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Grading Systems: PhonyDiploma.com

Grades in the realm of education are standardized measurements of varying levels of comprehension within a subject area.

Grades can be assigned in letters (for example, A, B, C, D, or E, or F), as a range (for example 4.0–1.0), as a number out of a possible total (for example out of 20 or 100), as descriptors (excellent, great, satisfactory, needs improvement), in percentages, or, as is common in some post-secondary institutions in some countries, as a Grade Point Average (GPA). GPA is calculated by taking the number of grade points a student earned in a given period of time divided by the total number of credits taken.[1] The GPA can be used by potential employers or further post-secondary institutions to assess and compare applicants. A Cumulative Grade Point Average is a calculation of the average of all of a student's grades for all semesters and courses completed up to a given academic term,[2][3][4] whereas the GPA may only refer to one term.


History of grading

Keith Hoskin argues that the concept of grading students' work quantitatively was developed by a tutor named William Farish and first implemented by the University of Cambridge in 1792.[5] Hoskin's assertion has been questioned by Christopher Stray, who finds the evidence for Farish as the inventor of the numerical mark to be unpersuasive.[6] Stray's article elucidates the complex relationship between the mode of examination (testing), in this case oral or written, and the varying philosophies of education these modes imply, both to teacher and student. As a technology, grading both shapes and reflects many fundamental areas of educational theory and practice.

International grading systems

Most nations have individual grading systems unique to their own schools. However, several international standards for grading have arisen recently.

International Baccalaureate

There is no GPA for any International Baccalaureate Program. The IB Diploma and IB MYP are summatively graded on a 1 -7 point scale which is criterion referenced with 7 the highest score achievable. Scores are always in whole numbers only.

Grading systems by country


Different countries in Asia have a variety of grading scales. Grading scales for some countries on the continent are described in this article.

May also refer to


Letter Grade Percentage Grade Point Average(GPA) Range
A+ 80–100 5.00
A 70–79 4.00
A- 60–69 3.50
B 50–59 3.00
C 40–49 2.00
D 33–39 1.00
F 0–32 00
  • An A+ in all subjects is considered a "Golden A+"


Hong Kong


Until high school, an averaged percentage is provided. A percentage over 80 is considered excellent; between 60-80 is considered to be 'first division'; between 40-60 is considered to be 'second division', though these terminologies and classifications depend on the 'board of education'.

Universities here follow Percentage System and 10 point GPA System. The Percentage System works as : Maximum Marks:100, Minimum Marks: 0, Minimum Marks Required for Passing: 35. 100-80% Considered Excellent, 79-65% Considered Very Good, 55-64% considered good, 45-55% considered fair, 41-44% considered Pass, 0-40% considered fail. A percentage above 65% is referred as 1st Division and indicates high intellectual level. Some Universities follow weighted average pattern to calculate percentage: 1st and 2nd Semester-40% of the aggregate marks, 3rd and 4th Semester-60% of the aggregate marks, 5th and 6th Semester-80% of the aggregate marks, 7th and 8th Semester-100% of the aggregate marks. The 10 point GPA is categorized as follows: 10 (Ex)- Excellent, 9(A)- Very good, 8(B)-Good, 7(C)-average, 6(D)- fair, 5(P)- pass, 0(F)- fail. A GPA of over 7 is generally considered to be an indication of a strong grasp of all subjects.



Most of the Primary, middle and high schools in Iraq grade out of 100 percent with a passing grade of 50 percent, So the grade point average is out of 100. Most of the post-secondary institutions (Universities, Colleges, Technical colleges ... etc.) uses the "word" grading system described below:

Grade Percentage
Excellent 90–100
Very Good 79–89[citation needed]
Good 70–78
Adequate 60–69
Acceptable 50–59
Weak/Failure 0–49

For more information, see Education in Iraq.


In schools, grades are based on 20. Depending on the school and the grade of study, a good mark varies, but in most occasions 16 or higher is considered to be a good one. This system is so traditional and established that there is even a proverb for it in everyday language; people often talk about things or persons that are "twenty", means that they are perfect with the highest value.

This system of grading based on 20 is also common in universities, but sometimes percent scoring is also used in higher educational systems.[7]

Grade Scale 1 Scale 2 Description
16–20 A 4 Excellent
14–15.99 B 3 Very Good
12–13.99 C 2 Good
10-11.99 D 1 Acceptable
0-9.99 F 0 Fail


The 100-point grading scale is as follows:

Mark Percentage Description
10 95-100 מצוין‎‎ (excellent)
9 85-94 טוב מאוד‎ (very good)
8 75-84 טוב‎‎ (good)
7 65-74 כמעט טוב‎‎ (almost good)
6 55-64 מספיק‎‎ (sufficient)
5 45-54 מספיק בקושי‎‎ (barely sufficient)
<4 <44 בלתי מספיק/נכשל‎‎ (insufficient/failed)


According to standardized Credit System accepted in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the measurements of varying levels of comprehension in the realm of Higher Education in the Republic Kazakhstan is the following:

Letters Range Percentage Descriptors
A 4.0 95-100 Excellent
A- 3.67-3.99 90-94 Excellent
B+ 3.33-3.66 85-89 Good
B 3.0-3.32 80-84 Good
B- 2.67-2.99 75-79 Good
C+ 2.33-2.66 70-74 Satisfactory
C 2.0-2.32 65-69 Satisfactory
C- 1.67-1.99 60-64 Satisfactory
D+ 1.33-1.66 55-59 Satisfactory
D 1.0-1.32 50-54 Satisfactory
F 0-0.99 0-49 Unsatisfactory


Kuwait employs a four point grading system and percentages.

GPA GPA in percentage GPA description Percentage of Students that earned this grade in 2009–2010
3.80–4.00 97–100 امتياز وتفوق (Excellence and Perfection) 4
3.50–3.80 90–97 امتياز (Excellence) 9
3.00–3.50 85–89 جيد جدا (Very Good) 18
2.50–3.00 69–85 جيد (Good) 37
2.00–2.50 54–69 مقبول (Acceptable) 21
1.80–2.00 49–54 غير كافي ولكن مقبول (Insufficient but Acceptable) 6
1.50–1.80 45–49% راسب لكن يمكن التعويض بالكورس الصيفي (Failure but possible compensation in summerschool) 2
0.00–1.50 0–45% راسب (Failure without possible compensation in summer school) 2



Kyrgyzstan employs a five point grading system:[8]

Grade Grade description Notes
5 Эң жакшы (Excellent)  
4 Жакшы (Good)  
3 Канаатандырарлык (Satisfactory)  
2 Канаатандырарлык эмес (Unsatisfactory) Not a passing grade
1 Эң kанаатандырарлык эмес (Most Unsatisfactory) Uncommon


In Lebanon, most schools use a 0–20 scale where the passing grade is 10 out of 20 or in some cases 7.5 out of 20. However there's a variety of grading systems used. Some schools that offer the IB (International Baccalaureate) or even Lebanese Bac use the 0–100 scale, 60 being the average score. Some use the American system. However in the typical school offering a Lebanese system, getting high grades is very hard, because teachers do not use the full scale. For instance the highest score one can earn in essay writing in some schools is 14 out of 20. All scores are based out of 20. Yet each subject has a weight for the overall average. This weight is determined by the credit hours. For instance math (6hours/week) x 20 (the base grade) = 120 (weight) Example: Student's grades: (math 13.33/20, English 13.4/20, biology 8.25/20)

English: 5 credits x 13.4 = 67 out of possible 100

Math: 6 credits x 13.33 = 79.98 out of possible 120

Biology: 2 credits x 8.25 = 16.5 out of possible 40

Total points earned = 163.48 out of possible 260

Overall Average= 12.575 out of 20 (Considered a good average)

U.S. Equivalence
Scale / U.S. Grade Equiv.
14–20 / A
12–13.9 / B+
11–11.9 / B
10.5–10.9 / B−
10.1–10.4 / C+
10 / C
9–9.9 / C−
7.5–8.9 / D
0–7.5 / F

However in most universities the American grading system is used. Others use the 0–100 scale where the passing grade is 60 or 70 depending on the course. Yet French system universities use the 0–20 grading scale.



