Are your child’s grades good, bad, or somewhere in-between?


We all know that an “A” is outstanding and an “F” means failure…

But what do you do if your child gets a “C”?

Well, it used to be, back in the good ole’ days when we were growing up (and used to walk to and from school in the snow… uphill both ways) that a “C” was “average.”

Walking Uphill

Clearly, that’s no longer the case.

As we’ve covered before, because of grade inflation an “A” is the most awarded grade in the United States. To recap, as of 2016, among high school students who have a C or higher GPA:

  • 47% of students receive “A”s
  • 44% of students receive “B”s
  • And only about 9% of students receive “Cs”

That means that on average, a “C” means your child is struggling in class. They do not have mastery of the material, and are likely falling further and further behind their classmates.

Additionally, if the “C” is in a cumulative class like math, a math-based science, or a foreign language, where one skill builds upon another, it’s especially hard for your child to dig him or herself out of a hole.

So here’s a quick breakdown of how to interpret your child’s grades:

  • If they received an “A” chances are they’re in good shape in that class, unless you have reason to assume otherwise.
  • If they received a “B” take some time to ask them about it. It’s worth digging a bit deeper into how they did on specific tests and assignments. For example, if they did exceptionally well on assignments, but poorly on exams, it may be an indication that they haven’t fully mastered the material, despite their diligence.
  • If they received a “C” or below, action needs to be taken. We give some tips below on how to handle this, but it’s safe to assume that they’re behind and need to improve.

Now on to the “hard” part – The Do’s and Don’ts of report card reactions