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grading policy- who thought these up???

I am entering my 3rd semster in an ADN program. The ADN program I am currently in has a pretty strict grading policy. We are on something similar to a 7 point scale- with 77% being the lowest "C". We have to get a "c" average in each section and a "c" on the final to advance to the next semester- if not you go back and repeat the semester again- and you only get one restart then you have to reapply to the program and start all over- and our clinicals are on a pass/fail rate and are not graded or factored into our grades- does everyone else's school have these types of policies going on??? I am curious to know if any other programs (especially ADN) are this strict? I am not upset with this, it is just a very stressful situation to be in needing such high grades and having to pass the final just to stay in the program.

caroladybelle, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

Nothing below 80% was passing. And they do not round up whatsoever....79.99999 is still failing.

Calculation tests require even higher scores...in many programs, one is given 2 chances to pass a calculation test and the required score is 100%.

In my ADN course, you could fail and repeat only one course for the entire program, or you were kicked to the curb.

Course scores were divided into Clinical, Tests, Case Study, and clinical practical exams. While, the final grade was based on the percentage, one had to earn at least an 80% on each component (you couldn't score high on one and make less than 80% on another) or you failed.

I think that you will find that the experience of most of us here, no matter what program that they are in.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

I know you're interested in hearing about the grading scales of other ADN programs. However, 78 percent was considered a passing grade in my LVN program.

94 to 100 percent was an 'A'

85 to 93 percent was a 'B'

78 to 84 percent was a 'C'

If a student received a score of less than 78, they were placed on academic probation for review by the school's board of directors. If the same student earned another failing grade after being placed on academic probation, they were kicked out of the program and therefore had to re-apply and repay to retake the program.


Specializes in Informatics.

Yes, our ADN program is that strict.

Everything is combined into one 9 credit class. Grade is based only on 6 exams (60% of grade) and one cumulative final (40% of grade). Clinical, lab, dosage calculation tests, and written reports are all pass/fail, and you must pass them.

Our C cuts off at 78%, so if you have a 77.9% you are SOL. If you leave the program you have to reapply and take a remediation course.

mom2michael, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Rural Health.

Mine is worse.

82% is passing this year, next year we start the brand new year off with an 84% as passing. We don't round up, so 83.9999% will be failing. Bonus points and extra credit do not bring you out of failing grades....if you fail...you are out and you must re-apply.

Drug dosage, must maintain a 90% on all tests, 100% on a min. of 3 tests every 8 weeks or you fail clinicals.

It can always be worse.......:)

omg thats crazy. our school a 75 is passing in All semesters

S.N. Visit, BSN, RN

Specializes in Home Health Care.

My school is that strict too, and the test are by far more difficult than arts & science classes.

My ADN programs is that strict as well. No rounding, you can only fail a class once, and must pass a dosage calculations exam with 85% or better or get the boot.

Havin' A Party!, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU, CM, Geriatrics, Management.

Combat -- Our school has the same grading requirement.

In addition, math quizzes must be passed with a 90%.


Specializes in Oncology/BMT/ MICU/ SICU.

omg thats crazy. our school a 75 is passing in All semesters

Our school also has a the same 75 is passing grading policy. We take a medication calculation exam before clinicals start and must pass with a 90% to begin clinicals. Also, we take a final medication calculation exam after clinicals are over and must pass with a 90% pass. We are given 3 tries to achieve a score of 90%. If after 3 tries you have not passed, then you are dismissed from the nursing program.

Little Panda RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Assisted Living Nurse Manager.

In my LPN program 80% is passing anything below is failing. We do have extra credit but only worth 2-3 points. Are drug calculations test had to be passed with a 100% or you were out of the program. Our clinicals were very strict we even got points taken away for being nervous and showing it. I guess I can understand their point but "wow". I know it could be worse. Just thankful I have made it this far. One more semester to go and I will have my associates degree in practical nursing.

stressgal, RN

Specializes in CCRN.

7 Quarter ADN program, 80% is the low end of a C, 93% required for an A. Receive below a C in a course and you must repeat the course, receive below a C in another course, you're out. Dosage Calculations test given day two beginning each quarter, 10 questions, must pass with 100%.

Pretty common standards your school has put forth.

RNSuzq1, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg..


My school has about the same standards to stay in school. You said it's very stressful needing such high grades to stay in the program, but a "77" isn't a high grade, it's borderline failing. A few semesters ago, a good friend of mine finished the semester with a 76.5 after the final - (only 1/2 a point from staying in the program, but they don't round up and sadly she was out). Our clinicals are pass/fail - they have nothing to do with our final grades.

The worst part about our Program is - if you fail out a semester, you have to wait until school starts again the following "Fall" and start over again with a new class- (assuming there is room for you). There is a woman who joined our class last semester (she's from another school). She told me this is her

"3rd and last try" to make it through Nursing School. We graduate in May and by that time she'll have spent approx. 5 or so years trying to get a 2 year ADN Degree, it's nuts...


Specializes in Emergency Dept, M/S.

Mine is 80% or better on all nursing courses and sciences. 79% in any nursing course and you have to retake it in a year (and are out for that year, since they only offer nursing courses 1x per year), and if you fail any mandatory science course, you cannot continue in the nursing program until you pass with an 80% or better. Usually that means you're out for the year.

Nursing math exams must be passed with 100% by the 3rd try, or you're out.

But, my school is very good about getting people extra help if they need it. They offer many review session for people that struggle with the math or nursing exams. There are over 600 nursing students in all phases of the programs, from ADN to BSN to MSN to NP, so there is always someone to help.

