Knowing about the grading system in South Carolina could help you understand what your marks mean and how they could be useful to you in the future. Knowledge of the system is even more important to those transferring to a school in South Carolina from a different state, as the grades on their transcript may need to be reinterpreted.
South Carolina's current grading system was put into use in 2007 following a review of the first system, which was adopted in 1999 in response to the creation of the Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence Scholarship. Having a uniform grading system is useful because it means that all schools in a certain area will be measuring their students in the same manner, which makes the system fairer for students.
Students in South Carolina are given a numerical grade for their work, which is then translated into a lettered grade. Anything between 93 and 100 is an A grade; 85 to 92 is a B; 77 to 84 is a C; 70 to 76 is a D; and any score between 0 and 69 is a fail. Numerical scores are also given quality points. This is a uniform set of numbers assigned to each numerical grade that goes toward deciding a student's grade point average (GPA). Higher quality points are given to honors, dual credit, international baccalaureate and advanced placement courses.
Grade Point Averages
A student's GPA may be very important for those about to leave school and go on to jobs or colleges, as potential employers and educators could judge a candidate's ability on her GPA. To calculate a student's GPA, schools in South Carolina add up all of a student's quality points and then divide them by the amount of units attempted. If only half a unit was completed, the quality score achieved in that course will be divided in half before it is added to the others.
Retaking/Withdrawing from Courses
The South Carolina grading system also stipulates what is to happen to a student's grade if he retakes or withdraws from a course. Before ninth grade, a student may retake a course regardless of the grade he gets, and only the retake will be factored into his GPA. After ninth grade, students may only retake courses if they have received a D or F grade. If a person withdraws from a course after the first three days of a 45-day course, the first five days of a 90-day course or the first 10 days of a 180-day course, he will receive a WF grade, which goes down as a fail grade on his GPA. If he withdraws before these time limits, he will receive no penalty.
Students transferring to schools in South Carolina will have transcripts from their last school taken into account in their GPA. If their previous school supplies numerical grades, these will be put on the record as they are. However, if a transcript only uses letter grades, they are converted using fixed numerical standards. For example, an A equals 96, a B represents 88 and a C, 90. If the student's transcript includes a P grade for passing and no numerical grade is given, the student's GPA from her previous school will be used in lieu. For example, if a student has a GPA of four, she will receive a numerical grade of 93, according to the South Carolina quality scores system.