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What Is A Passing Grade In High School? (Everything You Need To Know)

Have you been wondering what a passing grade in high school is? Maybe you need to work out whether you have a passing grade or not?

Or are you curious about how your grades will impact college applications? No matter what the question is that brought you here, we have the answers for you! 

What Is A Passing Grade In High School (Everything You Need To Know)

Finding out what a passing grade in high school is can be tricky. No one seems to have the answer you need or be able to help you.

So you head online for some help. But all you can find are contradicting and confusing answers. Frustrated and disappointed, you wonder if you will ever know what a passing grade in high school is.

And with graduation around the corner, you need to know now! 

And we are here to tell you! Keep reading to find out what a passing grade in high school is and everything you need to know about grading and GPAs.

We have a complete guide today, so stick with us for the answers you need! 

What Is A Passing Grade In High School?

Let’s dive right in! The minimum passing grade in high school is 60% or a D. You need a score of 60 to 69%, D, or higher to pass your grade. 

Any less than 60% is an F. When you get an F, you do not get any credits for the class. You will need to retake it and score 60% or higher to receive credits that can be used towards your high school diploma. 

While a D is widely considered a passing grade, some school districts and states consider a C a passing grade.

You will need to check what the course requirements are in your high school to see if you need a C or a D. Make sure you find this out before graduation, you don’t want any nasty surprises! 

Although a D is considered a passing grade, you still want to be striving for higher, especially if you want to go to college.

There aren’t many colleges that will accept someone who gets Ds. make sure you are aiming for higher grades to improve your chances of getting into a good college. 

How High School Is Graded? 

High schools in the US have a grading system that determines whether you have passed or failed a class. Your grade is determined by marks on class papers, reports, projects, quizzes, and tests.

You will be given a grade for each of these which is usually averaged out to give you a final grade for the glass. 

The grades represent points for your GPA, which stands for Grade Point Average (more on GPAs below). 

We’ve created a little table for you, so you can see from lowest to highest the grades and their relevant GPAs. 

F0-59% 0.0

Each of these grades is made up of three sub-grades. You can have a minus or plus grade, along with the stand alone letter.

So you could have a B-, B, or B+, depending on your percentage. This helps to break the grades up and provides you with smaller increments to work towards, rather than jumping full grades. 

Don’t worry, we cover the plus and minus grades later to help you learn more about them! 

As you can see, you get points for every grade, except an F. An F and zero points means you have failed the class. You will not get any credits for it and will need to retake the class.

Usually, to graduate and gain your high school diploma you will need at least 22 credits. Some colleges will not allow you to enroll if your average grade is low and even companies and agencies require a high school diploma!

So for work and further education, it is important that you have your high school diploma! 

What Is A GPA?

A GPA, or Grade Point Average, is a system used to measure academic performance. The system takes your grades, averages them out, and gives you a score. 

The system takes your grades and averages them out, converting them into a number from 1 to 4. 

If you were to get As in all your classes, you would have a GPA of almost 4.0. There are plus and minus grades that can leave you with a slightly different number, but don’t worry, we cover this in today’s article! 

Getting a good GPA score is important, especially if you want to apply for scholarships, go to a good college, or apply for well-paid jobs. 

Below is a table you can use to see what your grade converts too, in terms of your GPA. 

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How To Calculate GPA In High School

To calculate your GPA in high school, you need to work out your average grade. To do this, add all of your grades total points and divide it by the number of classes you have taken. 

We have a step-by-step guide below that you can follow. Let’s check it out now. 

  1. Start by coverting your percentage or letter grade into points. 
  2. Add up all of your grade points. 
  3. To finish, divide your grade points by the number of credits taken. This will give you your GPA. 

For reference, if you had all As your GPA would be close to 4.0 If you have Bs in some classes, your GPA would be around 3.5, and all Ds would leave you with a score of 1.0. 

What Grade Is A C In High School?

To get a C, you need to have a score between 70 and 79%. The C grade is divided into three categories, C-, C, and C+. 

A C- is a score of 70 to 73%, a C is 73 to 76%, and a C+ is 77 to 79%. Each of these gives you a score of 1.7, 2.0, and 2.3 respectively for your GPA. 

Remember, in some schools a C is considered a pass rather than a D. So you would need a C to pass the class. Make sure you check in your school what the pass mark is! 

Is D A Passing Grade In High School?

In most schools, yes a D is a passing grade. You will have achieved 60%, which is the minimum required to pass. You will get credit for the class and won’t need to repeat the class. 

However, a D grade does pull down your GPA and is best avoided, especially if you want to go to college! 

What Is A Failing Grade In High School?

An F is a failing grade in high school. There are four passing grades, A, B, C, D. An A is considered the highest grade, with D being the lowest passing grade. To get a D, you need 60%.

If you achieve 60%, you will pass the class and can claim the credits for it. However, if you fail the class with an F, you will need to retake the class and improve your grade. 

What Is A B+?

To get a B+, you would need a mark of 87 to 89%. This would give you a score of 3.3 points for your GPA. 

You need a score of 83 to 86% for a B (which gives you 3.0 points), and a B- is 80 to 82% (with a score of 2.7). 

If you were to get Bs in all your classes, you would probably have a 3.0 GPA. This is considered a good GPA in most high schools. 

