New Jersey Schools Grading Policy

Overview of New Jersey Grading Policy

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on New Jersey’s grading policy! đź“š Whether you’re a student, parent, or educator, understanding how grades are determined is crucial for academic success. In New Jersey, grading policies are designed to fairly and consistently assess student performance, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to achieve their best.

Grade Scale

New Jersey schools typically follow a standard grading scale. Here’s a quick look at how letter grades correspond to percentage ranges:

Letter GradePercentage Range
FBelow 60%

This scale helps in maintaining uniformity across schools, making it easier to understand and compare academic performance.

Mastery Scale

Some schools in New Jersey use a mastery scale to evaluate student understanding and proficiency in specific subjects. Here’s how the mastery scale generally looks:

Mastery LevelDescription
4Exceeds Standards
3Meets Standards
2Approaching Standards
1Needs Improvement
N/ANot Assessed

The mastery scale focuses on students’ progress and understanding rather than just their ability to take tests, providing a more holistic view of their academic abilities.

Standards-Based Grading

Standards-based grading (SBG) is an approach that assesses students’ proficiency on well-defined course objectives. Although it’s more commonly associated with other states, some New Jersey schools are adopting elements of SBG. Here’s a simplified version:

Proficiency LevelDescription
4Advanced Understanding
3Proficient Understanding
2Basic Understanding
1Below Basic Understanding
0No Evidence of Understanding

SBG aims to provide detailed feedback on students’ strengths and areas for improvement, focusing on their mastery of specific skills and knowledge.


Here are the 10 most frequently asked questions about New Jersey’s grading policy:

  1. What is the passing grade in New Jersey schools?
    • A grade of D (60-69%) is considered passing, though requirements may vary by school district.
  2. How are final grades calculated?
    • Final grades are typically an average of assignments, tests, projects, and participation, with each component weighted differently depending on the teacher’s grading policy.
  3. What is the difference between a letter grade and a mastery scale?
    • Letter grades provide a traditional measure of performance, while the mastery scale assesses students’ proficiency in specific skills and standards.
  4. Can parents access their child’s grades online?
    • Yes, most schools offer online portals where parents can monitor their child’s academic progress and grades.
  5. Are there opportunities for grade improvement?
    • Many schools offer opportunities such as extra credit, retests, and assignments to help students improve their grades.
  6. What happens if a student fails a class?
    • Students who fail may have to attend summer school, repeat the course, or engage in remedial programs to catch up.
  7. How are report cards distributed?
    • Report cards are usually distributed quarterly, either in printed form or digitally through the school’s online system.
  8. What is standards-based grading?
    • Standards-based grading assesses students on their proficiency in meeting specific educational standards rather than on a cumulative average of grades.
  9. How does grading affect college applications?
    • Colleges consider GPA, course rigor, and standardized test scores, so maintaining good grades is important for higher education opportunities.
  10. Are there different grading policies for elementary and high school students?
    • Yes, grading policies can vary by grade level, with elementary schools often using more holistic assessment methods compared to high schools.


Here are some valuable resources related to New Jersey’s grading policy:

  1. New Jersey Department of Education – Offers comprehensive information on state-wide educational policies, including grading: NJDOE.
  2. Parent Portal – Many school districts have portals for parents to access their child’s academic records and progress.
  3. School District Websites – Each district may have specific grading policies, accessible via their official websites.
  4. Educational Support Services – Provides resources for students needing additional help to meet academic standards.
  5. New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) – Offers support and resources for educators and families on grading practices: NJEA.

Grading Policy for Schools in New Jersey