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Main article: Academic achievement

In education, a grade (or mark) is a teacher's standardized evaluation of a student's work. In some countries, evaluations can be expressed quantifiably, and calculated into a numeric grade point average (GPA). A cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is the mean GPA from all semesters, whereas GPA may only refer to a single semester.

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. [1]

International grading systems

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

20-point grading scale

In Algeria, Belgium, Ecuador, France, Greece, Morocco, Portugal, Peru, Venezuela, Senegal, Mali, Iran, and Tunisia, a 20-point grading scale is used, in which 20 is the highest grade and 0 is the lowest. A score of 20 is considered perfect; accordingly, it is rarely if ever awarded in courses that are graded subjectively.

The "passing" grade is usually 10; a common categorization follows:

Grade Qualification
20 Perfect
Nearing perfection
17 Outstanding
16 Excellent

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System

Main article: European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System

The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union. For successfully completed studies, ECTS credits are awarded. One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits in all countries, irrespective of standard or qualification type, and is used to facilitate transfer and progression throughout the Union.[2]

ECTS also includes a standard grading scale[3]:

Grade Percentile
A 90–100
B 65–90
C 35-65
D 10–35
E 0–10

The grade FX indicates that "some more work required before the credit can be awarded." The grade F indicates "considerable further work required."[3]

European Baccalaureate

This degree that is awarded by the European Schools. Pupils are graded on a analog scale of 0 to 10. Half marks may be awarded, and in computing the total average two decimals are shown :

Grade Qualification
10 is the highest mark achievable (hardly awarded)
8.5 Very Good
7.5 Good
6 Sufficient
<6 fail
0 worst grade (cheating, etc.)

International Baccalaureate

In the IB Diploma Programme, an internationally-practiced baccalaureate program for secondary school students, candidates are graded on a scale of 1 to 7:

  • 7 is the highest mark achievable.
  • 6 is usually the lowest grade acceptable for credit in universities, although 5s and even 4s are sometimes accepted.
  • 5 is often the lowest acceptable grade for credit in universities.
  • 4 is the lowest passing average grade; candidates must score a total of 24 points across six subjects, not including a possible 3 points from TOK and the Extended Essay, in order to receive their diploma. Additionally, in higher level courses, candidates must score an average of 4 per subject, and no more than one 3 is accepted.
  • 3, although not considered a failing grade, is not a sufficient average grade across all subjects to garner the candidate a diploma.
  • 2 is a failing grade for higher level courses, and no more than one 2 is accepted in standard level courses.
  • 1 is a failing grade.

Grading systems by nation



A student with gayyid giddan earned the second highest mark possible, on par with a "B" student.[4]

Percentile Qualification
  0–30  Very weak (Arabic: ضعيف جدًا


 30–50  Weak (Arabic: ضعيف


 50–65  Acceptable (Arabic: مقبول


 65–75  Good (Arabic: جيد


 75–85  Very good (Arabic: جيد جدًا


 85–100 Excellent (Arabic: ممتاز


South Africa

In South Africa, the system used in schools until 2008:

  • A : 80 - 100% (achieved by 2 - 10% of students)
  • B : 70 - 79% (achieved by 8 - 15% of students)
  • C : 60 - 69% (achieved by 20 - 25% of students)
  • D : 50 - 59%
  • E : 40 - 49% (pass mark of 40% for higher grade subjects)
  • F : 34 - 39%
  • FF : 30 - 33% (pass mark of 33% for standard grade and second language subjects)
  • G : 20 - 29%
  • H : 0 - 19%

An aggregate is calculated by adding a student's best six subjects - each higher grade subject is out of 400 but counts out of 300 (thus 100%+ is achievable), and each standard grade subject and second language is out of 300. An aggregate of over 1680 is an 'A' aggregate.


The Tunisian grading system is mostly a 20-point grading scale: it is used in secondary schools and universities. For primary schools, a new system has been introduced, based on a letter grade scale; the old system uses a 10-point grading scale for the first term and a 20-point scale for the second and third terms.

Currently, Most Tunisian universities uses the traditional 20-point grading scale, but after the introduction of the new National Higher Education Reform , a new grading scale, similar to that of the ECTS grading Scale, is becoming more and more common.