I'm sure everyone's programs are strict, but I wouldn't want someone who got a D in dosages figuring out how much morphine I need! LOL


Specializes in Med/Tele, Home Health, Case Management.

In my program, the minimum to pass is 78. They do curve up, however so a 77.5 is passing. Each semester we have to take a pharm test and make a 93 or we have to repeat the entire semester, clinicals and all, even if we pass lecture. You get 3 attempts and then are out of the program for good. I don't like the grading scale either, as I have friends at another school who make a 75 and pass.

There is another nursing school in my area that uses the "normal" college grading scale: 70-79 = C, 80-89 = B and 90-100 = A.

Either way, nursing school is TOUGH!


Specializes in Cardiac/Telemetry.

Mine is worse.

82% is passing this year, next year we start the brand new year off with an 84% as passing. We don't round up, so 83.9999% will be failing. Bonus points and extra credit do not bring you out of failing grades....if you fail...you are out and you must re-apply.

Drug dosage, must maintain a 90% on all tests, 100% on a min. of 3 tests every 8 weeks or you fail clinicals.

It can always be worse.......:)

YIKES!! That is scary!!!:eek: Mine is 80% or higher is OK. Anything lower is failing. No D's or F's obviously.


Specializes in MICU.

ok, so i graduated this past may (adn from community college), so i've forgotten some of the details already (like most ptsd survivors, but... :chuckle )

all of the nursing content is combined into 1 class (nur 110, nur 210, etc). 80% was passing with a b, 90% was an a. i heard that they did round up from 79.5%, although luckily i never had to find out if that was true!

clinical pass/fail- and they did fail 2 people a few weeks before graduation from clinical for errors with some attitudes mixed in. no matter what kind of grades you got in class, if they felt you weren't capable in clinical you were done.

math tests all the time, 3 tries, 90% was passing @ first, by last semester i think it had to be 100%.

ok, so here's the real kickers-

school has an attendance policy. you miss 15% of anything (clinicals, lab, or lecture), they can (and often do) fail you. also, my last semester they changed it- you can miss 0% of clinicals. you miss a day (or 2, max), you actually go back after finals ! and make it up.

also, in your last semester you must take the hesi (like a fake nclex) exam. it like estimates the likelyhood of you passing the nclex. you have 3 chances to take it. the first time, you must pass with a 90% probability of passing the nclex (not the same as getting 90% of the 175 questions right, but still made me sick to think about it :smokin:). if you fail the 1st time, you can try again before graduation, and you have to pass with an 85% probability of passing the nclex. if you fail the 2nd time, you actually receive an incomplete for your last semester. so, they let you participate in pinning, etc, but you don't actually get your degree and you cannot sit for the nclex. so, after graduation, you get basically until august to take it again, passing with an 85% probability of passing the nclex... then you get your degree and sit for boards.

now, despite how all that sounds- i had some kooky instructors, but everyone from the head of health technologies to most of the part-timers were always available to help you, as long as you were willing to help yourself. that was the key for them. they kept you abreast of your standings, offered help, and if you have to take the hesi x3 they basically tutor you 1-to-1. (they swear only 1 student ever didn't graduate because of the hesi requirement). and our program is highly respected in this area and we, as students, were actively recruited by the hospitals in the triangle area, including institutions like unc chapel hill and duke university.

whew. that was a lot- looking back on it, i'm not sure how i did it, but it certainly helped prepare me for the role i have today in the icu!

good luck to all of you and i can't wait to see you on the other side!




Specializes in Med/Surg.

We have to get a 77 each semester to pass on to the next one. Anything below that is failing and they do not round up for 76.5 either. You get to repeat one class one time then you get dropped and can not reapply to the program for 5 years. You can only repeat the class the next semester if there is room for you or you have to go onto the waiting list until a spot opens up for you in that semester (class). Our grades are 93-100=A, 86-92=B and 77-85=C. In our first 3 semesters we have to take a med math test and get a 90 on it. You have 3 chances. In the fourth and fifth (last) semester you have to get a 100 on it. These have to be taken before clinicals start. If you do not pass it you do not get to go to clinicals and you fail the class. Our clincals are pass/fail..if you fail clinicals you fail the class regardless of your grade in lecture. Our unit exams carry between 50-70% of our grades depending on the semester, our final is 15-25%, Pharmacology exam is between 15-20% again depending on the semester, and papers are about 5% (even though they take hours and hours to do). I think thats it. We take an NLN exam at the end of every semester...it does not count towards our grades, but you can not get your grades until you take it and if you do not take it before school is done they will fail you. Nursing school is tough, but I do not think I would want it any other way. I think nursing is one field where you need to have higher standards. These are peoples lives we are dealing with every day.

Good luck to everyone.

Yea, I am with ya, here at FCCJ in Jacksonville, Fl; our scale is 80 is the lowest. I made it first term, except one class, 78%. That teacher, did not let us look at our tests afterwards, never knew what we missed. We have four exams, final. If you did not make 80% on those the Final Physical Assessment Simulation and a Final Simulation paper of review of systems, etc. would not even be counted towards our grade! I made a 90 on the simulation and 86 on the paper. I had a 78% on the exams (only four) and final (as average). It was only 65% of my grade; they never let me have the other 35% because I did not have an 80% on my exams. I have to remediate that class. Our grading scale is 93-100 A; 86-92 B; and 85-80 C. Try this one... I have to sit out the summer and not advance to the next one as well as taking just one class for fall before I can go to second term. It is horrible. Heartbroken in Jacksonville.

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