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This study examines that assumption, asking the question: how well do student grades correlate with test scores, school demographics, student performance on college entrance exams, and the historical difficulty for getting A’s (is it easier or harder to get A’s). The study found that students who scored higher on end-of-course (EOC) examinations also had higher grades. However having high grades did not correlate with doing well on the examination.
Gershenson, S. (2018). Grade Inflation in High Schools (2005–2016).