Most of the time, the formal grades used in Tunisia are not considered in graduate programs acceptance. A grade of 12 (which is actually a passable grade in Tunisia but equivalent to 60% in the US where it is considered a below average) is generally a good starting grade to apply for graduate studies and financial aids or scholarships. This is due to a severe testing and evaluation system employed in most Tunisian universities. Generally, at the national level, a grade of 12 or above is considered a good grade. This is why some European universities use a different admission requirement for Tunisian students. Tunisia's neighboring country, Algeria, has a very similar grading system.

North America


In Canada, grade point averages vary by province, by level of education (e.g., high school or university), by institutions (e.g., Queen's or Toronto), and even by different faculties in the same institution (e.g., Ryerson or Université du Québec à Montréal). The following are commonly used conversions from percentile grades to letter grades.


In Alberta universities:

Letter Percentile
A 80–100
B 65–79
C 50–64
D 0–49
British Columbia

In British Columbia universities:

Letter Percentile
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
D  50–54
I  0–49 (temporary)
F  0–49 (permanent)
Newfoundland and Labrador

In Newfoundland and Labrador universities:

Letter Percentile
A+ 90–100
A  85−89
A− 80−84
B+ 75−79
B  70−74
B− 65−69
C  60−64
C− 55−59
D  50−54
F  0−49

Grade F is the sole failing mark.


In Ontario schools:

Letter Percentile Level Qualification
A 80−100 Level 4 Above government standards
B 70−79 Level 3 At government standards
C 60−69 Level 2 Below, but approaching government standards
D 50−59 Level 1 Well below government standards
F 0−49 Failing standards (used in high schools)
R Remedial standards (used in elementary schools)

There are also + and − modifiers. A+ is close to 100% and better than A, A is better than A−, A− is better than B+. So on and so forth. There are no modifiers for R or F.


In Quebec universities:

Letter Percentile Qualification
A 80−100 Greatly above standards
B 70−79 Above standards
C 60−69 At government standards
D 50−59 Lower standards
E 0−49 Failure

Quebec's passing mark is 60%.

Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, the classificatsystems occur in a range between 0 and 100, where it is generally required to have at least a 70 to pass a course.


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

  • 100: Excellent.
  • 90: Very good.
  • 80: Good.
  • 70: Average.
  • 60: Passing threshold.
  • 0-59: Failed.

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 slacking students a chance to pass their subjects. Those who fail the extraordinary test have 2 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 might fail the entire year. As a result, the extraordinary tests often cause a lot of stress among students, because they have to study for the entire period often in a couple of weeks.

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 89. Curve-adjustment is rare. Grad-level students are usually expected to have grades of 80 or above to graduate. Students in honor roll are usually those with an overall GPA of 90 or more upon graduation, and some private universities will award them a "With Honors" diploma.

United States

Main article: Grading in the United States

Classical five-point discrete evaluation is the system most commonly used in the United States, but there are many variations. There are also a few schools that eschew discrete evaluation (letter grading) in favor of pure discursive evaluation.

Here is a common example of an American quality index, showing letter grade, qualitative definition and correlative quantitative value.

  • A = Excellent or Superior; or top 10% (90 to 100) = 4.0
  • B = Above Average; or second 10% (80-89) = 3.0
  • C = Average; or third 10% (70-79) = 2.0
  • D = Below average, minimum passing grade (60-69); or fourth 10% = 1.00
  • F (Also N or E or U): Failure or Exceptionally Poor; or bottom 60% (0-59) = 0.00

Percentage ranges may vary from one school to another. In some schools, these ranges may even vary from one class to another. Many schools add .5 to the value of an AP class if a student takes the AP test (thus, an A would be a 4.5, a B would e a 3.5, etc).

Whether the failing grade is F or E typically depends on time and geography. Some states, but not many, have tended to favor E since World War II while the majority of the country tends to use F. Ultimately, the grade F traces to the days of two-point grading as Pass (P) and Fail (F).