What Is The Percentage Of An A Grade?

An A grade usually has a percentage of 90 to 100%. You can get up to four points on the grading score, depending on your percentage. 

An A+ will give you a score of 4.0 and you will need a percentage of 97 to 100% to gain this score. 

An A has a GPA of 3.9, and you need 93 to 96% to achieve this. 

Finally, an A- has a GPA of 3.7 and you need 90 to 92% for this. 

High grades are integral to getting scholarships and access to colleges, especially good colleges! It can be hard, but with hard work and determination, you can achieve these higher grades! 

Is There An E Grade?

No, there is no N grade in the US grading system. The reason for this is that when the grading system first came in, the E grade caused confusion. Parents and students would think it meant excellent, rather than that they had failed. 

Instead, F was used to represent failure. It is far easier and now everyone knows where they stand! 

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What GPA Is All B?

A B gets you 3.0 points out of a possible 4.0 on the GPA scale. If you achieved all Bs in your classes, you would have an overall grade of 3.0. 

While this is an excellent score, if you want access to Ivy League universities or the Big Ten, you need a 4.0 GPA. This means you need to get all A’s, so it’s time to knuckle down and get studying! 

Is 60 A Passing Grade?

Yes, 60 is a passing grade. In most cases, 60 is considered a passing grade. 60 is a D and the lowest passing grade you can get. You will have avoided repeating a class, but it is not high enough to access colleges. 

It’s worth noting that in some schools and states, 60% is considered an F. You would need to get a score of 65% to pass your class. 

Is 65 A Passing Grade?

Yes. In most schools, 65 is a D, making it a passing grade. It is the minimum grade you need to pass and avoid retaking a class. 

It’s worth noting that you only get one point on the GPA scale. You would need to study harder to get your grades up and improve your GPA if you want to go to college. 

Is 70 A Passing Grade?

In most schools, 70 is considered a passing grade. A score of 70 to 72% gives you a grade of C-, which is a passing grade. 

While this means you pass, it isn’t a brilliant grade. You would only get a GPA of 1.7 which isn’t great if you are app;lyign for colleges, apprenticeships, or work.

If you are looking at courses where you need a higher GPA, you should avoid getting Cs in your classes. They will pull your GPA down, which you don’t want! 

University Grading Scale 

And what about grades when you get to university? The grade is given to you by your lecturer or instructor based on your performance in an assignment.

We have a list of the grades below for you and the score you need to achieve them. 

  1. F – failed. Here you will have not met the requirements needed to pass the course.
  2. D – usually this is a score of 60 to 65%. You will have passed, but performed poorly. 
  3. C – usually this is a score of 70 and 79%. This is a pass, but an average score. 
  4. B – usually this is a score of 80 to 89%. This is considered a very good score. 
  5. A – usually a score of 90 to 100%. This is an excellent score. 

The GPA system is also used at universities. We have included the breakdown of GPA scores below. 

  • D – 1.0 GPA
  • C – 2.0 GPA 
  • B – 3.0 GPA
  • A – 4.0 GPA 

You don’t get any points for an F grade, which is why it is not on our list. This scoring system is based on all of your class scores.

They are averaged out to give you a final GPA for the year and your overall degree.

Most colleges do not award degrees if your GPA is less than 2.0, so keep this in mind when you are studying! 

What GPA Do I Need To Graduate High School?

In most states, you need a GPA of 2.0 or more to graduate and earn your high school diploma. To achieve this, you need to get a C or higher in all the classes you are taking. 

There are some schools where you can graduate with a GPA of 1.0 too. Make sure you check with your school to see what your GPA needs to be to graduate high school. 

What GPA Is Considered Failing?

An F, or a GPA of 0.0 is considered a fail. As we said earlier, your overall GPA needs to be 2.0 to graduate, any less is considered a fail. 

Although a D is a pass, it lowers your GPA and can make it harder for you to gain access to colleges and scholarships.

It’s always worth asking about extra-credit assignments or retakes that you can do to boost your D grade and your overall GPA. 

Can I Graduate High School With A 2.0 GPA?

Yes, in most schools you can graduate with a 2.0 GPA. While you can graduate with a 2.0, it’s worth noting that most colleges and trade schools only accept students with a 3.0 GPA or higher. 

Some employers will also look at your GPA score when deciding whether to hire you or not. The score shows them your ability to work hard and the effort that you are likely to put into your work with them. 

Why Grades Matter?

If you are looking to attend an Ivy League university or one of the Big Ten, then your grades matter to admission! You are usually required to have at least a 3.75 GPA. 

Colleges and scholarships look at GPA scores when deciding who to give their funding too. 

As we mentioned earlier, grades can also be needed to secure some jobs. 

Can I Get Into University With Bad Grades?

Yes, you can. While most colleges look for a 3.0 GPA or higher, there are some that will accept you with a score of 2.5 or 2.0. Alternatively, you can explore the option of community college. 

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! In most schools, a passing grade is a D, or 60%. However, there are some schools where a C is a passing score and you must get 70% to pass the course.

Failing a course can happen to anyone, and it isn’t anything to be ashamed of.

There are plenty of options too, such as extra credit or re-taking the class that will allow you to increase your GPA and gain access to colleges or jobs. 

Good luck! 

Simon Lewis

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