Let’s Compare: High School Grading Scale


In Hammonton High School, the lowest possible “A” is 93%. For Cedar Creek high school, the lowest “A” is 90%. This might seem unfair to students who border an “A” in HHS.

One HHS sophomore, Micheal Martucci, said “I think the three points are a major difference, because it puts students at a disadvantage, it could lead to unbalances and unequal opportunities.”

However, it isn’t just Hammonton that follows a 93-100% scale, as other high schools like Holy Spirit, and Atlantic City follow the same system. However, a decent amount of schools in NJ have a lower scale than Hammonton does.

For reference, out of the 21 high schools in the Cape-Atlantic league, 15 of them have a lower grading scale than Hammonton. 7 of those high schools have a slightly lower scale of 92-100%, while 8 high schools follow a college scale with a 90-100% range. The remaining 6 schools follow the same 93-100% scale that HHS does.

The grading scale doesn’t only affect the difference between a low “A” and a high “B”. If a student that attends Oakcrest High School gets a 60% as a final grade, they pass that class. However, if that same student would have attended HHS they would have failed.

Hammonton’s lowest possible passing grade is a 70%. For other high schools that follow a college grading scale, the lowest passing grade is a 60%. For schools that follow a 92-100% scale, the lowest passing grade ranges anywhere between a 60% to 70% depending on the school.

It wouldn’t be fair if a student couldn’t graduate from Hammonton because of their grades when another student from a different school has the same grades and graduates.

A solution to this problem would be that all schools to follow the same grading system. However, schools with a lower grading system might have harder classes than other schools.

If schools with a lower scale, have slightly harder classes or grading leeway, maybe it equals out.

Equal or not, the difference in grading systems has made standardized testing more important. Standardized tests put every student on an equal level.

Standardized tests show every student on one scale, while the difference in grading systems between schools does not make the GPA a great way to compare students.