Grading Scheme

Grade Percentage Marks Remarks
A1 90 and above Excellent
A 70-90 Very Good
B 60–70 Good
C 50–60 Fair
D 40–50 Acceptable
E 33–40 Just Passed


In the old grading system consisting of “Division Scheme”, the range of percentage of marks is as follows:

Percentage of Marks Division
60 - 100 First
45 - 59.99 Second
33 - 44.99 Third
0 - 32.99 Fail

Nowadays most universities of Engineering and Technology follows following grading system.

Grade Marks GPA
A 90 and above 4.00
A- 85–89 3.7
B+ 80–84 3.3
B 75–79 3
B- 70–74 2.7
C+ 65-69 2.3
C 60-64 2.0
C- 55–59 1.7
D 50-54 1.3
F 50 AND below 00.00


Schools have grades from 1–100 starting from the 4th grade on. In Universities both numerical and alphabetical grade systems can be found, it is up to the teacher.


Saudi Arabia

Most of the universities and colleges and schools in Saudi Arabia are very similar to United States except the way the grades are said.

Grade Percentage GPA value
Arabic: ممتاز
A+ 95–100 4.0
A 90–94 3.75
Very Good
Arabic: جيد جداً
B+ 85–89 3.50
B 80–84 3.0
Arabic: جيد
C+ 75–79 2.50
C 70–74 2.0
Arabic: مقبول
D+ 65–69 1.50
D 60–64 1.0
Arabic: راسب
F 0–59 0.0

In other universities in Saudi Arabia such as King Saud University, King Abdulaziz University and King Khalid University, the following method is used:

Grade Percentage GPA value
Arabic: ممتاز
A+ 95–100 5.0
A 90–94 4.75
Very Good
Arabic: جيد جداً
B+ 85–89 4.50
B 80–84 4.0
Arabic: جيد
C+ 75–79 3.50
C 70–74 3.0
Arabic: مقبول
D+ 65–69 2.50
D 60–64 2.0
Arabic: راسب
F 0–59 1.0


Secondary School (13–16 years old)

Percentage Grades
75–100 A1
<75 A2
<70 B3
<65 B4
<60 C5
<55 C6


0–4 F9

South Korea

Middle School (7–9th grade)
Points are the student's raw score in midterms and finals(out of 100).

Points Grades
90–98 수 / Su
80–90 우 / Wu
70–80 미 / Mi
60–70 양 / Yang
0–60 가 / Ga

High School (10–12th grade)
Percentage is the students' relative position among other students taking same subject. (100% is the highest, 0% is the lowest).

Percentage Grades
96–100 1등급 / Grade 1
89–96 2등급 / Grade 2
77–89 3등급 / Grade 3
62–77 4등급 / Grade 4
40–61 5등급 / Grade 5
23–40 6등급 / Grade 6
11–23 7등급 / Grade 7
4–11 8등급 / Grade 8
0–4 9등급 / Grade 9

Malaysia and Thailand

In Malaysia and Thailand, higher education institutions usually apply the U.S. American grading system.

The grading systems are converted as grade points as follows:

Grade Meaning Grade point
A Excellent 4.00
B Good 3.00
C+ Fairly good 2.50
C Fair 2.00
D+ Poor 1.50
D Pass Grade 1.00
F Failure 0.79

United Arab Emirates

Primary education is free at government run schools. The grading is managed by the Ministry of Education (MOE). However, there are many schools run by expatriates that are equally successful with their own grading system, or an accepted grading system of the country where the schools are affiliated to or share common standards with. At most universities and colleges, the United Arab Emirates' grading system is very similar to the United States' system.


The grade scale in Vietnam is from 10 to 1 where 10 is the highest

10 - Excellent 9 - Very good 8 - Good 7 - Acceptable 6 - Satisfactory 5 - Satisfactory 4 - Insufficient 3 - Insufficient 2 - Insufficient 1 - Fail

Central America

Costa Rica




In Austria, grades from 1 to 5 are used.

Grade Percentage Translation
1 (Sehr gut) 100–90 Excellent
2 (Gut) 89–80 Good
3 (Befriedigend) 79–64 Satisfactory
4 (Genügend) 63–51 Sufficient
5 (Nicht genügend) 50–0 Insufficient


In Albania, grades from 1 to 10 are used, with some schools allowing decimals (up to the hundredth digit) and some others only allowing whole numbers.

Grade Qualification
10.00 Excellent
8.00–9.99 Very Good
6.00–7.99 Good
5.00–5.99 Sufficient
0.00–4.99 Insufficient

Most universities evaluate classes with two mid exams and a final. The final exam encompasses the whole course syllabus, whereas the mid exams usually review half. In some schools, if the average grade of the two mid exams is equal to or higher than 7.00, the student is able to pass the class without the need to take a final exam (since there are only two exams, some teachers also pass students who average 6.50; others weigh in the decision based on the student's performance in class). An average of less than 4.00 is failing; students who score such an average are not allowed to take the final exam.

In high schools, the year is divided into three trimesters and classes are usually yearlong. Students need an average of 6.00 or higher in the three trimestral exams to avoid having to take a final to pass the class. In the event of a student scoring less than 6.00 in the third trimester, he or she would have to take a final exam, regardless of average. This is considered controversial, since the last trimestral exam is not more important than the first two, but the rule stands to prevent students who have already reached the minimum average (e.g., two 10.00 in the first two give a student the lowest possible average of 6.33) from not making an effort during the last three months of the year.


In Belgian Universities a scale from 0 to 20 is used on a per subject basis, a weighted average is then computed on scale from 0 to 20, 10 being the passing grade (satisfactory). Belgian secondary schools use a scale from 0 to 100 or even above for (big) exams (50 usually being the passing grade). On report cards, certain schools also give grades on a percentage scale (0 to 100) while others use a 0–10 scale. Those total scores are weighted averages of exams and tests. In Belgian secondary schools, there are 6 years. In the first three years, students have to do exams every term. The scores are usually given in percentages. On the end of the schoolyear, a total average score is given.

Colleges use the same scale from 0 to 20 as Belgian Universities, although homework and presence may influence up to 50% or even more of these 20 points (situation as of February 2011).

Scaling varies significantly depending on the university or high school.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, grades from 5 to 1 are used in primary and secondary education, while grades from 10 to 5 are used at universities.

Primary and secondary education grading:

Grade Label Translation
5 Odličan Excellent - Best possible grade (A)
4 Vrlo dobar Very Good - Next highest grade - Above average (B)
3 Dobar Good - Average performance (C)
2 Dovoljan Sufficient - Lowest passing grade (B)
1 Nedovoljan Insufficient - Failing grade (F)

University grading:

Grade Percentage Translation
10 91 - 100 Excellent with exception
9 81 - 90 Excellent
8 71 - 80 Very good
7 61 - 70 Good
6 51 - 60 Sufficient - Lowest passing grade
5 1 - 50 Insufficient - Failing grade


In Bulgaria, the following grade scale is used in schools:

6 Отличен (Otlichen) Excellent, best possible grade 92–100% A
5 Много добър (Mnogo dobar) Very Good, next highest 75–91% B
4 Добър (Dobar) Good, indicates average performance 59–74% C
3 Среден (Sreden) Average, lowest passing grade 50–58% D
2 Слаб (Slab) Weak, failing grade 0–49% F

For examinations and tests, exact grading is often used and is represented by two positions after the decimal point:

5.50–6.00 Отличен (Otlichen) Excellent, best possible grade 92–100% A
4.50–5.49 Много добър (Mnogo dobar) Very Good, next highest 75–91% B
3.50–4.49 Добър (Dobar) Good, indicates average performance 59–74% C
3.00–3.49 Среден (Sreden) Average, lowest passing grade 50–58% D
2.00–2.99 Слаб (Slab) Weak, failing grade 0–49% F

Grades as, e.g., Good (3.50), or Excellent (5.75), are common. Every passing grade at or above the .50 mark is prefixed with the term of the higher grade. The minimum is 2.00; grades below 3.00 are failing grades, and the maximum is 6.00. Grades like "Very Good" (5-) and "Average" (3+) are also possible - these are ignored in calculations.

Roughly, the Bulgarian grade system can be equated to the American one as the following: 6=A, 5=B, 4=C, 3=D, and 2=F. Also, in accordance with the Australian system, 6=HD, 5=D, 4=Cr, 3=P, and 2=F.

The most common formula used in Bulgarian schools is currently Grade=(6* number of correct answers)/ total number of questions. That way if a student has answered 7 out of 10 questions correctly, their mark should be: (6*7)/10=4.20, which is graded as Good 4 or an average performance.


