Evidence points: New evidence of high school grade inflation

A close-up of an image from the cover of a May 2022 study on high school grade inflation by ACT, the maker of college admissions tests. The ACT survey found that high school grades increased between 2010 and 2022 while ACT scores decreased. Credit: ACT Inc.

Creating research as high school grades are increasing and less reliable can be a self-service for an exam maker. Yes, this is a fair explanation for why high school students should not be exempted from the rigorous college admission test, but it is further evidence that grade inflation is significant and deserves close attention.

The latest is an analysis of more than 4 million high school seniors who took ACT from 2010 to 2021. Researchers at ACT have calculated that the number of candidates with A has exceeded the number of students with B after 2016. Most ACT examinees, some of whom are not college-bound and take the exam as a required high school assessment.

Achievement decreases with increasing grade. These recent A students, for example, posted lower ACT scores than A students a decade ago. Among the students who scored in the middle and below, there was a decline in achievement across the board. It is a worrying sign that today’s students are not good or hard working and deserve higher grades.

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