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Getting grades over 100%-Grade Inflation

Academic07Academic07 25 replies10 threads Junior Member
Hello, I am an international applicant and i was surprised to find that many American students have grades over 100%. Where i am from a grade of 100% represents perfection and nothing higher can possibly be given. When I see others with grades of 105% all I can think about is the massive grade inflation Americans are notorious for. Not that they may not be extremely intelligent individuals its just that such a grade should not be possible. Do American universities recognize this? Or are international applicants at a disadvantage because our school boards believe nobody is "above perfection"?
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Replies to: Getting grades over 100%-Grade Inflation

  • planner03planner03 1335 replies24 threads Senior Member
    The grades over 100 that you see are due to a "weighting" system. The system is in place mostly for class ranking purposes. It is done differently school to school, but at my school for instance honors classes and some dual credit classes get a 5% bonus, while AP and some of the other college classes get a 10% bonus. So if you have a 97 in an honors class is becomes a 102, and a 97 in an AP class is a 107. The top graduates will end up with over a 100 average; rigor is rewarded so that someone that takes easier courses doesn't end up ranked over someone that chooses multiple AP classes.

    Along with the transcripts all high schools send an explanation of grading policies so that that colleges can put the grades into perspective. Universities are definitely aware that grades are treated differently at different schools and you will be assessed accordingly.

    That being said, grade inflation is very real at most schools. 100% is an attainable goal rather that perfection. Don't worry though, your grades will be compared to others at your own school and according to your schools grading policies.
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  • rhandcorhandco 4240 replies55 threads Senior Member
    100% in one class is not the same as 100% in another class, if one class is much more advanced than another. The weighting system used in most not all high schools in the United States makes it easier for colleges to determine how difficult the courses a student takes are. A high school student taking a college level course should not be graded on the same basis as a student in the same grade taking a high school course.

    I see no proof of "massive grade inflation". What planner03 says is completely true; you will be compared to other students at your high school, so you have no need to worry about how students are graded at American high schools. If every student in your high school is taking courses comparable to American college courses, colleges will know that, or it is your guidance counselor's job to communicate the difficulty of your program to colleges.
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  • TomsRiverParentTomsRiverParent 361 replies4 threads Member
    Every high school is different.
    That is where Naviance is valuable. The colleges these days are very well aware of you High School.. difficulty, grading scale, etc. Being in the top 10% at HS-A may be similar to being in the top 25% of HS-B. Yes, there is grade inflation at High Schools that is why the SAT has so much weight as do the subject tests or AP exams.
    Many colleges will reformulate GPA so they can compare students gpa, however, the colleges will not give out their formula per high school.
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  • TomsRiverParentTomsRiverParent 361 replies4 threads Member
    Every high school is different.
    That is where Naviance is valuable. The colleges these days are very well aware of you High School.. difficulty, grading scale, etc. Being in the top 10% at HS-A may be similar to being in the top 25% of HS-B. Yes, there is grade inflation at High Schools that is why the SAT has so much weight as do the subject tests or AP exams.
    Many colleges will reformulate GPA so they can compare students gpa, however, the colleges will not give out their formula per high school.
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  • Sue22Sue22 6254 replies113 threads Senior Member
    There is a lot of variability among schools. A relative once boasted to me about how his child had an average of over 100 in some classes. I did a smile and nod and didn't mention that my child (same grade) was at a school where such an average was impossible. My child had never had a test on which she could earn more than 100 and the school did not do extra credit.
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