Chromatic variants (+ and −) are often used. In hypomodal grading on a 100 point scale, the prime letter grade is assigned a value centered around the one's digit 5, the + grade is assigned the top values of near the one's digit 9 and the − grade is assigned the bottom values near 0. Thus, 80 to 83 is B−, 84 to 86 is B, and 87 to 89 is B+. In straight modal grading on a 4.0 decimal scale, the prime number is the prime letter grade. The + range of the grade begins at X.333 (repeating), rounded to X.30, above the prime number. The − range of the grade begins at X.666 (repeating), rounded up to X.70, below the prime number. Thus, B = 3.0, B+ = 3.3, and B− = 2.7. However, 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, already achieves the mark of a 4.00; for the A+ mark, most schools assign it a value of 4.00, equivalent to the A mark, so as to not deviate from the standard 4.00 GPA system. The A+ mark, then, becomes a mark of distinction that has no impact on the student's GPA. A few schools do assign grade values of 4.33, however.

In schools, 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 103 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 above B average

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". The 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. Levels are generally assigned numbers between zero and four. Writing papers may be graded separately on content (ideas) and conventions (spelling and grammar). Since grading is not based on a curve distribution, it is entirely possible to achieve a grading distribution where "all children succeed" 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 the traditional letter grades rather than more generous. Even after ten years, states like Washington continue to grade over half of students as "below standard" on the state mathematics assessment. The North Carolina writing project has established a top level for writing, equivalent to a letter "A", but distributed these to fewer than 1 percent of writing samples, a level of ability that exceeds the selectivity of an Ivy League college which accepts only students in the top 1 percent of test scores.

South America


In Chile, a grade point average ranges from 1.0 up to 7.0 (with one decimal place) are used, where:

  • 7.0 (excellent) is the best possible grade
  • 6.0-6.9 (very good)
  • 5.0-5.9 (good)
  • 4.0-4.9 (sufficient); 4.0 is the lowest passing grade
  • 1.0-3.9 (insufficient) are failing grades; 1.0 is the worst possible grade.

Generally, it's a linear scale, with 1.0 meaning 0% achievement, 4.0 meaning 50% or 60% achievement (depending of the scale used), and 7.0 meaning 100% achievement. Rounding of averages is generally done to the second decimal; hence, a 3.95 is rounded up to a 4.0, whereas a 3.94 is rounded down to a 3.9.


In Venezuela, students are evaluated by a 20-point system with 10 being the lowest passing grade. Anywhere above 16 is considered a good grade and 19 and 20 are rarely awarded.



In China, the grading system is divided into five categories.

  • you meaning excellent 90-100%
  • liang meaning good 80-<90%
  • zhong meaning satisfactory 70-<80%
  • ji'ge meaning minimum achievement 60-<70%
  • cha meaning failure 0-<60%

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the system of grade point average (GPA)[5] is used in universities.

Grade GPA
A+ 4.30
A  4.00
A− 3.70
B+ 3.30
B  3.00
B− 2.70
C+ 2.30
C  2.00
C− 1.70
D+ 1.30
D  1.00
F  0.00

Some universities don't include A+ in the grades[6], or set the grade point of A+ to be 4.00[7], so that the maximum GPA attainable is 4.00 instead of 4.30. Some universities use a 12-point based system called "CGA" instead[8].


The grading system in India varies somewhat as a result of being a large country. The most predominant form of grading is the percentage system. An examination consists of a number of questions each of which give credit. The sum of credit for all questions generally counts up to 100. The grade awarded to a student is the percentage obtained in the examination. The percentage of all subjects taken in an examination is the grade awarded at the end of the year. The percentage system is used at both the school and university. Some universities also use the grading system and a CGPA on a 4 or 10 point scale. Notably, all the IITs, IIITs, BITS Pilani (Pilani, Goa campuses), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and most NITs use a 10-point GPA system. DA-IICT, Gandhinagar uses a 4 point scale. However, the grades themselves may be absolute (as in NITs), exclusively relative (as in BITS Pilani and Manipal University), or a combination of absolute, relative and/or historic, as in some IITs and IIIT Hyderabad.

There are several universities and recognized school boards in India which makes an objective comparison of percentage grades awarded by one examination difficult with those for another, even for an examination at the same level. At the school level percentages of 80-90 are considered excellent while above 90 is exceptional and uncommon. At the university level however percentages between 70-80 are considered excellent and are quite difficult to obtain. It should be pointed out that the percentage of marks at university vary from one to another which makes direct comparison of percentages obtained at different universities difficult.

