From Westminster Theological Seminary professor John Frame’s Syllabus for the class “Doctrine of the Knowledge of God.”
A: Good grasp of basic issues, plus something really extraordinary, worthy of publication in either a technical or popular publication. That special excellence may be of various kinds: formulation, illustration, comprehensiveness, subtlety/nuance, creativity, argument, insight, correlations with other issues, historical perspective, philosophical sophistication, research beyond the requirements of the assignment. One of these will be enough!
A-: An A paper, except that it requires some minor improvement before an editor would finally accept it for publication.
B+: Good grasp of basic issues but without the special excellences noted above. A few minor glitches.
B: The average grade for graduate study. Good grasp of basic issues, but can be significantly improved.
B-: Shows an understanding of the issues, but marred by significant errors, unclarities (conceptual or linguistic), unpersuasive arguments, and/or shallow thinking.
C+: Raises suspicions that to some extent the student is merely manipulating terms and concepts without adequately understanding them, even though to a large extent these terms and concepts are used appropriately. Does show serious study and preparation.
C: Uses ideas with some accuracy, but without mastery or insight; thus the paper is often confused.
C-: Problems are such that the student evidently does not understand adequately the issues he/she is writing about, but the work may nevertheless be described as barely competent.
D: I do not give D’s on papers.
F: Failure to complete the assignment satisfactorily. Such performance would disqualify a candidate for ministry if it were part of a presbytery exam.
Most of my students get B’s. I try to keep A’s and C’s to a relatively small number. F’s are extremely rare, but I have given a few.