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What do you consider a good high school average?

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Newbie
May 3, 2015
79 posts
45 upvotes
Toronto, ON

What do you consider a good high school average?

I have seen some adults talk about high school grades and a lot of them think that 80s are quite good and competitive. I remember someone saying a 84% cutoff seemed high to him. But as a recent high school grad, there's a big difference between what a lot of older people consider good grades and what current students think is good. Honestly, getting 80s is a joke now in high school. I remember reading somewhere that 60% of high school grads have an average over 80%. For the big schools like Queens, Western, Waterloo, and Uoft you need low-mid 80s just to get into their arts programs. With so many programs requiring 80s, I don't see them as competitive because so many people have averages in the 80s. I don't even consider my final average of 92% that good. Maybe it's my school and the environment I was it that really shaped my perception of high school grades. I went to a public school where over 90% of people go to the big universities and pretty much everyone has an 80% or higher and a lot of people had averages in the 90s. Everyone was always striving for 90s and everyone would always say they "failed" when they got less than 90.
75 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 5, 2004
2102 posts
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Medicine Hat
High school matters to no one other than: kids trying to get into post secondary and parents trying to brag.

No one else gives a *****, no one, and no one should. They should care about what is being learned and why and how it helps their child grow. Ask yourself this; if you got an 84% on an exam and your friend got 83%, are you actually smarter than them? better then them?
Sr. Member
Jan 8, 2009
803 posts
468 upvotes
GTA
When my husband and I were in high school (roughly 30 years ago), marks in the middish 80s and especially a high 80s average was considered really good and pretty much guaranteed you entrance to your choice of university and program. I had a friend who had a 97% average but he was being courted by every university in Canada and the US and was so brilliant it just blew your mind. They actually sent recruiters to our school to try and get him to come to their schools.

Nowadays (and my husband is a high school teacher so we've talked about this), marks are much higher -- and students did not suddenly get much smarter than preceding generations. There's definite mark inflation going on OR (my husband says) there was definite mark deflation going on in our day. He says teachers used to pick on everything and that marking has become much easier. That's not all of it. Private schools inflating marks, public schools easing up to match, universities raising admission averages, etc, all contribute.

In answer to your "what do I consider great marks?" question though, it depends. I consider anything above an 80 a good solid mark. I consider anything above an 85 to be even better and I consider 90+ to be great. In my daughter's school, of the people who are looking at going into competitive programs at university (as opposed to just going to university), I would say 88+ average is what's needed and a minimum of what most of them have and a large number probably have a 90 or low 90s average with the real standouts having above that.

Obviously the vast majority universities think 85+ is a great average because that's where you start getting the scholarships.
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Oct 6, 2005
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jrbb0309 wrote: Obviously the vast majority universities think 85+ is a great average because that's where you start getting the scholarships.
Things have changed - these days with grade inflation, about 60% of Ontario high school students have an A average! 10% have an A+ average (I assume that is 90%+?). Average university entrance grade is now 85%.

So I would say 90+ is considered a good grade, if you score 80% - 90%, you're pretty much an average student who did their work.

http://www.macleans.ca/education/uniand ... de-now-85/

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nat ... e10452197/

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nat ... e17953433/
jrbb0309 wrote: When my husband and I were in high school (roughly 30 years ago), marks in the middish 80s and especially a high 80s average was considered really good and pretty much guaranteed you entrance to your choice of university and program.
It seemed this way up until circa-2000; I'm not sure when grade inflation became rampant in Ontario ... I do recall looking at the entrance averages about 3 or 4 years ago and being shocked at the average mark required to enter. Now digging deeper I'm starting to suspect the average mark required is nothing more than smoke and mirrors?
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Oct 26, 2003
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it means nothing, even 90+, you put all the top students into post secondary and half still flunk out
WTB amazon gc @90%
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Dec 6, 2006
5383 posts
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Toronto
Agree the HS grades here are so out of wack, just so no kids will get emotionally damaged by having low grades.
So now the truely hard-working and/or talents kids are buried along with the lazy ones coz you can't really tell who's good and who's bad. 90% HS average and fails on the easiest 1st year university course. Or ones that get so upset about losing just a few marks in university courses, since they never "experience" that in HS.

When I was a lab-TA in university, there were students who came to argue or beg about each 0.5 /10 mark I took off in lab report. I mean asking how to do better is fine, but simply begging for marks is just dumb... especially it's only 0.5/10 of 1 report, with 10 reports in the course, and all reports weigh only 15% of the course :facepalm:
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Jul 22, 2014
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Ottawa, ON
Teachers were also allowed to fail students when most of these "older" folk were in high school. And by older I mean thirty plus...
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Sep 19, 2005
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dreamingstars wrote: I have seen some adults talk about high school grades and a lot of them think that 80s are quite good and competitive. I remember someone saying a 84% cutoff seemed high to him. But as a recent high school grad, there's a big difference between what a lot of older people consider good grades and what current students think is good.
It's not just Ontario. I was at my son's middle school awards ceremony last month, and 2/3 of the school was on the honour roll (honors, honours with distinction, high honours). Five hundred "brilliant" snowflakes.

The principal addressed the subject of grade inflation in her introductory remarks by declaring that, "No, the kids here are really that smart." The interesting thing is that the kids see through this smoke screen. My son refused to let his mother take a photo with his high honours certificates because "he hadn't done anything special."