In Croatia, the following grade scale is used in schools:

5 Odličan or Izvrstan Excellent, best possible grade A
4 Vrlo dobar Very Good, next highest B
3 Dobar Good, indicates average performance C
2 Dovoljan Sufficient, lowest passing grade D
1 Nedovoljan Insufficient, failing grade F

At the end of each semester the grades are averaged to form a Grade Point Average (prosječna ocjena), according to this scale:

5.00–4.50 Odličan or Izvrstan Excellent, best possible grade A
4.49–3.50 Vrlo dobar Very Good, next highest B
3.49–2.50 Dobar Good, indicates average performance C
2.49–2.0 Dovoljan Sufficient, lowest passing grade D
1.49–1.0 Nedovoljan Insufficient, failing grade F

In colloquial Croatian, grades are referred to be their numerical values: jedinica, dvojka, trojka, četvorka, petica. In the Kvarner region of Croatia jedinica is also known as komad or kolac and dvojka is also known as duja.

Students with failing grades (1 or F) are allowed to carry those grades throughout the school year, but are required to improve them to passing grades (2 or better) in order to finish the year. Failure to pass one class results in the student being held back a year.

Czech Republic

In Czech Republic, a five-point grading scale is used in both primary and secondary schools:

Grade Czech Republic Label United Kingdom Translation Notes
1 Výborný Excellent The best grade achievable. US 'A' equivalent.
2 Chvalitebný Praiseworthy US 'B' equivalent.
3 Dobrý Good US 'C' equivalent.
4 Dostatečný Sufficient US 'D' equivalent.
5 Nedostatečný Insufficient Failing grade. US 'E/F' equivalent.

Plus and minus signs often follow grades in Czech Republic to further differentiate marks. E.g., "2+" corresponding to the US 'B+'. Intervals may also be used, e.g. "2–3" to refer to a grade halfway between 2 and 3. On a university level only grades 1, 2 and 3 are "pass" grades; anything worse than 3 is automatically a failing grade. Some universities adopt six-point scale, 'A' corresponding to the former "1", 'B' to "1–2" etc.


The current scale, syv-trins-skalaen ("The 7-step-scale"), was introduced in 2007, replacing the old 13-skala ("13-scale"). The new scale is designed to be compatible with the ECTS-scale.

Syv-trins-skalaen consists of seven different grades, ranging from 12 to −3, with 12 being the highest. This new scale remains an "absolute" scale, meaning that, proportions are not taken into consideration.


Several systems are in use in different educational institutions in Finland. The "school grade" system has historically been a scale of 0 to 10, but all grades lower than 4 have been discarded. Thus, it is now divided between 4, the failing grade, and 5–10, the succeeding grades. Upper secondary school has same grades for courses and course exams as comprehensive school but matriculation examination grades are in Latin. Universities and vocational institutions use a scale of 0 (fail) and 1–5 (pass), or fail/pass. The professor selects which grading scheme is used; short, optional courses typically have pass/fail grades.


In France, schools grades typically range from either 0 (worst) to 20 (best) or from 0 (worst) to 10 (best). A mark below the average (10 out of 20 or 5 out of 10, depending on the scale) is usually a fail. For the French National High School Level (baccalauréat), a grade of 8–10 typically gives the right to take an additional oral exam in order to try to improve that average to 10 and pass. A grade between 10 and 12 is a simple pass (without grade) ; between 12 and 14 (more rarely 13–14) the grade is called "assez bien" (rather good) ; 14–16 is called "bien" (good) ; above 16 is "très bien" (very good). An exams jury can award the "Félicitations du Jury" for any mark, though they usually reserve it to a candidate who has achieved 18/20 or more. Grade equivalence between France and the U.S. Grading Scale Scale U.S. Grade Equiv. 14-20 = A ; 12-13.9 = B+; 11-11.9 = B; 10.5-10.9 = B-; 10.1-10.4 = C+; 10 = C; 9-9.9 = C-; 8-8.9 = D; 0-7.9 = F;



In Germany, school grades vary from 1 (very good, sehr gut) to 6 (insufficient, ungenügend). In the final classes of German Gymnasium schools that prepare for university studies, a point system is used with 15 points being the best grade and 0 points the worst. The percentage causes the grade can vary from teacher to teacher. The percentages shown in the table are the ones used in the "Oberstufe" (final classes).

[hide]German Grade System
Percentage Grades by education Descriptor Conversion
(varies with school/subject) primary & 1st secondary
(1st–10th grade)
2nd secondary (Gymnasium, 11–12th grade) tertiary (Hochschule & Universität)
(approximately to US system*)
90–100 1 15 points 1.0 "sehr gut" (very good: an outstanding achievement) A
14 points
1- 13 points 1.3
80-90 2+ 12 points 1.7 "gut" (good: an achievement which lies substantially above average requirements) A-
2 11 points 2.0
2− 10 points 2.3
65–80 3+ 9 points 2.7 "befriedigend" (satisfactory: an achievement which corresponds to average requirements) B+
3 8 points 3.0 B
3− 7 points 3.3 B−
50–65 4+ 6 points 3.7 "ausreichend" (sufficient: an achievement which still meets the requirements) C+
4 5 points 4.0 C
0–50 4− 4 points 5.0 C-
5+ 3 points "mangelhaft" / "nicht ausreichend" (below the requirements) D
5 2 points
5− 1 point
6 0 points "ungenügend" (not sufficient / failed: an achievement which does not meet the requirements) F

*this conversion serves as an orientation, as conversions might differ.


In Hungary, a five point scale is used since 1950. There is one fail grade: 1 – elégtelen (insufficient). In general, the lower limit of pass is 50% or 60%, or one mark (point) above. The pass grades are 2 – elégséges (sufficient or pass), 3 – közepes (mediocre or satisfactory), 4 – (good) and 5 – jeles (excellent).

Beyond the five point scale that is almost exclusively used at the end of the semester at several levels of education (i.e. elementary school, high school, university), during the academic year teacher may use a further detailed scale, especially in the elementary school. A comma sign (, ) after the grade lowers it (pronanciated below, "alá"); an apostrophe ( ’ ) after the grade raises (above, "fölé"); a grade half way between two grades is derived from the lower grade divided by the better grade, like 3/4 ("háromnegyed") that equals to 3.5, 4/5 that is between 4 and 5 etc. Sometimes "5*", five starred ("csillagos ötös") is used for showing outstanding performance throughout the semester.

Grade Meaning (Hungarian) English translation Percentage

(pass=50%+1 scale)


(pass=60% scale)

5 Jeles / Ötös Excellent 87–100 90–100
4 / Négyes Good 75–86 80–89
3 Közepes / Hármas Satisfactory or Mediocre 63–74 70–79
2 Elégséges / Kettes Pass or Sufficient 51–62 60–69
1 Elégtelen / Egyes Fail or Insufficient 0–50 0–59


In Iceland, grades from 0 to 10 are used. and 5 is usually the lowest a passing grade but in some case the lowest passing grade can be 3.5


The two government regulated educational qualifications are the Junior Certificate (usually taken at 15/16) and the Leaving Cerficiate (usually taken at between the ages of 17 and 19).

Grade Percentage Range Description
A 85–100% Excellent
B 70–84% Very Good
C 55- 69% Good
D 40–54% Pass
E 25–39%, Fail
F <24% Fail
NG 0 Unworthy of Marking

Passing or failing the Junior Cert (or any exams in Irish secondary schools), has no bearing on whether or not students can graduate or continue on.

For the Leaving Certificate, a points system is used. A maximum of 6 subjects are counted, with a possible 100 points in each subject. In practice, most students take 7 or 8 subjects and their best 6 results are counted. Each subject has 2 or 3 levels: higher, ordinary and foundation. The points are:

Grade Percentage Range Higher Level Points Ordinary Level Points Foundation Level Points
A1 90% - 100% 100 60 20
A2 85% - 89% 90 50 15
B1 80% - 84% 85 45 10
B2 75% - 79% 80 40 5
B3 70% - 74% 75 35 0
C1 65% - 69% 70 30 0
C2 60% - 64% 65 25 0
C3 55% - 59% 60 20 0
D1 50% - 54% 55 15 0
D2 45% - 49% 50 10 0
D3 40% - 44% 45 5 0
E 25% - 39% 0 0 0
F 10% - 24% 0 0 0
NG 0% - 10% 0 0 0

You can get 20 points for an A1 in foundation level subjects. If you get any less than a B2, which is 5 points, you will get no points.

The points system allocates all university places in Ireland for Irish applicants.

Irish universities vary in their grading systems. For example, UCD (University College Dublin) awards letter grades and corresponding GPA values similar to the United States system, but 1, 2.1, 2.2 etc. for degrees, while TCD (Trinity College Dublin) awards all grades as 1, 2.1, 2.2 etc.[11]


In Italy, high-school grades may vary from 10 (excellent) to 1/0 (impossible to assess), with the sufficiency being 6.

In some high schools (Licei) grades vary within a limited range, between 2 and 8, often with each professor applying his/her own custom, even if the total theoretical interval is always from 1 to 10. When a professor wants to apply a more precise scale, instead of using the full 1–10 scale (which would have made their scale not comparable with that of other professors) they would often insert a plethora of symbols and decimals: the range between 5 and 6 would then be covered, in sequence, by 5+, 5++, 5½, 5/6, 6−−, 6−. Sufficiency starts at 6. As these symbols (except ½) have no clear mathematical value, calculating end-year averages could be somewhat arbitrary; therefore, there has been a push since 2008 with the Gelmini reform to uniform the system to the 0–10 scale.[12]

Before this reform, primary and secondary school grades used a different grading scale that expressed an assessment of the pupil's progress:

  • Ottimo: "Excellent"
  • Distinto: "Very Good"
  • Buono: "Good"
  • Sufficiente: "Sufficient"
  • Insufficiente: "Fail"

The "discipline grade", assessing a high-school pupil's behavior, obeys different rules: is almost always set to 9 by default, with 8 used for less disciplined pupils. 10 is less usual, though it is very much possible these days to receive it. 7 is extremely rare and used to be a failing grade. Recently, there has been a school reform, so now the average grade of a student includes the discipline grade, which now is positive from 6 to 10 as with all subjects, though many schools are not accustomed to this grading system yet.

In universities a point system is used for exams, with 30 points being the best grade and 18 the minimum passing grade. This come from the fact that exams were traditionally performed with 3 examiners; each of them had to express his opinion in a 0-10 scale, the final grade was the sum of the singular evaluations. In a 0-10 scale the sufficiency is 6, that is why in a 0-30 scale the minimum grade to pass is 3*6 = 18. Nowadays, the way an exam is performed is up to the professor[citation needed] (number of examiners, whether written, oral, or both, etc.), but the traditional grading system remained.

Degrees have a similar point system, in which however the highest grade can be 110, 100 or even 70, depending on faculty regulations. A cum laude notation (e lode in Italian) is used as an increasing level of the highest grade for both exams and degrees, in all its levels in case of outstanding performance.


The academic grading system in Latvia has recently[when?] been changed to a ten-point scale,[citation needed] where "10" (Latvian: desmit) is the highest achievable grade, and "1" (Latvian: viens) is awarded for extremely poor performance. The minimal passing grade is "4" (Latvian: četri), though some universities have a minimum passing grade of "5" (Latvian: pieci).

The absence of any kind of performance is indicated by "nv" (Latvian: nav vērtējuma 'no assessment possible'); in the past, the mark for absence of work was "0" (Latvian: nulle). Teachers in lower classes and for minor assignments in higher classes are encouraged to award one of two grades: "i" (Latvian: ieskaitīts 'counted') for a passing grade, and "ni" (Latvian: neieskaitīts 'not counted') for a failing grade. The grade of 10 is reserved for exceptional achievements. 9 is most commonly used for an USA equivalent of an A.


In Lithuania, the grading system has been changed to a 10-point scale since 1995[citation needed]. Prior to that, Soviet Lithuania had a 5-point grading scale. 10 is the highest achievable grade for an excellent performance and 1 is the lowest. Usually, 1 is written when there is no work present at all (called kuolas in the academic jargon, meaning 'stake'), and most teachers tend to keep 2 the lowest grade and rarely mark work as 1.

The minimal grade for passing a subject in school is usually 4.

Teachers in lower classes are encouraged to write marks such as lg – labai gerai (very good), g – gerai (good), patenkinamai (sufficient to pass) or nepatenkinamai (insufficient to pass).

Some subjects (like Physical Education or Music) can be pass-fail grades, having only įsk – įskaityta (passed) or neįsk – neįskaityta (not passed).

The same system is used for evaluating students' work in universities. However, the minimal grade to pass is usually 5.

In principal, the grading system in Lithuania is the same as in the Netherlands and can also be directly converted into percentage marks.


Moldova uses a 10-point scale system, 5 being the minimum grade for passing:

  • 10 (excellent)
  • 9 (very good)
  • 8 (good)
  • 6–7 (satisfactory)
  • 5 (sufficient)
  • 1–4 (unsatisfactory)


In the Netherlands, grades from 1.0 up to 10.0 are used, with 1 being worst and 10 being best. This system can correspond to a percentile system (1 means 0–5% correct and 10 means 95–100% correct) but sometimes points are deducted for number of faults on a test (typically, on vocabulary or topographical tests with more than 10 questions, each fault will nonetheless lead to a reduction in score of one. So 2 faults on a 50 question vocabulary test would constitute an 8) . The grades 9 and 10 are hardly ever given on large examinations (on average, a 9 is awarded in only 1.5%, and a 10 in 0.5% of the cases). Generally, either one or two decimal places are used, and a +/− means a quarter (rounded to either 0.8 or 0.3 if only one decimal place is used). Thus, a grade of 6.75 (or 6.8) could be written as 7−, whereas a grade of 7+ would count for 7.25 or 7.3, although the grades stylized as 7- or 7+ are hardly used.

A 5.5 constitutes a pass, whereas 5.4 and below constitute a fail. If no decimal places are used, 6 and up is a pass and 5 and below is a fail. Roughly, a student scores a 5.5 (pass) when 2/3 (66.67%) of an exam is correct. If the grade would be a 5.49 and one decimal is used, the 5.49 will be a 5.5, but if no decimals are used (usually at the end of the year) the 5.49 will end up as a 5 which indicates a fail.

Depending on the specific university, some students who finish their studies with an average of 8.0 or higher, could get the nomination cum laude (which is comparable with summa cum laude as awarded in Germany and the United States).

The grade scale with its labels:

Grade Qualification Description
10 excellent uitstekend
9 very good zeer goed
8 good goed
7 more than sufficient ruim voldoende
6 sufficient voldoende
5 insufficient onvoldoende
4 strongly insufficient matig
3 very strongly insufficient zeer matig
2 poor slecht
1 very poor zeer slecht


In primary school (Barneskole, from age 6 to 13) no official grades are given. However, the teachers write an individual comment or analysis on tests and in the end of every term.

Lower secondary school (Ungdomsskole; age 13–16) and upper secondary school (Videregående skole; age 16–19) use a scale running from 1 through 6, with 6 being the highest and 2 the lowest passing grade. For non-final tests and mid-term evaluations the grades are often post fixed with + or − (except 6+ and 1−). It is also common to use grades such as 5/6 or 4/3 indicating borderline grades. However, the grades students get on their diploma (Vitnemål), are single-digit grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. The student's non-weighted grade point average is also given on the Vitnemål.

In higher education, according to the ECTS-system, grades for undergraduate and postgraduate examinations are awarded according to a graded scale from A (highest) to F (lowest), with E as the minimum passing grade. The ECTS system was implemented at Norway's universities and colleges in the early 2000s, with most schools having converted to ECTS by 2003.

Before 2003, the formerly most common system of grades used at university level was based on a scale running from 1.0 (highest) through 6.0 (lowest), with 4.0 being the lowest passing grade. The way the new Bologna system was introduced implies that students, who had started their studies while the old system still was in effect, will graduate with transcripts containing grades from both systems (i.e. both numbers and letters).

An academic year has two semesters, from August to December and from January to June, although exceptions occur. Courses are measured in "studiepoeng" according to the ECTS standard (European Credit Transfer System credits). A normal full time study progression awards 60 credits (studiepoeng/stp) per year (30 per semester). Most institutions either use a 7.5, 8, 10, 12, 15 or 20 credit block system.


The most commonly used system in Polish grade schools is as follows (with usual corresponding score percentages):

  • niedostateczny (unsatisfactory) – 1 – 0–34%
  • dopuszczający (acceptable) – 2 – 35–54%
  • dostateczny (satisfactory) – 3 – 55–74%
  • dobry (good) – 4 – 75–89%
  • bardzo dobry (very good) – 5 – 90–97%
  • celujący (excellent) – 6 – This grade as a final grade is usually awarded for extracurricular merit. In examinations it is sometimes awarded for a perfect or near-perfect (98–100% or more, for example from extra exercises in test) score.

Acceptable is a passing grade.

Grades (especially expressed numerically) might be suffixed with + (plus) or - (minus). On rare occasion = (double minus) is used, especially as 2= to express lowest possible passing grade.

Academic institutions use a different system, usually consisting of the following grades (with usual corresponding score percentages):

  • niedostateczny (unsatisfactory) – 2.0 – 0–59%
  • dostateczny (satisfactory) – 3.0 – 60–69%
  • dostateczny plus (satisfactory plus) – 3.5 – 70–79%
  • dobry (good) – 4.0 – 80%+
  • dobry plus (good plus) – 4.5
  • bardzo dobry (very good) – 5.0 – 90%+
  • celujący (excellent) – 6.0, at some institutions 5.5 – This grade is rarely used, usually for extracurricular merit or a perfect score.
  • zaliczony (passed) – zal.
  • niezaliczony (not passed) – nzal.

The scores corresponding to each grade vary highly from institution to institution and from course to course, but usually a score of 60 or 61% is required to obtain the lowest passing grade (3.0). Scores zal. and nzal. are used when course require only attendance and/or isn't so important.


In Portuguese primary and middle schools, up until the 9th grade inclusive, the grading system is as follows:

  • 5 (very good or excellent) is the best possible grade (90-100%),
  • 4 (good) (70-89%),
  • 3 (satisfactory) indicates "average" performance (50-69%),
  • 2 (unsatisfactory) (20-49%),
  • 1 (poor) is the lowest possible grade (0-19%).

From the 10th grade onwards, including tertiary education, a 20-point grading scale is used, with 20 being the highest grade possible and 9.5 the minimum grade for passing. This 20-point system is used both for test scores and grades.


The used system in Romanian primary schools is as follows:

  • Foarte Bine (FB, very good)
  • Bine (B, good)
  • Sufficient/Satisfăcător (S, pass)
  • Insufficient/Nesatisfăcător (I, fail)

In secondary schools, high schools, and academic institutions, a 10-point scale is used, 5 being the minimum grade for passing:

  • 10 (excellent)
  • 9 (very good)
  • 8 (good)
  • 6–7 (satisfactory)
  • 5 (sufficient)
  • 1–4 (unsatisfactory)


Most Russian educational institutions use a five-point grading scale:

  • 5, "Отлично", "отл" / Otlično, otl.: Very good or Excellent, equal to highest distinction (best possible grade), around 85%+
  • 4, "Хорошо", "хор" / Chorošo, chor.: Good (above average) approximately 75–84%
  • 3, "Удовлетворительно", "уд" / Udovletvoritelno, ud.: Satisfactory, sometimes translated into English as Fair (lowest passing grade) 50–74%
  • 2, "Неудовлетворительно", "неуд" / Neudovletvoritelno, neud.: Unsatisfactory (failing) 0–49%

Qualifiers + and − are often used to add some degree of differentiation between the grades: e.g., 4+ is better than 4, but a little worse than 5−. Grading varies greatly from school to school, university to university, and even teacher to teacher, even for courses that lend themselves to objective marking, such as mathematics and applied sciences. Even though the grades technically range from 1 to 5, 1 is not common and is rarely given for academic reasons—in many cases, a 1 is given as a result of failure to show up for or to complete an exam. A 2 grade usually means that the student showed no or little knowledge in a subject.

It may be worth mentioning that 1 is somewhat an exotic grade in Russian schools, but it does exist officially. The mostly used grades are 2 to 5. + and − modifiers follow the same tendency; they are used rarely in middle school, and almost never in colleges or universities. Some institutions and teachers (excluding Russia), unsatisfied with the five-point scale, work with various larger ones, but these grading systems are not recognized by the state and require conversion for official use.

A considerably more complex grading system has been implemented for the recently introduced Unified state examinations. In this system, a "primary grade" is the sum of points for completed tasks, with each of the tasks having a maximum number of points allocated to it. The maximum total primary grade varies by subject, so that one might obtain a primary grade of 23 out of 37 in mathematics and a primary grade of 43 out of 80 in French. The primary grades are then converted into final or "test grades" by means of a sophisticated statistical calculation, which takes into account the distribution of primary grades among the examinees. This system has been criticized for its lack of transparency.

In universities, the some of subjects are graded on a "Pass/No pass" (Credit/No Credit) basis (зачёт/незачёт, pronounced "zach`ot/nezach`ot"), and the rest are typically graded on the four-point scale. The "Pass/No Pass" grades do not have any official numeric representation. When "zachot" – (credit- or pass-) type subjects are graded as "Pass/Not pass", this simply represents a student's good or poor knowledge of a subject. Each university implements its own understanding of the appropriate level of knowledge a student should have in order to pass studied subjects. Students in Russia must pass all of the offered subjects in order to graduate.

Due to several ways to translate the word "zachet" from Russian into English (it can be translated as "credit" or "pass"), this type of grading is a source of problems for Russian students applying to Western universities. Such grades may confuse Western universities and make it difficult to correctly calculate students' GPA in terms of Western systems.


Serbia has the same academic grading system of the Former Yugoslavia. In elementary schools and secondary schools, a five-point grading scale is used:

  • 5 (excellent)
  • 4 (very good)
  • 3 (good)
  • 2 (sufficient) is the lowest passing grade.
  • 1 (insufficient) is the lowest possible grade, and the failing one.


In Slovakia, a five-point grading scale is used in primary and secondary schools:

Grade Meaning US equivalent
1 Výborný (EXCELLENT) – best possible grade. A
2 Chválitebný (PRAISEWORTHY) B
3 Dobrý (GOOD) C
4 Dostatočný (SUFFICIENT) D
5 Nedostatočný (INSUFFICIENT) – failing grade. E


Ukraine introduced a new grading system in autumn 2000,[13] which replaced the existing Soviet grading system.

The new system provides grades that lie between 1 and 12 and are matched with the 5-point grade system that was used previously, as presented in the table below. 12 being an equivalent of honors/AP course "A+" in the US, it is usually given only for significant achievements or exceptionally creative work, hence 11 is the grade that would be called A in the United States.

New system Old system
12 5+
11 5
10 5−
9 4+
8 4
7 4−
6 3+
5 3
4 3−
3 2+
2 2
1 1

European academic grading

With the exception of Liechtenstein, which uses the Swiss grading system, and Moldova, which uses the Romanian grading system, the majority of European countries create their own academic grading standards. Most involve combinations of the key elements of grading, and all are used to evaluate students' performance on a scale of passing to failing (or comprehending to not comprehending material).

Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom

North America


Conversions from percentile grades to letter grades, by province:


In Senior High Schools:

Letter Percentage Provincial Standing Notes
A 90-100 Standard of Excellence Final course grades in this range are annotated with Honors Standing in the Alberta Senior High School.
B 80-89 Exceeds Acceptable Standard  
C 70–79 Acceptable Standard  
D 60–69 Below Acceptable Standard  
E/F 0–59 Failing grade, no credits awarded toward Alberta High School Diploma.  

In Alberta Post-Secondary Colleges, Technical Institutes, or Universities:

Letter grade Grade points Notes
A+ 4.3 (4.0 at University of Alberta and University of Calgary[14])  
A 4.0  
A− 3.7 Student may be awarded an Honours designation on a parchment if semester and cumulative grade point average of 3.7 is achieved on the first attempt of courses required towards graduation of major. In addition, students will need to complete graduation requirements within specific time restrictions.
B+ 3.3  
B 3.0  
B− 2.7  
C+ 2.3  
C 2.0  
C− 1.7  
D+ 1.3  
D 1.0 Minimum general passing letter grade to receive credit for a course. Certain faculties may require higher grades to receive course credit.
E/F 0.0  

There is no universal percentage grade associated with any letter grade in the Province of Alberta and such associations are made by professors or a bell curve. Some universities in Alberta use or have used a 9 point grading scale: 9=A+, 8=A, 7=A−, 6=B+, 5=B, 4=B−, 3=C+, 2=C, 1=D, 0=F. See also the University of Alberta Office of the Registrar.[15]


The University of Manitoba uses a GPA system.[16]

Points Equivalence A+ =13.5 A =12 B+ =10.5 B =9 C+ =7.5 C =6 D =4.5 E/F =0 GPA is Calculated taking total "points" and divided by school credit hours.

A 4.5 point scale with the corresponding GPA scale
GPA Description Letter grade equivalent
4.50 Exceptional A+
4.00 Excellent A
3.50 Very Good B+
3.00 Good B
2.50 Satisfactory C+
2.00 Adequate C
1.00 Marginal D
0.00 Failure F

The University of Saskatchewan and University of Regina both use a percentage grade system, universal across faculties and departments.[17][18]

Percent Letter grade equivalent Descriptors
95–100 A+ An incredibly comprehensive performance.
75–94 A An excellent / outstanding performance.
65–74 B A very good / above average performance.
55–64 C A generally satisfactory, intellectually adequate performance.
50–54 D A barely sufficient performance.
0–49 F An unacceptable performance.
British Columbia

In British Columbia universities: F is a failing grade. The following table is only an approximation; faculties within universities sometimes follow a different system between percentiles and corresponding letter grades.[19]

Letter Percent
A+ 90–100
A 85-89
A- 80-84
B+ 76-79
B  72-75
B- 68-71
C+ 64-67
C 60–63
C− 55–59

F (Fail) 0-44
Newfoundland and Labrador

In Newfoundland and Labrador Universities:

Letter Percent
A  80–100
B  65–79
C  55–64
D  50–54
F  0–49

Grade F is the sole failing mark.

Nova Scotia

In most Nova Scotia universities:

Letter Percent
A+ 90–100
A  85–89
A− 80–84
B+ 77–79
B  73–76
B− 70–72
C+ 65–69
C  60–64
C− 55–59
D  50–54
E/F  0–49

Grade F (or Grade E) is the only failing mark.


Percentage and grade equivalence[20]

Grade points for 1.0 credits Percentage equivalency
A+ 90–100
A 85–89
A− 80–84
B+ 77–79
B 73–76
B− 70–72
C+ 67–69
C 63–66
C− 60–62
D+ 57–59
D 53–56
D− 50–52
R 0–49

The University of Ottawa uses a grade point average system with numbers ranging from 0 to 10 despite many schools using the 12 point system.[21]

Official grading system at the University of Ottawa: Letter grade, numerical value, and percentage equivalency[22]

Letter Grade Numerical Value Percentage
A+ 10 90–100
A 9 85–89
A− 8 80–84
B+ 7 75–79
B 6 70–74
C+ 5 65–69
C 4 60–64
D+ 3 55–59
D 2 50-54
E 1 40–49
F 0 0–39

In Quebec universities:

Letter Grade point Qualification
A+ 4.33  
A 4.00 Excellent
A− 3.66  
B+ 3.33  
B 3.00 Very Good
B− 2.66  
C+ 2.33  
C 2.00 Good
C− 1.66  
D+ 1.33  
D 1.00 Passable
E 0.00 Failure ("échec")

This scale is used by at least UQTR. The Université de Montréal[23] scale is similar but goes from A+ to F. Université Laval[24] uses a similar 4.33 scale. UQAM,[25] Concordia University and Université de Sherbrooke uses a 4.3 scale. This scale is much alike many other scales used in Canada.

McGill University[26] and the École polytechnique[23] use a 4.0 scale. Université de Sherbrooke scale is from A+ to E.[27]

The percent equivalent of each grade and the passing mark can vary. The passing mark in high school and college is 60%.


Mexican schools use a scale from 0 to 10 to measure students' scores. Since decimal scores are common, a scale from 0 to 100 is often used to remove the decimal point.

In some Universities, students who fail a subject have the option of taking an extraordinary test (examen extraordinario, often shortened to extra) that evaluates the contents of the entire period. Once the test is finished and the score is assessed, this score becomes the entire subject's score, thus giving failing students a chance to pass their subjects. Those who fail the extraordinary test have two more chances to take it; if the last test is failed, the subject is marked as failed and pending, and depending on the school, the student may fail the entire year.

Some private schools (particularly in higher levels of education) require a 70 to pass instead of the regular 60.

Grades are often absolute and not class-specific. It may be the case that the top of the class gets a final grade of 79. Curve-adjustment is rare. Grad-level students are usually expected to have grades of 80 or above to graduate. Students in the honor roll are usually those with an overall GPA of 90 or higher upon graduation, and some private universities will award them a "With Honors" diploma. Additionally, in some private universities, the pass scores is higher or lower depending from the kind of studies that are related with (for example, in some universities, in the case of Engineering, the minimum score is 7.3 and for Art Sciences is 8.8) and lower than this score is not acceptable.

United States

The most popular grading system in the United States uses discrete evaluation in the form of letter grades. Many schools use a GPA (grade-point average) system in combination with letter grades. There are also many other systems in place. Some schools use a scale of 100 instead of letter grades. Others, including many Montessoris, eschew discrete evaluation in favor of pure discursive evaluation. There is no standardized system of grading in the United States. As such, these issues are left up to individual universities, schools and the regulatory authority of the individual states.

At most schools, colleges and universities in the United States, letter grades follow a five-point system, using the letters A, B, C, D and E/F, with A indicating excellent, C indicating average and E/F indicating failing. Additionally, most schools calculate a student's grade point average (GPA) by assigning each letter grade a number and averaging those numerical values. Generally, American schools equate an A with a numerical value of 4.0. Most graduate schools require a 3.0 (B) average to take a degree, with C or C- being the lowest grade for course credit. Most undergraduate schools require a 2.0, or C average to obtain a degree with a minimum of D or D− to pass a course. For most secondary schools, the minimum overall and course passes are both D or D−‍. Some districts, such as Mount Olive Township School District in New Jersey, have eliminated D as a passing grade for their students due to a high failure rate.[28]

Whereas most American graduate schools use four-point grading (A, B, C, and E/F), several—mostly in the west, especially in California—do award D grades but still require a B average for degree qualification. Some American graduate schools use nine- or ten-point grading scales, such as the Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan, where 9.0 = A+, 8.0 = A, 7.0 = A−, and so on.[29]

In a handful of states, within the United States, GPA scales can go above 4.0.

The percentage needed in any given course to achieve a certain grade and the assignment of GPA point values varies from school to school, and sometimes between instructors within a given school. The most common grading scales for normal courses and honors/Advanced Placement courses are as follows:

"Normal" courses Honors/AP courses
Grade Percentage GPA Percentage GPA
A 90–100 3.5–4.0 90–100 4.5–5.0
B 80–89 2.5–3.49 80–89 3.5–4.49
C 70–79 1.5–2.49 75–79 2.5–3.49
D 60–69 1.0–1.49 70–74 2.0–2.49
E / F 0–59 0.0–0.99 0–69 0.0–1.99

Some states, such as Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia may use the following grading scale:

Grade Percentage
A 93–100
B 85–92
C 77–84
D 70–76
E/F 0–69

Whether a school uses E or F to indicate failing grade typically depends on time and geography. Around the time of World War II, several states[which?] began to use E, while the majority of the country continued to use the F, which traces to the days of Pass/Fail grading (P and F). In recent years, some schools have begun using an N for failing grades, presumably to represent "No Credit". Another letter used to represent a failing grade is U, representing "unsatisfactory."

Chromatic variants ("+" and "−") are often used. In most 100-point grading systems, the letter grade without variants is centered around a value ending in five. The "plus" variant is then assigned the values near the nine digit and the "minus" variant is assigned the values near zero. Any decimal values are usually rounded. Thus, a score of 80 to 82 is a B−, a score 83 to 87 is a B and a score of 87 to 89 is a B+. The four-point GPA scale, the letter grade without variants is assigned to the integer. The "plus" and "minus" variants are then assigned to .3 above the integer and .3 below the integer, respectively. Thus, a B is equal to 3.0, a B+ is equal to 3.3, and a B− is equal to 2.7.[30]

The A range is often treated as a special case. In most American schools, a 4.00 is regarded as perfect and the highest GPA one can achieve. Thus, an A, being the prime grade, achieves the mark of a 4.00; for the A+ mark, most schools still assign a value of 4.00, equivalent to the A mark, to prevent deviation from the standard 4.00 GPA system. However, the A+ mark, then, becomes a mark of distinction that has no impact on the student's GPA. A few schools, however, do assign grade values of 4.33 or 4.30; but the scale is still called "4.0", because grading scales (or "quality indices") take their numerical names from the highest whole number.

