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Convert Number Grades to Letter Grades

A Microsoft Excel 2003 Grade Book Advanced Topic


OTS PUBLICATION : E07 • REVISED 07-01-2006 • TRAINING @ TOWSON . EDU • OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY SERVICES
=Shortcut =Advice =Caution

Objective
Instead of converting number grades to letter grades one-by-one,
Summary
with a function in Excel you can automate the process!
Objective
Before You Start
Before Using this Quick Sheet
Create Table
Create a grade book in Excel. For assistance, see the Quick Sheet
titled: Excel 2003 Grade Book. 1. Insert worksheet
2. Add table
3. Name table
Create and Name a Grade Table in Excel
Add Function
1. Determine cell name
Insert a New Worksheet in Your Document 2. Add column
1. Open your grade book in Excel. 3. Add function
2. From the Insert menu, choose Worksheet. 4. Replicate function

Add a Grade Table


To convert number grades to letter grades, we will refer to a table that shows the relationship
between these grades.

1. In the new worksheet, type each range of grade numbers and their corresponding letter grades
starting with the lowest grade first. List one range per row using three separate columns as
shown in Figure 1.

You must list grade ranges from lowest to highest or some of the resulting grades will be incorrect!

2. Click on the column B header to select column B (Figure 1, 1).

3. From the Edit menu, choose Delete.

As a result you should have a table with one column containing the start of each number range and
the corresponding letter grade (ex. Figure 2).

Figure 1 1 Figure 2

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C ONVERT N UMBER T O L ETTER G RADES

Name the Table


Figure 3
Later on we will need to refer to this table by a name, so we must name it.
1. Select (highlight) all of the cells in the table.
2. In the name box (Figure 3, 2), type the following as one word without
spaces: gradetable
2
Ensure that you type gradetable into the Name Box
2
directly above the first column of data; do not type in
the Font Box which contains the name of your font
on the Format toolbar (Figure 3). 1

Add the Grade Conversion Function to Your Grade Book

Determine the Number Grade Cell Name For First Student


1. Click on the worksheet tab containing your grade book.
2. Select the first cell below the number grade title (Figure 4, 1).
3. Write down the name of the cell name in the name box; you will use this cell name in the
VLOOKUP function. In Figure 4, 2, the cell name is: G2; your cell name will likely be different.

Figure 4

2 2 3

Title the “Letter Grades” Column


1. Select the cell to the right of the final number grade title.
2. Title the column Letter Grade (Figure 4, 3).

2
C ONVERT N UMBER T O L ETTER G RADES

Add the Grade Conversion Formula for the First Student


1. Select the first cell below the Letter Grade title (Figure 5, 1).
Figure 5

2. Type the following function without spaces (instead of G2, type the cell name of the number
grade formula cell that you wrote down in the previous section:

=VLOOKUP(G2,gradetable,2)

3. Press the Enter Key.


4. If correct, the first cell below the Letter Grade should now contain the letter grade F.

Replicate the Function for All other Students


1. Click on the cell containing the letter grade formula (Figure 6, 1). Release the mouse button.
2. Click on the square (handle) in the lower-right hand corner of the cell (Figure 6, 2) and drag
down the column. Release when you have reached the row for the last student on the list.
3. To start all students will have a zero grade average and therefore will begin with an F.
As you enter student grades and the final number grade changes, the letter grade will
change accordingly.

Figure 6