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above (one's) pay grade

1. The responsibility of those who are of a higher authority than oneself, denoted by the level of pay that one receives in comparison to one's superiors. All these questions you're asking are above your pay grade. He had some great ideas about how to run the company, but contributing such things was above his pay grade.
2. Above or beyond one's general skill, knowledge, ability, or willingness to participate. He soon realized that the details of the IT development project were a bit above his pay grade. Sorry, fishing garbage out of the lake is above my pay grade.
See also: above, grade, pay

at grade

On the same level. Typically said of streets and railroad tracks. A: "Is the train station up on the hill? Because I don't know that I can make it all the way up there!" B: "No, don't worry, the station is at grade with the street."
See also: grade

beyond (one's) pay grade

1. The responsibility of those who are of a higher authority than oneself, denoted by the level of pay which one receives in comparison to one's superiors. All these questions you're asking are beyond your pay grade. He had some great ideas about how to run the company, but contributing such things was beyond his pay grade.
2. Above or beyond one's skill, knowledge, ability, or willingness to participate. He soon realized that the details of the IT development project were a bit beyond his pay grade. Sorry, fishing garbage out of the lake is beyond my pay grade.
See also: beyond, grade, pay

grade down

To give someone a low grade or score on something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "grade" and "down." I'll grade down anyone who hands in a sloppy book report. I hope the teacher grades Joey down for talking during my presentation.
See also: down, grade

grade-grubber

1. A student who is intently and primarily focused on getting good grades. I know some of the kids in my class are just grade-grubbers—anxious to get an A above all else.
2. A student who tries to persuade the teacher to change their grade, as through flattery or questioning. He only complimented your outfit because he's a grade-grubber who wants you to turn his B into an A. All the grade-grubbers are saying that I misled them with how I worded one of the questions on the test, ugh.

grade-grubbing

1. noun Of a student, the act of working intently, and primarily, on getting good grades. I know some of the kids in my class are grade-grubbing and only want to get an A above all else.
2. noun The act of trying to persuade a teacher to change one's grade, as through flattery or questioning. All the grade-grubbing needs to stop—that question is not misleading, and I'm not changing any of your grades.
3. adjective Describing a student who is solely focused on getting good grades. You're bound to get a few grade-grubbing students who just want an A and don't really care about the material.

make the grade

To satisfy a certain standard; to succeed. He submitted some writing samples, but I'm not quite sure these make the grade. I was unsure about being able to make the grade as a salesperson, but my numbers speak for themselves now.
See also: grade, make

up to grade

Meeting a necessary standard. I don't think this product is up to grade—it shouldn't break down this quickly.
See also: grade, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

grade someone down (on something)

to give someone a low ranking, rating, or score on some performance. I had to grade you down on your essay because of your spelling. Please don't grade me down for a minor mistake.
See also: down, grade

make the grade

to be satisfactory; to be what is expected. I'm sorry, but your work doesn't exactly make the grade. This meal doesn't just make the grade. It is excellent.
See also: grade, make
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

make the grade

Satisfy the requirements, qualify; also, succeed. For example, Angela hoped her work in the new school would make the grade, or Barbara certainly has made the grade as a trial lawyer. This expression uses grade in the sense of "accepted standard." [c. 1900]
See also: grade, make
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

make the grade

COMMON If you make the grade, you succeed at something, usually by reaching a particular standard. As a child, she wanted to be a dancer but failed to make the grade. Top public schools have failed to make the grade in a recently published league table of academic results. Note: In American English, a `grade' is a slope. This expression was originally used in connection with United States railways to refer to a train which succeeded in climbing a steep section of track.
See also: grade, make
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

make the grade

succeed; reach the desired standard. informal
See also: grade, make
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

make the ˈgrade

(informal) reach a high enough standard in an exam, a job, etc: You’ll never make the grade if you don’t work hard before the exams.Do you think she’ll ever make the grade as a journalist?
See also: grade, make
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

grade down

v.
To give someone a lower rank or score, usually with respect to something evaluated: The teacher graded me down on my English test because of my terrible penmanship. The driving instructor graded down our group because we weren't listening.
See also: down, grade
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

grade-grubber

1. n. an earnest, hardworking student. (In the way a pig roots or grubs around for food.) If there are too many grade-grubbers in a class, it will really throw off the grading scale.
2. n. a student who flatters the teacher in hopes of a higher grade. A few grade-grubbers help assure old professors that the world is not really changing at all.

grade-grubbing

1. n. working hard at one’s studies in hopes of a high grade. If all you’re here for is grade-grubbing, you’re going to miss a lot.
2. n. flattering a teacher in hopes of a higher grade. Some teachers don’t mind a lot of grade-grubbing.
3. mod. having to do with students who are only concerned with getting high grades. Two grade-grubbing seniors came in and begged me to change their grades.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

make the grade

To measure up to a given standard.
See also: grade, make
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

make the grade, to

To reach a given standard or pass a test. This term apparently alludes to climbing a steep hill or gradient and was transferred to mean any kind of success in the first half of the twentieth century. An early appearance in print is in S. Ford’s Inez and Trilby (1921): “Three days! I doubt if she can make the grade.”
See also: make
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
An empirical study of the predictive validity of number grades in medical school using 3 decades of longitudinal data: Implications for a grading system.
Developing grading and reporting systems for student learning.
Likewise, House (2000) viewed grading according to systems theory and saw the student inputs (efforts and responsibilities) as being mediated by the school environment to produce the output (grade).
If, indeed, students perceive grades as a right (according to the consumer model) and faculty take the traditional approach that students earn the grade, then tension surely will arise during the grading periods.
Student culture includes the knowledge/perception of the educational program and faculty as to strictness of grading requirements, grapevine information about faculty and how to succeed (Becker et al., 1968; Snare, 1997; Walhout, 1997).
A broader environment, namely the higher education system, has contributed both to grading protocols and grading practices.
The reconceptualization of grading, using the PE paradigm, provides direction for understanding student perceptions of grades.
Grading is an area of tension between students and faculty that may be better understood from a Systems Theory point of view.
For example, during the decade of the 60's, many institutions began experimenting with a variety of grading systems, both institution-wide and within selected courses.
These innovative grading systems included allowing pass/fail grades in selected courses; replacing the traditional grades with "High Pass, Pass, Fail" or with Credit/No Credit; not counting failed but repeated courses in the grade point average; and "A, B, C, No Credit," with the NC not counting in the GPA.
For example, at the University of South Carolina, during a seven-year period, which many part-time students need to complete their baccalaureate degree, a student's transcript would indicate the assignment of course grades under four different grading systems.
However, since this would necessitate not only a sophisticated computer grading program, but the official recording of instructors' grading practices, it is doubtful if many institutions will adopt Dr.
Regardless of the grading system used, in interpreting the grades a central problem is in determining what they are trying to measure.
Since there appears to be little doubt that a given mark has different interpretations, perhaps the best choice is for the faculty member to follow the course, within departmental and institution guidelines, that in his or her opinion best measures the student's progress during the measuring period without being overly concerned with grading practices of other faculty and other institutions.