Grading Scale

 Hunterdon Central's grade scale is a modified 10-point scale, which includes “plus” and “minus” designations for each letter grade.

Final grades in all courses will appear as letter grades A+ through F.  The GPA (Grade Point Average) for Honors courses will be awarded an additional weighting of .5; the GPA for Advanced Placement courses will be awarded an additional weighting of 1.0.  Cumulative GPA and WGPA (Weighted Grade Point Average) for final course grades are tabulated and posted on student report cards and the permanent transcript record at the conclusion of each quarter.  Please keep in mind that the majority of colleges recalculate GPA on a pure 4.0 scale.  In the recalculation process colleges use the grading scale provided by the high school.

Grade
Numeric Equivalent GPA
WGPA-HNS WGPA-AP
A+ 97-100  4.0  4.5  5.0
A 93-96  4.0  4.5  5.0
A- 90-92
 3.7  4.2  4.7
B+ 87-89  3.3  3.8  4.3
B
83-86  3.0  3.5  4.0
B- 80-82  2.7  3.2  3.7
C+
77-79  2.3  2.8  3.3
C
73-76  2.0  2.5  3.0
C-
70-72  1.7  2.2  2.7
D+ 67-69  1.3  1.8  2.3
D 65-66  1.0  1.5  2.0
F Below 65
 0.0  0.0  0.0

FAQ

Q

How is the grade scale implemented?

A

Hunterdon Central adopted a new grade scale (above) in September 2010. Since that time, all grades earned by current students are calculated according to this scale. Please note that the new grade scale is not retroactive; historical grades will not be recalculated. Student records for all academic years prior to September, 2010 will reflect the numeric grading system that was in place when the grades were earned.

Q

Why aren’t grades from past years being changed to the new scale?

A

Grades earned in past years were awarded within the context of a specific grade scale and system. Changing grades to align with a new system, which was not in affect when the original grade was earned, is not an ethical choice and will not be done. This would be considered grade tampering by colleges and universities, and could result in a student’s transcript being eliminated from consideration for admission.

Q

Why is the failure point set at 65?

A

The grade scale includes a modification at the low end of the scale, which sets Hunterdon Central’s passing grade at a 65 instead of a 60. Experience has shown that because of the rigorous coursework associated with Hunterdon Central’s curriculum, students who earn a grade of 60 have an extremely difficult time being successful in subsequent sequential classes. (Examples of sequential classes would be Algebra 1 to Algebra 2, Spanish 1 to Spanish 2, English 1 to English 2, etc.) because of this, 65 was established as the “failure point.”

Q

Why are final grades reported as letter grades, rather than numeric grades?

A

The decision to present final grades earned in a course as letter grades, rather than numeric grades, was made because this is the method preferred by colleges and universities. This method is also in alignment with what is done by other high-performing high schools. Please note that parents and students will still have access to Homelogic, Hunterdon Central’s online, password-protected student information source, and can view the actual numerical grades earned in each course on this private, online source.

Q

Why are “plus” and “minus” designations included in the grade scale?

A

Research indicated that the inclusion of “plus” and “minus” designations – along with the corresponding delineations in GPA - are beneficial in further identifying the level of a student’s work and achievement in a specific course. Most colleges and universities also use these designations.

Q

Why is there a difference in the “weighting” of Honors and Advanced Placement courses?

A

After reviewing the “weighting” methodology used by other high-performing high schools, a weighting of .5 for Honors courses and a weighting of 1.0 for Advanced Placement courses was established for the new grading scale. This “weighting” aligns the new scale with that of other high-performing high schools; it also more accurately reflects the academic rigor and difficulty of these courses.

Q

How will grades from two different grade scales be presented to colleges?

A

Hunterdon Central’s Counseling Services Department will be creating communications that clearly explain the grade scale changes made in September 2010, and their affect on student transcripts. These communications will be sent with all student transcripts and college admission applications from Hunterdon Central, until all grades on students’ transcripts fall under the new grade scale. In addition, senior counselors will include an explanation of the grade scale changes in their recommendation/secondary school reports to colleges.

Q

Won’t colleges find it confusing to see student transcripts with two different grade scales?

A

Every college admissions office contacted agreed that it is common for them to receive transcripts from students who have attended different high schools, with different grade scales; they are very accustomed to dealing with this and do so regularly. In addition, the colleges also stated that while grade scale changes may not happen frequently, they are not uncommon. College admissions officers are accustomed to dealing with these issues. As long as a high school clearly communicates how grades were determined, they have no problem with different grade scales appearing on a student’s transcript. Finally, the colleges contacted did not have a problem with a transcript including both numerical and letter grades; again, as long as a high school’s method of calculation was clearly communicated, the colleges had no problems.

Q

How did Hunterdon Central make the decision to implement a modified 10 point Grade Scale?

A

In 2008, a committee was formed to review and assess Hunterdon Central’s grade scale, as part of the District’s initiative to analyze current practices, and develop and implement best practices for the success of all students. The committee’s goal was to explore whether the 6-point grade scale being used prior to September 2010 was beneficial to students and aligned with the grade scales used by colleges, universities, and other high performing high schools. The committee met throughout the 2008-2009 school year, and was comprised of two academic supervisors, the Director of Pupil Personnel Services, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, three teachers, two students, one parent, and the District Communications Officer.

Q

What research was conducted on the issue of grade scales?

A

The Grade Scale Committee gathered information from 23 similar school districts including twelve New Jersey schools from District Factor Group I, four from out-of-state schools with common demographics, and other Hunterdon County and New Jersey districts. In addition, grade scale information from the College Board, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, colleges and universities where students frequently apply and attend, the Hunterdon Central College and Career Center and other resources were explored. The committee also researched and examined information from other school districts with recently changed grade scales, to determine what change process and procedures were most beneficial to students.

Q

How will GPA be calculated during the transition?

A

Cumulative GPA's will be calculated using the same methodology under both the old and new grade scales, so that they are compatible, congruent and fair. GPA's are calculated using the following methodology:

1.) The credit value of a course is multiplied by the grade point value of the grade received
in the course. For example:

A student's grades in year 2009-2010 (old scale) would be calculated:

Grade of 93 (is 3.75) x 5 credits for course 1 = 18.75 "quality" points

Grade of 84 (is a 2.75) x 2.5 credits for course 2 = 6.875 "quality" points

A student's grades in year 2010-2011 (new scale) would be calculated:

Grade of A (is a 4.0 in the new system) x 5 credits for course 1 = 20 "quality" points

Grade of C+ (is a 2.3 in the new system) x 2.5 credits for course 2 = 5.75 "quality" points

2.) The cumulative GPA is then calculated as follows:

Sum of all quality points _______ = G.P.A.

Sum of credits for all courses graded:

The sum of all quality points, regardless of the grading scale, are added together and divided by total credits attempted. In this example it would be:

18.75 + 6.875 + 20 + 5.75 = 51.375

51.375 divide by 15 credits = 3.425 GPA (combined GPA - current and new systems).

The same method is used for calculating WGPA and GPA. For Honors courses, a weighting of .5 would be added to the GPA for that course; for Advanced Placement courses, a weighting of 1.0 would be added to the GPA for that course.