The History of Grade Scales

by Christopher Paul on February 4, 2014

From the always awesome (and increasingly popular) Today I Found Out come the history of the grade scale. A few things have changed over the years. ‘E’ used to be a failing grade with ‘F’ not even present (no pun intended). Of course, grades were also more strict then.

The first grade system that most resembles our present day rankings looked like this:

  • A: excellent, 95–100%
  • B: good, 85–94%
  • C: fair, 76–84%
  • D: barely passed, 75%
  • E: failed, below 75%

A year later, Mount Holyoke modified their grading scale. “B” became anything from 90–94%, “C” was 85–89%, “D” was 80–84%, and “E” was 75–79%. Below that, they added in the dreaded “F.”

I wonder what the true average grade of American kids would be if they used the old Mount Holyoke system.

Previous post:

Next post: