What is

Grading on a curve

Grading on a curve is a practice used by teachers to determine student grades for assignments and/or exams, where grades are adjusted to reflect the professor’s desired distribution of scores (also known as normal distribution). Grading on a curve can be done in a variety of ways, though typically, a teacher examines the raw grades that all his or her students received from an assignment or exam and adjusts all the grades relative to each other.

Grading on a curve refers to the process of adjusting student grades in order to ensure that a test or assignment has the proper distribution throughout the class (for example, only 20% of students receive As, 30% receive Bs, and so on), as well as a desired total average (for example, a C grade average for a given test). Also called marking on a curve or bell curving, this method safeguards grading standards across different classes. The curve refers to a bell curve, the shape of a graph that all students scores should resemble when plotted after adjustment.