your cumulated marks, multiply your score/marks percentage by the course credit hour.

Cumulative weighted marks

Eg: for SOWK 157 

76*2= 152

Cumulative weighted average 

 1378/19 =72.53

CWA for the first semester is  72.53, First class

We find from the table above that the student was fortunate enough to obtain the first class in their first year at the university. This mark can either increase or reduce as time goes on, based on how well they perform.

 Hence, it does not matter your class for a particular semester or your overall cumulative average or class, you can still trail if you don’t put in much effort. Lucky for you the school will allow you to resit for the particular course you trailed until you get at least a pass. Therefore, students are implored to take each course seriously.

What does it mean to trail in KNUST?

The KNUST grading system has been ordered in such a way that if a student trails it means that they were unable to obtain a pass mark which is between a 50 -59; a student can also trail under the conditions of incomplete grade (I, I* and I’) or the conditions of deferment of a course ( Df, Df*).

READ ALSO: How to plan your time as a student

Conditions to rewrite your exams in KNUST

Students who fall under these conditions are allowed to rewrite their exams 

  • Students under the grade comment (I’) as a result of owing fees or non-registration
  • Students tagged as Df* for a course as in the case of IDL students 
  • Students who have written a course and failed (F) at the end of the semester 
  • Students unable to write under a medical condition with the provision of a medical report issued or endorsed by the Director of University Health Services; NOTE: such students should have registered and attended lectures, tutorials and practicals to the fulfilment of the course. 
  • NOTE: students tagged as (Df) are not considered eligible to take part in the rewriting of exams. 

How to convert GPA and CWA under KNUST grading system

Grades under the GPA system is basically the same as that of the CWA system. It runs from letters A through to F; it has a weighted scale that goes up to 5 when you convert the CWA to GPA, unlike the traditional GPA that goes up to 4.

A typical GPA looks like this:

A 4.00
B 3.00
C 2.00
D 1.00
F 0.00


To convert CWA to GPA,

Multiply your CWA by 4, and divide it by 100. 

For the example we gave above the student’s weighted average was 72.53, so then

GPA = ( CWA x 4) / 100

= (72.53 x 4) / 100 = 2.90

This is for a CWA of 100% which is equivalent to a  GPA of 4.00

There are a lot of contractions based on the country’s GPA system or the range you choose to use. 

 READ ALSO:  How is the attained KNUST CWA converted to GPA 

Good luck and congratulations! on getting into KNUST.

You might just take a slightly different path to get your perfect CWA; don’t give up or be disheartened. The KNUST grading system reflects your performance in school, and not your ability to succeed or fail in life. 

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