I’m a university student and, as any other student would tell you, it’s nice to know where exactly you stand in a particular course. Understanding what grade you’re currently at and what you need to do to succeed can be incredibly useful. Today’s app will do just that!
While Grades would improve with a bit of polishing, I think you’ll find it fills a particular niche remarkably well. Read on to see what I thought of it, and how it can help you come through your college or university course successfully.
Features & Functionality
When you open Grades, you’ll get a neat animation of a drawer opening. Inside the drawer, you’ll see a list of all the courses you’ve entered. To add another, tap the plus button in the top right corner. Tap “Class Name” to add the name of your course; and then tap in all the syllabus items (exams, quizzes, etc.) through.
To do this, tap “Add Syllabus Item” and fill in the three fields: quantity, name, and weight. It’s nice that Grades lets you add a quantity if you have a similar item more than once.
It’s important to realize that the percentage you enter is the weight for all the items; for example, if you input [ 5 ][ quiz ][ 30 ], you’ll have entries for quiz 1 through quiz 5, each worth 6%.
Once the syllabus items add up to 100%, a little airplane will remind you to tap save. You’ll be taken back to the main list. From there, tap on any course to view your progress. At the top, you’ll see your target grade, which defaults to 90% (tap to adjust). Underneath your target grade are all the syllabus entries; to the right of each is the score you’ll need to get on that assignment to reach your target grade.
As you complete assignments, you’ll want to fill in your scores: tap the “need” score and tap in your “got” score. Once you tap save, Grades will update the “need” scores for your future assignments.
Grades has no settings; you can remove classes from the main list by swiping and tapping delete, or tapping the edit button in the upper left corner.
Grades has an incredible interface; the wood/paper/sticky-note analogies are perfect for this school-oriented app. However, there are a few things I’d like to see fixed. Firstly, when entering or updating a score (or even the target grade), there’s a slight delay between when you hit ‘save’ and when the changes are made. I know it sounds picky, but speeding up just this would greatly improve the experience of using the app.
I would also like to be able to set a minimum score for individual assignments; most of my university courses require me to get at least 50% to pass assignments. If you’re getting good grades but enter a low target grade, Grades may give you incorrect results.
For example, I was surprised to find out that to get 50% overall for one course, I only needed to get -18% on the exam; however, to pass the exam, I needed at least 50%.
The last issue I have is this: once you’ve finished a course, you want to see your final grade, right? You can see this grade in a pop-up (delivered to you by a gentleman who, I believe, is Sir Isaac Newton himself); however, this pop-up only appears after you enter your final mark.
If you tap on a class to see the final grade after that, you’ll have to re-enter one of the marks to trigger the pop-up. It would be nice if there was a ‘show final grade’ button.
If you’re looking for more than what Grades offers, here are a few alternatives you might want to check out:
- MyGrades App (currently $0.99) : this app is very similar to Grades, but doesn’t have as polished an interface; it recognises bonuses and extra credit assignments (there’s also a free version).
- myGrades ($1.99) : this app offers an overall term grades; it also accepts extra credit points.
- GradeTracker ($4.99) : this app will track your grades with the A – F grading system; it offers a really nice graph view when turned horizontal.
- GPA+ ($1.99) : this app is a fully-featured tool that will help you keep track of “classes, scores, GPA, credits, and notes.”
Grades has an interface that really blows away the competition. With a few improvements, it could fill it’s niche perfectly. For only $0.99 (posted as the ‘intro price’), it’s definitely a great app for any students.