Grade scale clash: 10 pt. scale encourages student achievement

No one school is alike. Different athletic programs, different class options, and in some cases different grading scales are factors that make schools unique from one another.

Surrounding Cincinnati schools such as Turpin, Anderson, Mount Notre Dame, Ursuline, Moeller and St. Xavier all grade students based on a ten-point scale, typically where a 90-92 is an A-, a 93-96 is an A, and a 97-100 is an A+. McNicholas works off of a 7-point grading scale where a 93-100 is an A, 85-92 is a B, and a 70-74 a D.

Director of Curriculum, Dan Rosenbaum said that McNicholas grades on a 7-point grade scale to essentially hold the students to a higher standard. “We want to benefit our students the best possible way we can.” By having a different grade scale than surrounding schools, it exhibits a more rigorous academic standard.

A 10-point grade scale, may actually encourage students to take harder classes at the Honors and Advanced Placement level. When the idea is that a 90 is considered an A, the stress becomes less and the confidence increases. According to, Honors and AP classes can be seen as more achievable with a 10-point scale.

Out of 100 students surveyed, 88% of students said they would prefer if McNicholas graded on a 10-point grade scale. Junior Molly Ennis said “You can put in all the work and get a 90 and that’s still a B. A 90 is still really hard to get, it’s still a good grade- it should be celebrated as an A.”

Social Studies department chair Pat Stricker, says he likes McNicholas’ 7-point grading scale. “Having the 7-point grade scale challenges our kids in a manner in which other schools may not.” Stricker said. Senior Harper Esterle is also fond of the 7-point grade scale, “[The] 93 requirement [for an A] puts McNick at a higher prestige that pushes students to work even harder,” she said.   Having a 10-point grade scale, would without a doubt make students less stressed. They may also have more time to explore more activities outside of homework. A 10-point grade scale would inevitably lead to less anxiety and pressure. If we want to do what is best for students, why not move to a 10-point grade scale?

Click here to answer a poll about grade scales.

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