Degrees and Certifications:
Grades are not a reward for hard work. Grades are designed to communicate student's achievement of a learning standard.
Note 1: Given the nature of the grading system, it is occasionally possible that a high score on a test may drop or fail to significantly raise the student's overall average. This is the case if a student has a strong Assessment category average, and then performs equally well on another assessment--the grade does not change much. The best approach: strong performance in all categories.
Note 2: The dreaded "89" often causes duress. My approach: if an A- needs to be negotiated then is it valid? This equally applies to the even more dreaded (89.4).