Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Displaying Letter Grades.

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 24, 2024)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365

Some teachers use Excel worksheets to calculate grades for students. Doing so is quite easy, as you sum the results of various student benchmarks (quizzes, tests, assignments, etc.) and then apply whatever calculation is necessary to arrive at a final numeric grade.

If you do this, you may wonder how you can convert the numeric grade to a letter grade. For instance, you may have a grading scale defined where anything below 52 is an F, 52 to 63 is a D, 64 to 74 is a C, 75 to 84 is a B, and 85 to 99 is an A.

There are several ways that a problem such as this can be approached. First of all, you could use nested IF functions within a cell. For example, let's assume that a student's numeric grade is in cell G3. You could use the following formula to convert to a letter grade based on the scale shown above:

```=IF(G3<52,"F",IF(G3<64,"D",IF(G3<75,"C",IF(G3<85,"B","A"))))
```

While such an approach will work just fine, using nested IF functions results in the need to change quite a few formulas if you change your grading scale. A different approach that is also more flexible involves defining a grading table and then using one of the LOOKUP functions (LOOKUP, HLOOKUP, and VLOOKUP) to determine the proper letter grade.

As an example, let's assume that you set up a grading table in cells M3:N7. In cell M3 you place the lowest possible score, which would be a zero. To its right, in cell N3, you place the letter grade for that score: F. In M4 you place the lowest score for the next highest grade (53) and in N4 you place the corresponding letter grade (D). When you are done putting in all five grade levels, you select the range (M3:N7) and give it a name, such as GradeTable. (How you name a range of cells is covered in other issues of ExcelTips.)

Now you can use a formula such as the following to return a letter grade:

```=VLOOKUP(M22,GradeTable,2)
```

The beauty of using one of the LOOKUP functions in this manner is that if you decide to change the grading scale, all you need to do is change the lower boundaries of each grade in the grading table. Excel takes care of the rest and recalculates all the letter grades for your students.

When you put together your grading table, it is also important that you have the grades—those in the GradeTable—go in ascending order, from lowest to highest. Failure to do so will result in the wrong formula results using VLOOKUP.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9700) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Displaying Letter Grades.

##### Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

##### MORE FROM ALLEN

Discover More

Copying Between Instances of Excel

Copying information between two instances of Excel is different than copying information between two worksheets opened in ...

Discover More

Finding Missing Fonts

When you open documents that were created a long time ago on a system far, far away (sounds almost epic, doesn't it?), ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

##### More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Finding the Nth Root of a Number

Finding a square root is easy because Excel provides a worksheet function for that purpose. Finding a different root may ...

Discover More

Making VLOOKUP Trigger a Macro

VLOOKUP is an oft-used worksheet function to lookup values in a data table. If the function cannot return a value, it ...

Discover More

Checking for Text

Need to figure out if a particular cell contains text? You can use the ISTEXT function to easily return this bit of trivia.

Discover More
##### Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. Youâ€™ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 7?

2024-01-24 04:34:53

MikeH

Just an thought now =IFS is now available

=IFS(G3>=85,"A",G3>=75,"B",G3>=64,"C",G3>=52,"D",G3<52,"F")

##### This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.