Conferences and Workshops
Ask the Grade Doctor
Contact Me

Ask The Grade Doctor

Full Question Detail

Return to All Questions


Mr. O'Connor,
I am a member of the grading and assessment committee in our district and we have been debating whether to use points or percentages when putting student grades into progress book. We are not weighting grades and are only counting summative assessments in the final grade. Some teachers in our system are using percentages and others are using points. I prefer to enter all summative grades out of 100 points which is a percentage. My problem with points is that an assignment is weighted purely through the point value of the assignment. So a 20 point assignment is essentially worth twice as much as an 10 point assignment. If it is a summative assessment, in my mind, it should be given the same value and the only way to do that is by entering all summative assessments out of 100 points. What is your opinion of this. Am I correct?

Pam Skelley


I am glad to hear that you are including only summative assessments in grades. I agree
with you that each summative assessment should be the same or similar weight so using
different point values is problematic. Where I have difficulty is that you are using points
and percentages when you should be using levels - any number of levels from 2 to 5 like
AP and 7 like International Baccalaureate is acceptable as long as they are clearly described
and understood by teachers and students (and ideally, parents)..