High School Grading Scales

  • The table below shows how percentage and letter grades for high school courses are related, and how grade point averages (GPAs) given on high school report cards are calculated. This reflects grading for the 2015-16 school year, and this GPA calculation will be applied retroactively for students who entered high school in prior years but who have not yet graduated.

    Special note: As of October 12, the new scale is fully implemented. Students can ask school counselors for their cumulative GPAs.
      Grade Point Average (GPA) for...
    Percentage Range Letter Grade Standard Course Honors Course IB/AP Course*
    97–100 A+ 4 5 5.5
    93–96 A 4 5 5.5
    90–92 A- 4 5 5.5
    87–89 B+ 3 4 4.5
    83–86 B 3 4 4.5 
    80–82 B- 3 4 4.5
    77–79 C+ 2 3 3.5
    73–76 C 2 3 3.5
    70–72 C- 2 3 3.5
    67–69 D+ 1 2 2.5
    63–66 D 1 2 2.5
    60–62 D- 1 2 2.5
    59 or below F 0 0 0

    * AP = Advanced Placement; IB = International Baccalaureate

    Effective in the school year 2017-18, all students who elect to take high school courses during middle school will receive high school credit for the classes taken. Grades associated with those courses will not affect the student’s high school grade point average (GPA). Students may retake a middle school credit-bearing course in high school to ensure mastery. 

    Changes from prior years 

    The relationships among percentage and letter grades and GPA calculations reflect some changes introduced in the 2015-16 school year, designed to encourage and reward students who challenge themselves academically in their course selection. They also simplify the grading scale, helping students understand and manage their grade point averages. Finally, they align City Schools more closely with other Maryland school districts, so that City Schools students can be evaluated on a level playing field with their peers statewide when applying for college admissions and scholarships.

    Key changes to the high school grading scale include

    • The GPA calculation no longer makes a distinction for plus or minus grades
    • The lowest passing grade (D-) earns a 1.0 GPA (for a standard course)
    • A 1.0 ‘quality point’ is added to the GPA for honors courses, and 1.5 quality points are added for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses

    The scale outlined in the table above affects all incoming freshmen. For returning high school students at any level, this scale is retroactive, so that these students may see changes to their cumulative GPAs on their first report card in 2015-16, reflecting application of the scale to grades earned in prior years.

    Community input

    The new high school grading scales were established with input from the following community groups.

    • Associated Student Congress for Baltimore City (ASCBC)
    • Parent Community Advisory Board (PCAB)
    • Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC)
    • Student commissioner
    • Charter Coalition & Charter Advisory Group
    • CEO’s Principal Advisory Group
    • CEO’s Teacher Advisory Group
    • High school principals
    • High school counselors
    • District office leadership
    • University of Maryland Baltimore County, Office of Admissions
    • CollegeBound Foundation