Lew Schneider (1989-1990)
Robb Edward Morris (1991)
Maria Milito
Make the Grade Season 1 Title Card

Nickelodeon: 10/2/1989 - 12/29/1991

Nickelodeon/MTV Networks

Make the Grade was a short-lived educational game show where kids would get a chance to test their knowledge.


Main GameEdit

Three contestants who sat in colored desks (red, green, and blue) had to answer questions. They faced a giant game board, which was a 7x7 grid; above the board were seven grade levels and on the left side were seven subjects (originally a mixture of school subjects and general knowledge; later six school subjects and one elective); the 49 squares consisted of icons representing those subjects. The player in control picked a square by grade level and subject; when a question mark (?) was exposed, the host read a question to all three players. The first player to buzz-in with a correct answer won the question and captured the square that then appeared in the same color as that player's desk, but instead of earning points, they'd also light up icons (subjects and grades) on their own score card. There were 14 icons with the same education levels and subjects as on the board, so the purpose of the game was to answer at least one question for every subject and education level. The first player to light up all of the icons, or to have the most when time ran out in Round 2 would be the winner. The way they could win was to capture squares on the board in any pattern; one could go diagonally one way or the other, make a random path, or complete one complete row and one complete column. However, since most of the time there was competition, the typical way to win was to try to answer as many questions as possible.

If there was a tie between two or more contestants in icons at the end of the second round, the player with the most captured squares won the game, and if there was a tie for that too, one final sudden-death tiebreaker question was asked from one of the subjects. The first contestant to buzz in with the correct answer advanced to the Honors Round.

Wild CardsEdit

While there were question spaces up on the board, it had other spaces as well which could really effect the game.

  • TAKE – Players could steal a space from others players.
  • LOSE – Players lost a space they claimed.
  • FREE – Player in control of board won the space free.
  • FIRE – A fire drill space, where all contestants competed in a physical challenge and whoever finished first would win their choice at which desk they wished to sit in, followed by the second place player and then the third. This could really tip the scales should someone with very few spaces finish first and gain the lead.

The winner of the main game won $500 and got to move on to the "Honors Round" for more cash and (later in the run) a grand prize. Losing players only won $50 and parting gifts.

Honors Round (Bonus Round)Edit

In the "Honors Round", the winning contestant had to answer seven questions in 45 seconds or less. To start, the winning contestant received a choice of three categories. Each category was divided into seven school subjects; the player's job was to answer questions (one from each of the seven subjects under the chosen category) and get them all correct before the 45 seconds ran out.

First SeasonEdit

Each subject only had one question and the winning contestant only got one chance to answer the question correctly, although he/she could pass and come back to it later.

Last Two SeasonsEdit

Each subject now had two questions and if the winning contestant missed the first question or passed on it, they would get a new question in the same subject should they come back to it later.

A big prize was won if the round was completed successfully. For the first season the prize was $1,000, and later it was changed to $600 and a grand prize (which was always a trip back to Universal Studios in Florida where the show was taped).

Extra Time at the End of the ShowEdit

Whenever there was extra time at the end of the show, there would be an activity going to fill the remaining time.

Schneider's Extra TimeEdit

For the first season of Schneider's tenure, he would go out into the public (mostly into malls) and ask general people a series of questions.

University RoundEdit

For the second season during the Lew Schneider run, the winning contestant would play a special round called the "University Round" where that player would be asked a series of questions unplayed from previous games. The first question was worth $50, the second was worth $100, there was $200 for the third, $500 was rewarded for the fourth, and the final question would be worth $1,000. If the winning contestant missed a question at any point, he/she lost the money from that round, and not the money nor prize from the main game or "Honors Round", which was why the contestant had the option to stop after each correct answer.

Morris' Extra TimeEdit

During Morris' tenure as host in the third and final season, whenever there was some time to fill after the "Honors Round", Morris' would go out into the audience and ask them a series of questions (again from past games though not always unused). Correct answers from them won a small prize, like a t-shirt or other goodies.

However, there came times when a contestant finished his/her scoreboard so early that a new group of contestants had to play in the second round.


Edd Kalehoff


Robert Mittenthal

Additional PageEdit

Make the Grade/Catchphrases


Jay Anton's Rules for Make the Grade
Make the Grade Rules @
Another Make the Grade Rules Page