Competency-based credit is awarded solely on the basis of meeting a preset level of proficiency on a set of standards; how much time the student took to met the standard is immaterial. In lieu of grades, evaluative terms like "met standard,""exceeded standard,"or "not met standard"are often used. Students can earn competency-based credit without the benefit of a classroom experience by demonstrating proficiency on knowledge acquired outside of a classroom setting.
Non competency-based credit is awarded on the basis of meeting expectations that may incorporate factors (e.g., effort, homework completion, behavior, attendance, class participation, etc.) in addition to meeting an established performance standard. Evaluation is usually in the form of grades that are based on a pre-determined scale. Students earn this type of credit after participating in a classroom-based experience.