Definition: a metric for determining and assessing a level of mastery. The scales can vary depending on the decided upon weight of each level. Schools and/or teams should discuss and calibrate these scales as objectively as possible. The scale also communicates to students and families the level of academic understanding against particular standards in content and/or skills.

What a mastery scale is not: a grading system. A mastery scale is not meant to convey a traditional grade but the depth of understanding of particular skills and content. Using a mastery scale is meant to help teachers and students understand areas of strength and challenge. It is NOT an average. Mastery should never be averaged, especially if we are assessing a variety of standards at once.

Sample mastery scale:


Farah, K. (n.d.). How to Set Up Mastery-Based Grading in Your Classroom. from

Overview of the Four-Point Scale and Standards-Based Grading. (n.d.). from

Tucker, C. (n.d.). Grading for Mastery and Redesigning My Gradebook. from

« Back to Glossary Index