The Grade Wizard is a tool to help students determine which classes to take pass / fail to maximize their GPA. The website was created by three CSB students in light of the schools move to remote learning due to COVID-19.

CSB students create website to help students maximize GPA

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Three Lehigh computer science and business students have coded and formatted a website to help students determine which of their classes to take Pass/Fail with the new grading option, as a result of Lehigh’s move to remote learning. 

Maxim Vezenov, ‘21, Jimmy Johnson, ‘21, and Oliver Walsh, ‘21, formed www.thegradewizard.com to help students figure out how to maximize their GPAs with the new grading option.

Lehigh computer science professor Mike Spear originally had the idea and brought it to the students. Vezenov, Johnson and Walsh instantly started coding The Grade Wizard.

Johnson, Walsh and Vezenov worked together coding in three different languages to create the website and calculator so that not only Lehigh students, but any student faced with the option of Pass/Fail classes, due to the pandemic, could make their choices in the most efficient way.

“Different schools use different grading scales, so we incorporated that so other schools can use the website as well,” said Johnson.

Walsh said the entire project took about a month total, start to finish. Vezenov said the majority was created on a weekend. 

“We have had people ask us, ‘Aren’t you just taking the classes that are higher than your current GPA?’ And that is actually not accurate,” Vezenov said.

Johnson explained that there are many situations in which students should choose to pass/fail a class in which they have received a grade that is higher than their current GPA. 

Deciding which classes to include or exclude toward your final GPA is a tricky calculation, but the site is able to do it for the student, he said. 

The calculator works by plugging in the required fields of a student’s total GPA hours and total quality points, both of which can be found on an unofficial transcript. Total GPA hours includes any credit hours from the given college or university, excluding any credits from AP tests, transfer credits or withdrawn classes. Quality points is the value of a grade: an A is worth four quality points and an F is worth zero. 

Once all the required information is applied, the calculator will tell students their normal cumulative GPA, their semester’s GPA, and the different hypothetical GPAs for each scenario of pass/failing each class or accepting hypothetical grades. 

“We tell you what classes to pass/fail so that you have the maximum cumulative GPA. We do that calculation for you,” Johnson said.

It should be used for students to gain a better understanding of their grades and be able to make accurate, smart comparisons between the different grading options presented due to remote learning from the pandemic, Walsh said.

As of May 3, the website already received over 2,000 hits. It has been shared with many Lehigh students and reached colleges across the country.

“It has gone to a lot of different colleges. We know it is at Cornell, Colgate, University of Boulder,” Walsh said. 

The three students anticipate many more users of the website and urge students to share it with their peers and friends. 

Walsh, Johnson and Vezenov said if any issues or questions arise related to The Graze Wizard, they can be contacted at [email protected] Lehigh students need to make their Pass/Fail determinations by May 25.

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