I have vivid memories of marks in the 80s being excellent in high school, and achieving 85% to hit the honour roll in University required razor sharp dedication and focus -- I was only able to manage it for two semesters in undergrad.
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Dec 23, 2003
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I guess this is can be attributed to what I call the Mcguinty effect. When he came into power, he talked about increasing test scores and people believed the wool in sheep's clothing. All that happened was a grand scale dumbing down of the education system when everyone would pass to make the parents think they are smart and to boost the scores of the schools. The real test is how they do when they attend a top University taking real courses to get a meaningful degree instead of some art or basket weaving courses.
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Oct 26, 2003
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hightech wrote: I guess this is can be attributed to what I call the Mcguinty effect. When he came into power, he talked about increasing test scores and people believed the wool in sheep's clothing. All that happened was a grand scale dumbing down of the education system when everyone would pass to make the parents think they are smart and to boost the scores of the schools. The real test is how they do when they attend a top University taking real courses to get a meaningful degree instead of some art or basket weaving courses.
you know these kids from asia and middle east who can't get into their university over there come over here instead, and kicking a$$, only way to solve it is to import china's gaokao system and fail 100% of the high school kid here to wake them up, i doubt any high school kid in this country can pass year 2 university level exams, that's what gaokao is.
WTB amazon gc @90%
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Jul 15, 2008
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90+ minimum these days.
Jr. Member
Dec 14, 2014
177 posts
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Mississauga, ON
dreamingstars wrote: I have seen some adults talk about high school grades and a lot of them think that 80s are quite good and competitive. I remember someone saying a 84% cutoff seemed high to him. But as a recent high school grad, there's a big difference between what a lot of older people consider good grades and what current students think is good. Honestly, getting 80s is a joke now in high school. I remember reading somewhere that 60% of high school grads have an average over 80%. For the big schools like Queens, Western, Waterloo, and Uoft you need low-mid 80s just to get into their arts programs. With so many programs requiring 80s, I don't see them as competitive because so many people have averages in the 80s. I don't even consider my final average of 92% that good. Maybe it's my school and the environment I was it that really shaped my perception of high school grades. I went to a public school where over 90% of people go to the big universities and pretty much everyone has an 80% or higher and a lot of people had averages in the 90s. Everyone was always striving for 90s and everyone would always say they "failed" when they got less than 90.
The divide is so large because of grade inflation. Here is a good article about it.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nat ... e10452197/
Member
Jul 30, 2013
238 posts
114 upvotes
Toronto
dreamingstars wrote: I have seen some adults talk about high school grades and a lot of them think that 80s are quite good and competitive. I remember someone saying a 84% cutoff seemed high to him. But as a recent high school grad, there's a big difference between what a lot of older people consider good grades and what current students think is good. Honestly, getting 80s is a joke now in high school. I remember reading somewhere that 60% of high school grads have an average over 80%. For the big schools like Queens, Western, Waterloo, and Uoft you need low-mid 80s just to get into their arts programs. With so many programs requiring 80s, I don't see them as competitive because so many people have averages in the 80s. I don't even consider my final average of 92% that good. Maybe it's my school and the environment I was it that really shaped my perception of high school grades. I went to a public school where over 90% of people go to the big universities and pretty much everyone has an 80% or higher and a lot of people had averages in the 90s. Everyone was always striving for 90s and everyone would always say they "failed" when they got less than 90.
Honestly, a high school average is useless after high school. Once you get into post-secondary school, no one ever cares about your grades in high school. When I did my undergrad, I remember a lot of the kids I went to high school with did extremely well (high 80's, 90's) but flunked out or couldn't handle the pressure anymore. I did well in my last year of high school to get accepted and I was an above-average student in university. But, to answer your question, I'd think a "good" high school average is around 75%. I say this because not all students want to go to university, and there's nothing wrong with that. 75% is a decent average in high school because it gives you an option of getting into both university (some programmes, not all, look at requirements for programmes) and college. Then again, it also depends on what you want to do, so the question is very subjective.

Best of luck.
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Oct 26, 2003
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^keep telling yourself that, while those 90+ kids gets smashed in university
WTB amazon gc @90%
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Oct 6, 2005
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aaronjtml wrote: I'd think a "good" high school average is around 75%.
Sorry, not when the average Ontario graduating class has an 85%+ - 75% basically means you're below average.
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Jul 14, 2016
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Toronto, ON
I agree with coolspot! Only above 85 is considered to be good. Everything else is "ok" and less. In order to get to the top school you need very high marks + good essay + maybe some connections or projects to show. If you are not looking for a fence college, it does not matter. And if talk about employers, if they hire fresh grads - they don't care at all! They will look if you are smart enough to learn on a spot.
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Jun 12, 2015
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90% set the difference between students I found.

80% is good but many get.

But hs doesn't translate to university, however does start to distinguish
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Dynasty12345 wrote: 90% set the difference between students I found.

80% is good but many get.

But hs doesn't translate to university, however does start to distinguish
i'd take a 50% avg student from brand name university than any 99% student from any high school.
WTB amazon gc @90%
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Jun 12, 2015
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divx wrote: i'd take a 50% avg student from brand name university than any 99% student from any high school.
I was speaking for when you're looking at hs kids.

Can't compare a uni kid to a 99% hs kid. In either case that uni kid better have mad experience to support that trashy gpa
Member
Nov 19, 2011
297 posts
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Calgary
Honestly I don't think high school grades should even be used as measure to get into University. Very easy to inflation grades (one teacher marks easier) can make a big difference. Personally I think we should go either completely the provincial exam or have each school make the test so they can measure quality of student coming in.

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