10 months ago
Admissions Advice

Do AOs recognize a difference between 2 grades?

So I currently have an 80.4% in AP Micro. My school uses the grading scale of A-93 B-85 instead of the more common 10 point scale. If my grade stays the exact same would AOs see it as a “B” or would they see it as a “C”?

My school subs in numbers for letters so 1=A 2=B and the transcript lists the number.

I’m specifically talking about selective/competitive schools.


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
10 months ago

Unfortunately, I believe that your admissions officers are only going to see the numbers or letters reported on your transcript. (So, if your school calls an 80.4% a C or 3 and reports it that way, this is what your admissions officers will see.) If your transcript shows 1-5 number grades AND percentages, though, then your admissions officers will most likely do their own evaluation and view your 80.4 as a B-.

I hope that it is standard practice at your school for your guidance counselor(s) to explain this grading system in students' college recommendation letters. If not, you should definitely ask your guidance counselor to explain the grading to your schools and/or explain the system yourself in your CommonApp additional information section.

10 months ago

I think it depends on how it looks like on your official HS transcript.

If the line for AP Bio shows only the 80.4% final grade (for example) and not the letter grade, then most AOs at top schools will read this like a low B.

If the line for AP Bio shows only the letter grade C (I'm assuming that's how your school would mark it), then they would read it as a C.

If your schools show both percentage of grades and letter grades side by side for all your classes, then I would recommend using the add'l essay to explain that your school has a system-wide "grade deflation" grading process because most schools in the US use the 100 point scale for grades. 90-100 (A), 80-89 (B), 70-79 (C) 60-69 (D) <60 (F).

Hope that helps you out.


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