What is

Absolute Grading

Absolute grading is a mode of grading where grades are given based on predetermined cutoff levels. Here, each point value is assigned a letter grade. Most schools adopt this system, where it’s possible for all students to receive an A. In the U.S., an absolute grading system assigns an A for points 90-100, a B for points 80-89, a C for 70-79, a D for points 60-69 and an F for points 59 and below.

Absolute grading refers to a marking system where instructors pre-specify performance standards. Absolute grading is inflexible—meaning that if everyone gets below 59 percent, all students in a class fail and a teacher won’t make any adjustments to grades. Absolute grading is based around fixed percentage scales that may be constraining for students who all receive a low grade, for instance.