Courses: Grade Setup


Use the Grade Setup area to adjust grade settings for your course. In this area, you can manage your Grading Categories, create scales and rubrics, adjust the weights of your grading periods, and enable Final Grade Settings for your student reports.

To access Grade Setup, click Grade Setup on the left side of your course.


The Grade Setup page displays the following:

  • If you use the Enterprise version of Schoology, you may not have edit access to all areas of this page based on the permissions in place at your school or organization. Please reach out to your Support Contact or System Administrator with any questions.
  • Grade Setup is not supported in courses containing more than 10,000 members.

Grading Categories

Grading Categories enable you to organize graded items in the course. At least one grading category is required in order for you to use the Gradebook. Common examples of categories include Classwork, Homework, or Quizzes. There is no limit to the number of categories you can create, and you can weight each according to your own definition.

To add a new category:

  1. Click Add in the Categories area.
  2. Enter a Name.
  3. Select either Percent or Total Points as the category calculation method. 
    Click here to learn about the difference between Percent and Total Points as calculation methods.
  4. Use Drop lowest to automatically drop the lowest n grades within that category from each student's overall score in the course.
  5. Click Create to complete.
Tip: Click the star icon to the right of one of your categories to mark it as your default category for newly-created materials.


To delete a category:

  1. Hover over the category you'd like to delete and click x that appears to the right of the category.
  2. If there are any course materials attached to the grading category, you will be prompted to assign another category to those materials before you can proceed to delete:
  3. Once the materials are attached to another grading category or there are no materials attached to the category, click Delete to complete.

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Weight Grading Categories

After you have created at least one category, you can choose to weight the categories for your course by checking Weight Categories.

Enabling weighted categories displays a new Weight field next to each Category name. Enter proportional values into these fields to adjust the weight for each category.

Important Notes:
  • Grading Categories cannot be changed throughout the course without impacting all grading periods of the course. For example, changing the grading category weights for the 2nd Quarter will also change the calculated grades in Quarter 1.
  • Weights are relative to each other. You can view the Category's actual percentage value of the next to the Weight field. For example, if Weight Categories is checked, and I have four categories with a weight of 100, the percentage of each category within the overall grade is 25%.
  • If one weighted category has no graded materials associated with it, then the category's weight is evenly distributed across the other categories.Weight_evenly.png

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Edit Categories

To make changes to an existing category, click the category name. In the popup window that displays, you may adjust:

  • The Category Name.
  • The Calculation Method.
  • The number of low scores you'd like to drop from the overall calculation.
  • The weight of the category.


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Grading Periods & Final Weights

The Grading Periods & Final Weights area enables you to view all of the grading periods associated with your course, as well as the weighted percentages of each grading period. Depending on the settings in place at your school, you may be able to add or remove grading periods to your course.

To add or remove a Grading Period, follow these steps:

  1. Click Edit to the right of the Grading Periods & Final Weights.
  2. Select from existing Grading Periods.
  3. If there aren't any grading periods listed in your school, you can add a new one to the course by entering a title (SP2018 or 2018-2019 Semester 1, for example) and a start and end date.
  4. If you don't see the ability to add grading periods to your course, contact a System Administrator (Enterprise), located in the Help Center area.
  5. Click Save to complete.
Note: Assignments, assessments, test/quizzes, or graded discussions designated as midterm/final appear in this area. These items can be given a weight, calculated as part of the student's overall grade, and can be viewed in the Final/Midterm Material Grades filter in the Grading Period drop-down menu in the Gradebook.

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Final Grade Settings

Use Final Grade Settings to customize how final grades calculate and display to students. To adjust these settings:

  1. Select the Scale under Final Grade Settings:
    • Numeric — displays the final grade as a percentage.
    • A+/- — displays the final grade as a letter (A, B, C, D, F, +/-)
    • You can also select a custom grading Scale in this area (see below for details).
  2. Check Round Period/Final Grades to round grading period grades and final grades.
  3. Click Save Changes to complete.

The Final Grade Settings area also includes the Control Grading Columns in Gradebook and Visibility Settings sections. Learn more about these settings in Grade Setup: Final Grade Settings.

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Grading Scales & Rubrics

Create custom Grading Scales and Rubrics to grade your materials or apply them to your Final Grade Settings. Grading Scales map an alphanumeric value of your choice to a percentage grade (0-100), and rubrics enable you to score an an assignment, graded discussion, or test/quiz question based on several criteria.



In the screenshot above, a System Admin created the scales with the lock icons at the system-level in an Enterprise organization. Instructors cannot edit these scales.

Tip: Click the star icon to the right of a scale to mark it as your default scale for newly-created materials.

To add a new Percentage-based scale:

  1. While toggled into the Scales menu on the right side of the Grade Setup page, click Add.
  2. Select Scale from the drop-down menu.
  3. Enter a name for the scale.
  4. Set the Letter Grade that will display to students in their grade reports. Letter grades must contain at least one letter.
  5. Set the percentage range for the grading scale.
  6. Use the Add Level button to add additional grade levels to this scale.
  7. Set the Letter Conversion value. If you type the letter grade into the Gradebook, the Letter Conversion is the percentage the Gradebook assigns. If you enable the option to Use Average, Schoology calculates the average value within the set range.
  8. Only show letter grade:
    • If enabled, students do not see the percentage associated with the letter grade in their grade reports for the category, grading period, and overall grades.
    • If you disable this option, students also see the percentage score for the category, grading period, and overall grades.
    • Regardless of this setting, students see the numeric points achieved out of total points possible for individual graded materials.
  9. Click Save Changes to complete.


To add a new Points-based scale:

  1. While toggled into the Scales menu on the right side of the Grade Setup page, click Add.
  2. Select Scale from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Points to switch the calculation method the sale is based on.
  4. Enter a name for the scale.
  5. Enter a value and description for obtaining the value (for example, 4= Exceeding Standard, 3= Meeting Standard, and so on)
  6. Use the Add Level button to add additional grade levels to this scale.
  7. Click Save Changes to complete.


Note: The Numeric and A +/- scales are pre-populated for all Schoology instructors; you cannot remove these from the Scales list. 


To add a rubric:

  1. Click the Add button in the upper right in the Grading Scales section.
  2. Select the Rubric option and fill out the form:
    1. Enter a name for the rubric.
    2. Create titles and descriptions for each criteria.
    3. To add additional rows of criteria, click on the +Criteria button or +Learning Objective button.
    4. To add additional columns to the scale, hover over the cell and click on the + icon that appears to the left and right of each cell.
    5. To remove a row or column, hover over the cell and click on the x icon that appears in the upper right.
    6. To reorder the rows, click on the double bars to the left and drag it to the appropriate location.
    7. Use the menu items on the upper left to close or hide the rubric.
    8. The Total Pts for the rubric automatically adjust as you add rows and columns.
  3. To create a rubric using learning objectives or standards, click the Alignments link next to Criteria.
  4. Click Create to complete.

Click here to learn more about using rubrics.

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Copy Settings

You can copy these settings to other courses you administer using the Copy Settings button.

  1. Click Copy Settings in the upper right corner.
  2. Choose to copy Categories, Grading Scales, Rubrics, or all three. Grading Periods and Final Grade Settings cannot be copied.
  3. Select the course(s) to which you'd like to copy the grade settings. You can only copy to courses for which you are a Course Admin.
  4. Click Copy to complete.

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