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hs grading scale

oxymoron12oxymoron12 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
edited October 2011 in Parents Forum
My daughter is a hs freshman and her school's grading scale seems a bit unusual (at least to me). There are no +s or -s, only A, B, C etc. It's a little frustrating for her to have 92 average in a class and still have just a B, rather than an A- or a B+. I'm just curious if this is a common scale? I'm wondering how this will affect her down the road when she applies to college.
Post edited by oxymoron12 on

Replies to: hs grading scale

  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 5,698 Senior Member
    It may affect her. At my S's HS ( rigorous private) the classes were all considered honors but not listed as such. My H had the GC talk to the colleges about it . Turned out that unless a course was actually listed as honors no extra weight would be given even though the school said they were honors. Now the classes are listed as honors and given that extra weight by the colleges for GPA. It really was a matter of competing. It was worth the effort.
    In this age of 6.0 GPA (rather than the 4.0 I grew up with as a max) your D deserves the plus or minus the same as other schools are doing.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 34,348 Super Moderator
    Most schools in this area don't use +/-. I'm not sure colleges use them either. We also have the 93 cutoff for an A.
  • HPuck35HPuck35 Registered User Posts: 1,629 Senior Member
    The high schools I am familiar with don't use the plus or minus grading system, just the straight letter grades.

    Also, not all colleges use a higher grading for honors classes as they do for AP classes even though they can be just as hard (or harder in some cases) then the AP classes. My kid's high school in CA therefor dropped the 5.0 grading system for the honors classes and only grade them as a 4.0 class. The colleges will typically use their own grading system to evaluate the applicants and recalculate their GPAs to be fair to all.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,342 Senior Member
    We have pluses and minus but yes, 93 is the cutoff for an A. The scale is on the school transcript. It just killed me because S1 was consistently a "92" kid. We don't have honors classes and report on an unweighted GPA (small public).
  • jc40jc40 Registered User Posts: 1,621 Senior Member
    Our private prep does use -s and +s (89.5-93=A-; 94-96=A; 97-100=A+). What I find frustrating is that although the pluses and minuses are denoted on the transcript, they're all weighted the same when tabulating GPA. There's a considerable difference between an 89.5 and 99.5 and yet both students receive a 4.0 (4.5 for AP -- no extra weight for honors).
  • MomLiveMomLive Registered User Posts: 2,370 Senior Member
    My son's college uses a +/- system. His college prep school had a 93 cutoff for A while the local public hs used the 90-100 scale.

    I don't think the larger universities do this but a lot of the smaller schools told us they recalculate GPA anyway, so they are comparing apples to apples when looking at their entire book of applicants.
  • blueiguanablueiguana Registered User Posts: 7,496 Senior Member
    When her transcript goes to universities it will have the grading scale. The school will also include what's called a 'Profile' saying what the highest GPA is what the distribution of grades are, what the weighting of grades are (if any), what AP/IB classes are offered, etc. It helps the universities understand what an A at that school really means, or in your daughter's case what a 92 really means. It is an equalizer.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,342 Senior Member
    jc40 I would say that is a classic case of "grade inflation"...anything from 89.5 up is an A....really? I guess it shouldn't surprise me that a private school would want to report as many As as possible. Does the school rank? It wouldn't surprise me if you said "no."
  • blueiguanablueiguana Registered User Posts: 7,496 Senior Member
    All of Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland are on a 10pt grading scale (90-100 = A). I don't think you would say that those areas are all known for grade inflation. They are also some of the best school systems in the country.

    FWIW, we changed from a 7pt to 10pt a few years ago and the teachers adjusted. It is no easier to get A's. There are less opportunities for bonus points on tests, extra credit, test corrections, etc.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,342 Senior Member
    Believe me I don't get hung up on the whole thing...so many systems...so many ways of assigning an A. I don't live in Lake Woebegon remember I birthed the kid that managed to get almost all 92s for four years of high school.
  • SnowdogSnowdog Registered User Posts: 2,243 Senior Member
    89.5 is close to a C at our HS.
    It's extremely frustrating given that honors classes are not weighted (only the entire GPA, which is useless). We also don't have AP until junior year and most AP are senior level courses.

    The admissions officers say this all balances out. I find it difficult to see how!
  • starbrightstarbright Registered User Posts: 4,660 Senior Member
    ^ This amazes me. can't imagine exams and assignments where the vast majority of students must surely get 90% and above...and the difference between a C and an B and an C is so trivial.

    Here in Canada, we mostly avoid the whole letter grade thing and focus on averages. Provincial exam averages for highschool kids are around 69% (as but one example). In the university in which I teach the average for courses and exams has to be within the range of 68-74%. An 80% in a course is wonderful.
  • blueiguanablueiguana Registered User Posts: 7,496 Senior Member
    Applicant A has a 3.85 in a school where the top GPA is 4.0 and only 15% of students earn A's. Applicant B has a 3.85 in a school where the top GPA is 4.65 and 30% of students earn A's. The admissions reader has no problem seeing that the 3.85 is more valuable at school A vs. school B.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,014 Senior Member
    It would matter if your kid should transfer to another high school, and they have a different grading scale, as I have posted on another thread.
  • jc40jc40 Registered User Posts: 1,621 Senior Member
    momof3boys...No, her school does not rank. I wouldn't say there's grade inflation overall either. Like the schools in blueiguana's area, this prep is very highly ranked, and it's been my observation that most of the class's grade distribution follow a standard bell curve. The guidance department has said whether an A- is weighted the same as an A+ is irrelevant -- the colleges, they say, have their own way of recalculating GPAs to level the disparities between schools and curriculums. It just gets frustrating when it comes to internal rewards within the school (ex. valedictorian).
This discussion has been closed.