Tennessee Schools Grading Policy

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Tennessee’s grading policy! Whether you’re a student, parent, or educator, this guide will help you understand the state’s grading system, including traditional grade scales, mastery scales, and standards-based grading. 📚✨

Overview of Grading Policy

Tennessee’s grading policy is designed to provide a clear and consistent framework for assessing student performance across the state. The policy aims to ensure that grades accurately reflect students’ understanding and mastery of the curriculum. In addition to traditional letter grades, Tennessee also incorporates mastery scales and standards-based grading to give a more detailed picture of student progress.

Grade Scale

Tennessee uses a standard letter grade scale to evaluate students’ performance. Here’s the grading chart used in Tennessee schools:

Letter GradePercentage RangeDescription
D70-74%Needs Improvement
FBelow 70%Failing

Mastery Scale

Tennessee also employs a mastery scale to measure students’ proficiency in specific skills and knowledge areas. Here’s the mastery scale used:

Mastery LevelDescription
4Exceeds Expectations
3Meets Expectations
2Approaching Expectations
1Below Expectations

Standards-Based Grading

In addition to traditional grading, Tennessee schools may use standards-based grading to assess student performance. This approach focuses on students’ mastery of specific standards rather than overall grades. The standards-based grading scale typically includes:

Proficiency LevelDescription
4Advanced – Exceeds the standard
3Proficient – Meets the standard
2Basic – Partially meets the standard
1Below Basic – Does not meet the standard


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

  1. What is the passing grade in Tennessee?
    • A passing grade is generally considered a D, which is 70-74%.
  2. How are GPA and class rank calculated?
    • GPA is calculated using a 4.0 scale, with class rank determined by GPA in comparison to peers.
  3. What is the mastery scale?
    • The mastery scale rates students from 1 to 4 based on their proficiency in specific skills.
  4. How does standards-based grading differ from traditional grading?
    • Standards-based grading focuses on mastery of individual standards rather than an overall percentage.
  5. Are there any grade-specific policies in Tennessee?
    • Policies can vary by district, so it’s important to check with your local school.
  6. Can students retake assessments to improve their grades?
    • Retake policies vary by school and district.
  7. How are special education students graded?
    • Special education students are graded based on their individualized education program (IEP) goals.
  8. What resources are available for students needing extra help?
    • Schools offer tutoring, after-school programs, and summer school for additional support.
  9. How do grades affect eligibility for extracurricular activities?
    • Students must maintain a certain GPA to participate in extracurricular activities.
  10. What is the role of parents in the grading process?
    • Parents are encouraged to communicate with teachers and stay involved in their child’s education.


Here are some useful resources for understanding Tennessee’s grading policy:

  1. Tennessee Department of Education – Provides official guidelines and resources for educators and parents. Visit Site
  2. Parent Portal – Allows parents to monitor their child’s academic progress and communicate with teachers. Visit Site
  3. Standards-Based Grading Guide – Offers detailed information on standards-based grading practices in Tennessee. Visit Site
  4. Academic Standards – A comprehensive list of the academic standards used in Tennessee schools. Visit Site

Grading Policy for Schools in Tennessee