De Smet Jesuit to move to 10 point grading scale

De Smet Jesuit to move to 10 point grading scale
De Smet Jesuit to move to 10 point grading scale
Trevor Bonat

10 point scale created to more accurately show student achievement

For years, De Smet Jesuit has employed a 7-point grading scale. After extensive evaluation and professional review, we have decided to shift to a 10-point grading scale for the 2017-2018 school year. This move aligns De Smet Jesuit with prevailing conventions and benefits our students while more accurately capturing their academic achievements. There are several benefits: a 10-point grade scale--

Improves college admissions process

First impressions matter, and admissions officers are getting a worse first impression of our students than they need to. A transcript from a 7-point grading scale that has "mostly Bs with a few Cs" becomes a transcript with "mostly As and Bs" on a 10-point scale--without changing the student's percentages. This is quite advantageous for our students, and it levels the playing field for GPA-based scholarships. In addition, the 10-point scale is increasingly becoming the norm for high school transcripts, so our moving to this scale removes the confusion that a non-standard scale can pose for admissions officers.

Aligns with college grading scales

Colleges overwhelmingly prefer the 10-point scale for their own grading. Adopting the scale for high school eases the transition our students will experience as they move on to undergraduate work.

Eases process for students and families

There will no longer be a need for parents to remember grade cutoffs; they will now know at a glance what letter grade a percentage grade equates to. At present, many parents do not remember, for example, where the cutoff between C and B is. This simplifies the question considerably and also eases the transition for students coming from a 10-point elementary or junior high school. For students, there is no more feeling of "work harder for same or worse results."

Maintains current class rigor and teacher standards

Teachers still set their own grading standards, so no loss of rigor or academic strength occurs with a 10-point scale, and in fact, rigor can be increased. Many students may also be encouraged to strive for more advanced classes, as the new scale slightly widens the envelope for grades they see as achievable.

Student GPAs will be calculated using the 10-point grading scale beginning in the fall of 2017, so numerical values from previous years and letter grades already on transcripts will not change. Information regarding this change will be added to our school profile that is sent with applications to colleges.