Canvas Support

How do I curve grades in the Gradebook?

You can use the Gradebook to curve grades for an assignment. In the academic community, curving grades is advisable if only a certain number of students can pass, or when you require a fixed distribution of grades distributed throughout the class.

To curve grades, Canvas asks for an average curve score and then adjusts the scores as a bell curve 66% around the average score. For instance, if the average score is the equivalent of a C, Canvas would distribute mostly C- and C+ scores, distributing outward down the curve to Bs and Ds, and then ultimately As and Fs. This type of scoring creates a predictable distribution, but it means that students will compete against their classmates for scoring.

To learn more about how curved grades are calculated, view the Curving Grades in Canvas PDF.


  • Grade curving cannot be undone. Pre-curved grade histories will be available, but the curving action is irreversible.
  • Student grades will be impacted differently based on where they are in the distribution of scores. Perfect scores will not be affected by curving grades.
  • When Multiple Grading Periods are enabled in a course, you cannot set a default grade for any assignment that has at least one student in a closed grading period.
  • When Moderated Grading is enabled for an assignment, the Curve Grades option is not available before grades are released.
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