How does the scale of 0 - 5 described in the lectures and other videos actually apply to grading?

It's explained here: https://youtu.be/3FyxsJzJpR0?t=4m52s

In the lectures and some of the other videos, a grading system on a scale of 0 - 5 was explained. When I look at the Gradebook, I see 1.0. At first I was worried... Why did I get only 1?!, but I read some of the other CS50 Stack Exchange questions on grading and I realize that 1.0 is a good score.

Now I'm wondering about that scale. How does it work? Is it just something that the Teaching Fellows use internally or will it make sense after I submit more problem sets?

At this point, I've only received grades for the first two problem sets, so I may be asking this question too early.

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


The correct answer to your question depends on which class you are taking.

If you are taking the online CS50X class, the one that you can earn a completion certificate, and are probably taking for free, then you are doing fine. The class assignments are machine graded based on correctly completing certain tasks for each assignment, on a 0 to 1 scale for each assignment. They are not graded for programming style or efficiency because it would require every assignment to be manually assessed by a person. With thousands of people taking the class, that just isn't practical. So, this is how it's done. More detailed info should be in the online class materials.

Or, if you're actually taking the Harvard CS50 class, paying tuition and getting a grade, you have full access to academic staff, and the grading will be as described in the video, and will have much more thorough review criteria. (If you have further questions, contact the class staff.)

Keep in mind that both the CS50 students at Harvard and the CS50X students all have access to these resources and both groups can and do post here.

I hope this answers your question. If it does, please click on the check mark to accept. Let's keep up on forum maintenance. ;-)

  • That makes sense. I am taking CS50x for free as you guessed. I forgot that the videos are actually targeted primarily at the on-campus CS50 students. If the submissions are not reviewed by a person at all, assuming it just runs check50 and style50 to give me a grade, I think that at least partially answers another one of my questions as well.
    – Vince
    Feb 17, 2016 at 1:22

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