Nominal GPA and Real GPA: A Simple Adjustment that Compensates for Grade Inflation
Posted: 9 Aug 2004 Last revised: 6 Jan 2008
Grade inflation is a long-standing problem whose seriousness is demonstrated by a wide variety of studies of grade distributions. A few institutions have changed the information on their transcripts in an effort to account for it. Proposals to index grades have been largely unsuccessful for a variety of reasons. A simple index, the Real GPA, is calculated as a ratio of the individual student's GPA to the average GPA of the class and expressed numerically on the same scale as the inflated nominal grade. Recorded on transcripts next to the Nominal GPA, the real GPA makes the relative degree of inflation in a transcript immediately visible and creates positive pressures on academic standards.
Keywords: Teaching, evaluation, student opinion, grade inflation
JEL Classification: I21, J44, M51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation