Report card grades attempt to measure a student's achievement and progress in particular topics of learning, while providing feedback on the student's strengths and weaknesses. Grading systems vary depending on the state and school district, but report cards are primarily a tool to keep parents and students informed.
Traditionally, letter-based grading systems were used in most schools, and grades were calculated based on a combination of classwork performance and participation, tests, homework, and other projects relating to a particular subject.
Many schools have adopted a standards-based grading system that measures a student's progress toward completing all grade-level standards throughout the year. These report cards typically use numbers or letters to indicate whether the student is proficient, making progress or not yet making progress toward the goal. Student report cards may also measure non-academic skills, such as self-control, organization and perseverance.