How to Make a Rubric in Excel

by Kylene Arnold

Rubrics are charts that divide the criteria used to evaluate a task into separate categories. Many times, different levels of achievement are also included, along with the criteria to reach each level. These are common assessment tools, used by teachers and supervisors to objectively evaluate work, as well as by students and employees to learn what is expected of them. These charts are modified spreadsheets, which you can make in Excel 2010. Excel spreadsheets can adapt to any rubric format and are easily edited.


List the achievement levels across the first row, one level per cell. Reserve column A for the category titles and begin the achievement headings in column B. The achievement levels may be academic grades, place rankings or any other scoring system.


Click on the row header to highlight the entire row. Then select the "Home" tab from the ribbon and click the "Bold" button in the "Font" group. Making the text bold allows the user to more easily distinguish the headings from the criteria.


Type the category headings down the first column, one category per cell. For instance, a rubric for a research paper may include categories for punctuality, research quality, mechanics and formatting. Double click on the boundary between column A and B to adapt the column width to the length of the longest word.


Click inside the cell at the intersection of the first category row and the first achievement level column. Type a short description of the criteria necessary to achieve this level in this category.


Repeat this process until there is a description for every category at every achievement level.


Click inside the first criteria cell and drag the handle on the black selection box that appears to enlarge it until it encompasses all the cells.


Click on the "Home" tab in the ribbon, then click the "Wrap Text" button in the "Alignment" group. This causes your text to automatically wrap to fit the width of the column.


Click and drag the boundary between two column or row headers to widen the cells.


Apply a border to each column and row, if desired. This helps clearly separate the criteria. To do this, click the "Home" tab in the ribbon, then click the "Borders" button in the "Font" group and select a border type.

About the Author

Kylene Arnold is a freelance writer who has written for a variety of print and online publications. She has acted as a copywriter and screenplay consultant for Advent Film Group and as a promotional writer for Cinnamom Bakery. She holds a Bachelor of Science in cinema and video production from Bob Jones University.