Grading Spreadsheets for Faculty

Jeffrey Evans Stake

The faculty of Indiana University School of Law—Bloomington has adopted guidelines for grading standard courses. Those guidelines include a maximum standard deviation and a maximum and a minimum for the mean of the grades awarded JD students. There are many legitimate ways to award grades to students, including those based on established criteria and those that are purely comparative. For comparative grading, I have suggested some principles in my article, "Making the Grade: Some Principles of Comparative Grading," 52 J. Leg. Ed. 583 (2002).

To make it easier to adhere to those principles, I have created spreadsheets for grading that are not too difficult to use. Those spreadsheets, which may be downloaded below, may make it easier to follow the guidelines.

If you have any comments or questions, please send them to me at


The following table provides one example of the kind of distribution that can result from processing student scores into grades using EZ-Score. This particular distribution was created from 139 actual student scores on four parts of an examination. Applying a target mean of 3.246 and a target standard deviation of 0.356 to this particular set of scores resulted in an actual mean of 3.250 and an actual standard deviation of 0.370.

C 0.0%
Mean = 3.250
Standard deviation = 0.370

You may view the sample spreadsheet (in Corel Quattro Pro or in Microsoft Excel) that created this distribution of grades. But do not try to modify this spreadsheet for grading a class of students. Instead use one of the downloadable templates available in the first two links on this page.