Grade Tracker: A Key to Academic Progress

By Anathea Simpkins

Study Skills

What is a grade tracker? It is exactly what it sounds like – a place to list and monitor a student’s grades. A student’s academic planner is the perfect place to track this information. This information may also be available via your child’s school portal or website.

But why go through the trouble of charting each grade? The answer is simple and very important.

1. It provides a real-time overview. Our children are plugged in, getting constant updates on everything, so why not for their grades? Rather than waiting for the end of the term, when it’s too late to take action, your child can use a grade tracker to monitor their progress on an ongoing basis. By keeping a regularly updated grade tracker, your child will be able to tell how they’re doing at a glance. Grade trackers make it clear where your child is meeting academic standards and where they aren’t, so your child will know where to apply extra effort.

SB_High School_Boy_African American_Portrait Outside

2. It keeps your child on top of teacher expectations. Different teachers have different expectations, and it’s important to keep on top of each course’s expectations. Having a grade tracker for each subject will help keep your child focused on the varied needs of their different subjects.

3. It affects goal planning. As your child monitors their grades, they can see where they are meeting their short-term and long-term goals. They can also see where they are missing the mark and adjust accordingly before they get too far off track.

Mother helping daughter fill out College Applications in the Kitchen

4. It builds motivation and confidence. Tracking grades is a concrete way to show progress. Any improvements are right there in black-and-white for your child to see. When a student sees a lower grade, uses the information to apply extra effort, and improves in that area, it gives the student a sense of control and focus. As grades improve, this will build self-confidence, relieve stress and help to motivate your child.

To help your child keep track of grades, you can suggest some guidelines:

  • Start by having your child design a grade tracker for each subject.
  • As your child calculates the grade average, remind them to take into consideration how assignments are weighted by the teacher. For example, if tests are considered twice as important as homework assignments, then your child should count them twice when doing the averaging.
  • Set aside time each week to review the grade tracker. Use it as a guide to help you and your child decide where they need to focus their attention.

What do you put in a grade tracker? Try using these columns:

  • Date of the assignment.
  • Name of the assignment.
  • The number correct/number possible.
  • Grade calculated as a percent, or their score — This not only allows your child get to see the details of how they’re doing, but they also get to practice some math every time they calculate the percentage.
  • Percent of the overall grade.
  • A running tally of the overall grade average for that class — This ensures that your child is aware of their current standing, and it has the added benefit of getting your child to practice some more math when they do the averaging!

Overall, grade trackers can be a powerful tool to help your child monitor progress. It helps them to place their focus where it’s needed and to stay on track. If you think your child could use extra help staying on track in his or her classes, consider Sylvan’s Study Skills courses. Our programs are designed to help kids build effective study skills that will last a lifetime!