In many American high schools, students may also score above 4.0 if taking advanced, honors, Advanced Placement, or International Baccalaureate classes (for example, a "regular" A would be worth 4 points, but an A earned in an advanced class might be worth 4.5 or 5 points towards the GPA.).[31]

There has been dispute[citation needed] over how colleges should look at grades from previous schools and high schools because one grade in one part of the country might not be the equivalent of a grade in another part of the country. In other words, an "A" might be 90–100 somewhere, and a 94–100 somewhere else. In middle and high schools that do not use a system based on academic credit, the grade point average is computed by taking the mean of all grades. In colleges and universities that use discrete evaluation, the grade point average is calculated by multiplying the quantitative values by the credit value of the correlative course, and then dividing the total by the sum of all credits.

For example:

Class Credits Grade Grade Points
Speech 101 3 A 3 × 4.0 = 12.0
Biology 102 4 B+ 4 × 3.3 = 13.2
History 157 3 B− 3 × 2.7 = 8.1
Physical Education 104 1 C 1 × 2.0 = 2.0
  • Total Credits: 11
  • Total Grade Points: 35.3
  • Grade Point Average: 35.3 / 11 = 3.209 or slightly below B+

In a standards-based grading system, a performance standard is set by a committee based on ranking anchor papers and grading rubrics, which demonstrate performance which is below, meeting, or exceeding the "standard."[citation needed] This standard is intended to be a high, world-class level of performance, which must be met by every student regardless of ability or class, although they are actually set by a committee with no reference to any other national standard[citation needed]. Levels are generally assigned numbers between zero and four. Writing papers may be graded separately on content (discussion) and conventions (spelling and grammar). Since grading is not based on a curve distribution, it is entirely possible to achieve a grading distribution in which all students pass and meet the standard. While such grading is generally used only for assessments, they have been proposed for alignment with classroom grading. However, in practice, grading can be much more severe than traditional letter grades. Even after ten years, some states, such as Washington, continue to evaluate over half of their students as "below standard" on the state mathematics assessment.

Here is another example of a commonly used grading scale, currently in place at Wayzata High School. The Grade Point Average is not the traditional 4-point scale, but uses the 12-point scale for unweighted classes and the 15-point scale for weighted classes:

Grade Percentage
A+ 97.00–100.00
A 93.00-96.99
A- 90.00-92.99
B+ 87.00-89.99
B 83.00-86.99
B- 80.00–82.99
C+ 77.00-79.99
C 73.00-76.99
C- 70.00-72.99
D+ 67.00-69.99
D 63.00–66.99
D- 60.00-62.99
F 0.00-59.99

The 12 point GPA scale works as follows. Students receive 12 points for an A or A+, 11 points for an A-, 10 points for a B+, etc. for each grading period. Once a grading period is complete, the student's total grade points are divided by the total number of credits and a GPA is generated.

For Example, here is one term of grades and a grade point average from a student whose school uses the 86-minute block schedule (such as Wayzata High School):

Math 4X (1 credit) 95.06/A = 12 Grade Points
Chemistry X (1 credit) 87.39/B+ = 10 Grade Points
Symphonic Band (1 credit) 99.76/A+ = 12 Grade Points
AP United States History (1 credit) 92.57/A- = 11 Grade Points
Total 45 Grade Points/4 Credits = 11.25 GPA (Slightly better than A-, equivalent to 3.75)



Australian primary and secondary schools are currently migrating to a common reporting and assessment format. Education is the responsibility of the states in Australia. In 2005 the Federal Government introduced a universal common assessment and reporting standards legislation that all states had to adhere to. The Band 1–6 grading system is evident in the educational testing of primary and secondary school students via government-administered programs such as the Higher School Certificate (HSC) and other numerical and literacy tests for primary students. The grading system is now structured as follows, though the percentages are only an approximate guide:

90–99.95% BAND 6
80–89% BAND 5
70–79% BAND 4
60–69% BAND 3
50–59% BAND 2
0–49% BAND 1

Majority of the Australian tertiary institutions use the following grading structure:

HD 85% and above (High Distinction)
D 75–84% (Distinction)
Cr 65–74% (Credit)
P 50–64% (Pass)
F 49% and under (Fail)

Some other Australian universities have a marking system based on the Honours system used at Oxford and Cambridge: In Schools reports they use these system: A-90-100&: excellent B-75-90%: good C-40-75%: Satisfactoriness D-25-40%: Limited E-10-25%- Very Low F- 10-%: Failed

H1 80% and above (First Class Honours)
H2A 75–79% (Second Class Honours (A Division))
H2B 70–74% (Second Class Honours (B Division))
H3 65–69% (Third Class Honours)
P 50–64% (Pass)
N below 50% (Fail)

Many courses also have Non-Graded Pass (NGP) and Non-Graded Fail (NGF), in which it is considered more appropriate to have qualitative than quantitative assessment. However, in some universities, an F1 category may be given a 'Pass Conceded' if the student's Weighted Average is greater than a nominated threshold. (More often than not, this is around the 53–55 range.)

Grade point averages are not generally used in Australia below a tertiary level, but are important for selection into graduate entry courses such as Medicine and Law. They are calculated according to more complicated formula than some other nations, and may be customised for the particular course application when used as entry criteria into graduate entry degrees:

Grade Point Average (GPA) = Sum of (grade points × course unit values) / total number of credit points attempted, in which grade points are as follows:

  • High Distinction = 7
  • Distinction = 6
  • Credit = 5
  • Pass = 4
  • Fail level 1 = 1
  • Fail level 2 = 0

At some universities, such as Macquarie University, University of Technology, Sydney, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)[32] and Monash University, Melbourne, a GPA calculation out of 4 is calculated, whereby 4.0 = a High Distinction; 3.0 is a Distinction, 2.0 is a Credit, and 1.0 is a pass. In certain faculties, such as law, it is therefore possible to graduate with "honours" with a GPA of less than 2.5.

Whenever a course result is a Non-Graded Pass, the result will normally be disregarded in GPA calculation.

The term course unit values is used to distinguish between courses which have different weightings e.g. between a full year course and a single semester course.

The High School Certificate system varies from state to state. But in most states the ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) system determines tertiary positions. Government Supported Positions are given to students that achieve above a certain ATAR threshold. (An example of this is an ATAR of 85 for Civil Engineering at the University of New South Wales.[33]) The value of the ATAR corresponds with their year 7 cohort, including students that did not complete year 12. An ATAR of 80.00, for example, indicates that students with that ATAR have performed in the HSC better than 80 percent of their year 7 cohort, had all these year 7 students completed year 12 and been eligible for an ATAR.

By contrast, in Queensland, graduating Year 12 students are awarded an OP of between 1 and 25, 1 being the most coveted; students are allocated their OP by means of a summation of marks from all their year 12 (and in some cases, year 11) courses, and also from the QCS (Queensland Core Skills) test, this being a series of four tests held at the end of secondary education.

New Zealand

GPA is not often used in New Zealand but when it is a 9-point scale is used. The grades equate to points as follows

A+ = 9
A = 8
A- = 7
B+ = 6
B = 5
B- = 4
C+ = 3
C = 2
C- = 1


South America


In Argentina the GPA is calculated trimonthly, per semester or per year. Typically, grades vary between 1 and 10. The minimum grade for passing generally requires 60% which represents a grade 6, at Secondary School (some schools may require 70%).

Depending on the University, the admittance may require:

  • Completion of secondary school.
  • In some of the most popular degrees, students may need to pass an entry exam. This may also apply to all degrees in private universities.

In some universities, people over 25 years old can be admitted even if they couldn't complete high school, but they must pass an entry exam. For University the grades also vary between 1 and 10, although a 4 represents 60%, which is the grade required for approval.


In Brazil the GPA – known as Coeficiente de Rendimento, or Índice de Rendimento Acadêmico – is calculated per semester or per year or both. The High School GPA is almost never used for college entrance evaluation in public universities (state funded and free of charge). To enter state colleges, Brazilian students must attend to entrance exams called vestibulares. The most famous ones are FUVEST, the entrance exam for University of São Paulo, and ENEM, a national exam that ranks high school students to be accepted by federal funded colleges. The private colleges system also apply entrance exams, but some might use the GPA as an evaluation method. During college, the GPA is calculated as a weighted average of grade and course hours and have a bigger importance than in the high school as it determines priority in receiving scholarships, for example.

