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Know Our History: Grading at MHC

Grades have not always been given in letters. At Yale in the 1780s, grades were in Latin, At William and Mary, grades were in numbers. In 1897, MHC developed the letter grading system, becoming the first recorded school to do so. Later in the 1970s and 1980s, Mount Holyoke tested several systems including Excellent, Good, and Poor, one consisting of 4-3-2-1-Fail, and A, AB, B, BC, C, CD, D, and F, before returning to what we currently use. Here is an image of some of the grading systems from the Mount Holyoke News in May 1976 when faculty voted to adopt the 4-3-2-1 system, moving away from EGP.


Grading systems

A chart comparing grading systems used at MHC

Comparison of grading systems used at MHC, from the Mount Holyoke News, May 1976.