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Blackboard Help

Modifying Standard Grade Scales

To switch or modify either of the two scales:

  1. Click Grading > Set Grading Scale. A dialog box with the current grading scale will be displayed.

    Set grade scale options

    Set grade scale options

  2. You may select Standard A,B,C,D,F with +/- or Standard A,B,C,D,F without +/- for display in the dialog box.
  3. The Set Grading Scale dialog box displays the grades and cutoff values. The letter grades assigned can actually be letters, numbers or words. Whatever scale appears in the dialog box is the scale that will be used to assign grades for students where Gscale is equal to 1 unless you change it.

If test scores have been entered for the gradebook you are accessing, you will notice two columns to the right of each grade titled Number and % of Class. In Auto-Assign mode, the numbers in these columns reflect the distribution of the overall averages. If you are assigning grades with the Auto-Assign mode off, the numbers reflect the distribution for the column to which the current grade scale applies.

  • The first column, titled Number, indicates how many students in that particular class fall within each grade range.
  • The second column, titled % of Class, shows the percent of the class falling within that range.
  • If you change the grade cutoff values for any grade, the numbers instantly change, showing you the effect your scale has on the grade distribution. For example, if you change the lowest score needed for an A grade from 90 to 87, you will immediately see how many more students will receive an A with that new scale.

To change the minimum value of a current grade on the scale:

  1. Click any grade or the Cutoff value (minimum score) needed to earn it.
  2. If, for example, you are changing the value of B, but keeping the B itself, then click the Cutoff value for B, which is pre-set for 80%. The 80% will appear in the text box next to the Make Change button.
  3. Enter the lowest score for which you want to assign the grade you’ve selected. For example, if you now want the B grades given to scores of 75%-90%, then type 75. Press the Enter key to enter the new cutoff value and simultaneously move the selection down in the list, tab to enter the new cutoff value and move the selection sideways or click the Make Change button to keep the selection stationary. You can also change the letters A, B etc. to numbers like 3 or 4 if your school uses that type of scale.
  4. Check the list of Grades and Cutoff values and be sure that the grading scale has been modified to your satisfaction, then click OK to return to the spreadsheet. Click Cancel if you do not want to change the scale from the way it appeared when the dialog box first opened. Click OK if you want to accept the changes you made.


  • You may use the Grade Scale to round your grades. In other words, if you want an 89.6 to round to an A, set the cut-off for the A at 89.5, not 90.
  • The lowest grade (by default, F) must have 0 as the minimum cutoff value or your grades will be assigned incorrectly or not at all.