The majority of schools adopt a 0,0 (worst) to 10,0 (best) scale for grading, but some of the Brazilian schools adopt the following grading system:

A (Excellent) 90% – 100%
B (Good) 80 – 89%
C (Fair) 60 – 79%
D (Fail) 50 – 59%
E (Bad) 0 – 49%

A grade below 5,0 is surely a fail, although some schools have passing criteria of 6,0 or 7,0.


Grades are assigned with a numeric scale from 1.0 to 7.0, including at least one decimal, with 4.0 as the lowest passing grade (equivalent to 50%). Everything under a 4.0 is considered a "rojo" or "red mark," which equates to failing. For the PSU, Prueba de Selección Universitaria (UST, University Selection Test), the scale goes from 150 to 850 points. Depending on the university and the major, the student will need a minimum score to get accepted. The final score will depend on the points obtained in each test: Mathematics and Linguistics (both mandatory); Natural Sciences and History (only one of them mandatory) and the NEM score, Notas de Enseñanza Media (High School Grades) converted into the PSU Scale.


Although there are several grading systems in the country, the most widely used is a numeric scale from 0 to 5. 0 is the lowest and 5 the highest. When grading two decimals are commonly used. In order to approve a course, the student must obtain a grade equal or higher than 3.0, which corresponds to a 60% of the highest grade.

In some universities and schools, the student must obtain a grade equal or higher than 3.5, which corresponds to a 70% of the highest grade.

Most final grades are the result of a simple average; but some private institutions can give different percentages to specific grades or grading periods.


In schools the GPA is calculated trimonthly on a scale that goes from 0 to 20. The minimum grade for pass depends on the school. Usually between 12 and 15 on more demanding schools.

Grading in universities vary depending on the university. Most of them use the same grading system as schools. But others prefer a 0-10 scale for grading.


The grades vary from 1 to 5, where 5 is the maximum grade achievable and 1 the lowest. The minimum for pass is 2.

  • 5: Excellent
  • 4: Very Good
  • 3: Good
  • 2: Acceptable
  • 1: Fail


Grades rank from 0 to 20, in an almost unique grading table. Passing grade is 11 in almost all schools and universities, while others prefer 13. In some preschool facilities, grades usually vary from F to A+, following the American system, and in a few Colleges, passing grade is 10.


High grades in Uruguay are very hard to achieve. Grades vary from 1 to 12. 1 is the lowest and 12 is the highest. To pass an exam or a course requires 6 out of 12 in high school and university (if private university), and 3 out of 12 if attending a public university. The excellence grades are 10, 11 and 12. Both (6 in high school and private universities; and 3 in public universities) means that 70% of the exam/course is correct. Some private universities grade their students on a percentage basis, being 70% the approval grade. In Universidad Católica del Uruguay, the grades vary from 1 to 6, were 6 is the maximum grade achievable and 1 the lowest. The minimum for pass is 3.


Grades in Venezuela may vary according to the education level, but it's mostly used the rank from 0 to 20, where 1 is the lowest and 20 the highest, and 10 the passing minimal rating.In some universities though is also used a rank from 0 to 100 when you will require a 50 minimal to approve the course.

GPA in Job Market

College and post-college students often wonder how much weight their GPA carries in future employment. The employer, company and industry plays the largest factor in answering this question. According to Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., senior vice president of human resources for IAC/InterActive Corp, a company with over 33,000 employees, an applicant’s GPA is the single best indicator of future success in job employment.[35] According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, since 2001 there has been an increase in employers looking at, and making hiring decisions based on a candidate's GPA.[36] In addition, Job Outlook 2005 survey reported that 70 percent of employers looked at an applicants GPA,[37] increasing to 75 percent in 2010.[36] Those looking at and weighing in college GPA accounted that their cut off was a GPA of 3.0 or lower.[37]

GPA is not the only factor that determines future employment. Many employers look for other pertinent characters such as leadership, teamwork, flexibility and attitude. They may also look at the reputation of the college attended and other work related experiences such as internships.[37] In a 2010 student survey for recruiters, 45 percent of the students who had completed an internship had already received a job offer.[38] Many of these jobs were within the company that they interned for.

Although GPA seems to be important in the hiring process, other variables may contribute to the likelihood of getting hired. If a student’s GPA is below a 3.0 or what the employer is looking for, it is suggested to calculate your GPA for only the classes within your major for your resume.[37]

See also


  1. ^ grade point average. (n.d.). WordNet 3.0. Retrieved 3 October 2011, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/grade point average
  2. ^ Grades and Grade-Point Average. Psu.edu. Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ GPA Calculation and Unit Conversion: MIT Office of the Registrar. Web.mit.edu. Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  5. ^ Postman, Neil (1992). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 13.
  6. ^ Christopher Stray, "From Oral to Written Examinations: Cambridge, Oxford and Dublin 1700–1914", History of Universities 20:2 (2005), 94–95.
  7. ^ "WES Grade Conversion Guide". WES.
  8. ^ Kyrgyzstan Grading System. Foreigncredits.com. Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  9. ^ Federal Board of Education – Pakistan. Fbise.edu.pk. Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  10. ^ http://www.wes.org/gradeconversionguide/index.asp
  11. ^ "Description Of Certificate Examinations". Department of Education. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  12. ^ High school, secondary school in Italy. Bigben.hu. Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  13. ^ Киевские школы переходят на 12-тибальную систему оценок » Новости политики Украины – Корреспондент. Korrespondent.net. Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  14. ^ University of Calgary : F.2 Undergraduate Grading System. Ucalgary.ca. Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  15. ^ Grading System Explained – Office of the Registrar – University of Alberta. Registrar.ualberta.ca (1 September 2003). Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  16. ^ "Is preference given to applicants with a degree?". Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba.
  17. ^ "Grading System". University of Saskatchewan / Examination & Grading / Grading System.
  18. ^ "Grading Descriptions". University of Regina Undergraduate Calendar.
  19. ^ Introduction – Grading Practices – Policies and Regulations – Vancouver Academic Calendar 2011/12 – UBC Student Services. Calendar.ubc.ca. Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  20. ^ General – Student Academic Success Centre (SASC). .carleton.ca (31 May 2011). Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  21. ^ University of Ottawa grade point averages. Web5.uottawa.ca. University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  22. ^ Academic Regulations - Section 10: Grading System Retrieved on 20 October 2011.
  23. ^ a b 30–8.PDF. (PDF) . Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  24. ^ Accueil – Faculté des sciences de l'administration – Université Laval. .fsa.ulaval.ca. Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  25. ^ UQAM | Registrariat | Étudiants | Légende du relevé de notes. Registrariat. Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  26. ^ http://www.mcgill.ca/files/student-records/transcriptskey.pdf
  27. ^ http://www.usherbrooke.ca/accueil/fileadmin/sites/accueil/documents/direction/politiques/2500-008-adm.pdf
  28. ^ At Some N.J. Schools, D No Longer Counts As Passing, NPR. Accessed 24 October 2010.
  29. ^ Rackham School of Graduate Studies: Coursework, Grading and Academic Standing, University of Michigan. Accessed 16 December 2011.
  30. ^ GPA Calculator, Studentspreunited.com. Accessed 12 November 2011.
  31. ^ High School GPA Calculator, Studentpreunited.com. Accessed 12 November 2011.
  32. ^ GPA – Grade point average. RMIT. Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  33. ^ [2][dead link]
  34. ^ "How to Calculate your GPA". Room42.co.nz (12 May 2011). Retrieved on 28 September 2011.
  35. ^ Koeppel, D. (2006). "Those low grades in college may haunt your job search". The New York Times
  36. ^ a b Career Services Professionals. (6 January 2010). Job Outlook: What do Employers Look for in Candidates? NACE. Retrieved from http://www.naceweb.org/Publications/Spotlight_Online/2010/0106/Job_Outlook__What_do_employers_look_for_in_candidates_.aspx
  37. ^ a b c d Morsch, L. (24 September 2007). "Does your gap really matter?"
  38. ^ Fesler, Dan, and Richard Rand. Tennessee Society of CPAs. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 September 2011.

Dakota* Article: How is GPA computed in US schools? GPA Computation formula