Types of Grading Schemes
The table below lists and describes different current approach to grading and provides the historical background for each type of grading scheme.
Types of Grading Schemes: Definitions and Historical Background
|Type of Grading||Definition||Historical Background|
|Percentage grading||Using a percentage scale (percent of 100), usually based on percent correct on exams and/or percent of points earned on assignments||
|Letter grading and variations||Using a series of letters (often A, B, C, D, F) or letters with plusses and minuses as an ordered category scale - can be done in a norm-referenced (standards-based) manner||
|Norm-referenced grading||Comparing students to each other; using class standing as the basis for assigning grades (usually letter grades)||
|Mastery grading||Grading students as “masters” or “passers” when their attainment reaches a prespecified level, usually allowing different amounts of time for different students to reach mastery||
|Pass/Fail||Using a scale with two levels (pass and fail), sometimes in connection with mastery grading||
|Standards (or Absolute-Standards) grading||Originally, comparing student performance to a preestablished standard (level) of performance; currently, standards grading sometimes means grading with reference to a list of state or district content standards according to preestablished performance levels||
|Narrative grading||Writing comments about students’ achievement, either in addition to or instead of using numbers or letters||
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