grade inflation


Definition of grade inflation

: a rise in the average grade assigned to students especially : the assigning of grades higher than previously assigned for given levels of achievement

Examples of grade inflation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Academic researchers say that uptick is a sign of grade inflation, not of smarter students. Melissa Korn, WSJ, "You Graduated Cum Laude? So Did Everyone Else," 2 July 2018 In Prince George’s County, the school system has been roiled by allegations of grade inflation and unauthorized pay raises. Rachel Chason, Washington Post, "Maryland lawmakers move to ensure that all casino funds go to education," 7 Apr. 2018 Complaints have run the gamut, from grade inflation and declining ACT scores to Torkelson's relationship with the School Board and its financial operations. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Northwoods Wisconsin school board member started asking questions. Then things got ugly," 11 July 2018 This trend of grade inflation—the gradual increase in average GPAs over the past few decades—is often considered a product of a consumer era in higher education, in which students are treated like customers to be pleased. Jeffrey Selingo, The Atlantic, "Colleges Are Letting Students Take Classes Over Again," 29 June 2018 Standardized tests are especially important in a time of severe grade inflation, especially in more affluent high schools. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The War on Admissions Testing," 1 July 2018 As high-school GPAs continue to go up because of grade inflation, having the common measure provided by admissions test scores is useful. Nathan Kuncel And, WSJ, "The Truth About the SAT and ACT," 8 Mar. 2018 Don’t be fooled by the grade inflation rampant at the fancier (read: most selective) institutions. Michael S. Roth, Washington Post, "What is college for? (Hint: It’s not just about getting in.)," 13 Dec. 2017 Several years ago, many began believing that grade inflation had gone too far. Patrick O'donnell,, "A dramatic look at how Ohio test scores fell with new tests, expectations," 19 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grade inflation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of grade inflation

1975, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about grade inflation

Share grade inflation

Statistics for grade inflation

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grade inflation

The first known use of grade inflation was in 1975

See more words from the same year

Comments on grade inflation

What made you want to look up grade inflation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


irregularly rounded

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!