Official Grading System

Official Grading System for all Government/Autonomous/Deemed Indian Universities.

Percentage Range Grade U.S. Grade Class/Division
80-100% A+ 4 First Division with Honours/Distinction
75-79% A 3.75-3.95 ""
70-74% A- 3.5-3.7 ""
65-69% B+ 3.25-3.45 First Division
60-64% B/B− 3-3.2 ""
55-59% C+ 2.5-2.9 Second Division
50-54% C/C− 2-2.4 Second Division
45-49% D+ 1.5-1.9 Third Division
40-44% D/D- 1-4.0 ""
Less than 40% F 0 Fail

In Indonesia, a grade point average ranging from 1 to 10 is used, where:

  • 10 (exceptional) is the highest grade. It is rarely given.
  • 9-6 are passing grades in all subjects.
  • 5 is the highest failing grade for certain subjects such as Religious Education, Mother Tongue/Indonesian Language and Moral Education.
  • 4 is a passing grade in some subjects and a failing grade in others.
  • 3 is the highest failing grade in general.
  • 2 is a failing grade.
  • 1 is a failing grade, and the lowest possible grade.

A student is to repeat a year if they get a failing grade in any subject.


In Israel there are two scales, 0-10 (usually small quizzes, surprise quizzes etc.) and 0-100 (usually exams).

The grading scale is as follows:

10 or 95-100 = מצוין


9 or 85-94 = טוב מאוד

(very good)

8 or 75-84 = טוב


7 or 65-74 = כמעט טוב

(almost good)

6 or 55-64 = מספיק


5 or 45-54 = מספיק בקושי

(hardly sufficient)

<4 or <44 = בלתי מספיק/נכשל


In secondary school (grades 7-12), any grade of 54 and below is considered a failing grade.

It's worth mentioning that the Israeli education system does not employ curved grading at any stage (incl. in the academic level).

To compensate for this, most academic institutions require that candidates undergo a psychometric exam, which in Israel provides examinees with an overall score of 200-800, the average being 535 (according to the National Institute of Scoring and Evaluation's [1] report of 2005 results).

As previously mentioned, though, the vast majority of Israeli academic institutions also refrain from grading on a curve. Only certain law faculties use curved grading, and one management faculty recently announced its intention to gradually introduce curved grading at the undergraduate level as well.


The Iranian grading system is similar to that of Belgium in secondary schools and universities; the passing grade is 10. Graduate programs require 12 as passing grade.

Grade Qualification
18-20 Excellent
16-17 Very Good
13-16 Sufficient
10-12 Poor but Passing
9 & below fail


  • Division I- 60% or higher
  • Division II- 48% or higher
  • Division III- 32% or higher
  • Fail- less than 32%



Two grading scales are commonly used in higher education:

Grade Description WES Equivalency
A Excellent A
B Good B
C Satisfactory C+
D Pass C
F Fail F
Grade Percentile WES Equivalency
Distinction 80 - 100 A+
High Pass 70 - 80 A
Pass 60 - 69 B
Marginal Pass 50 - 59 C
Fail 0 - 49 F


The Philippines has varied university grading systems. Most universities, particularly public institutions follow the grade point system scale of 5.00 - 1.00, where 1.00 is the highest grade and 5.00 as the lowest grade that could be obtained.

Grade point scale (5.00 - 1.00)
University of the Philippines Grade Point System
Grade Point Equivalence Equivalence
1.00 96% - 100%
1.25 91% - 95%
1.50 86% - 90%
1.75 81% - 85%
2.00 76% - 80%
2.25 71% - 75%
2.50 66% - 70%
2.75 65% - 69%
3.00 60% - 64%
4.00 Unconditional Pass or Fail
5.00 below 60%
University of the Philippines Latin Honors
Latin Honors Grade Point Equivalence Range
Summa Cum Laude 1.20 - 1.00
Magna Cum Laude 1.45 - 1.19
Cum Laude 1.75 - 1.44
Most common grading system of other colleges and universities
Grade Point Equivalence Equivalence Description
1.00 96% - 100% Excellent
1.25 94% - 95% Superior
1.50 91% - 93% Very Good
1.75 89% - 90% Good
2.00 86% - 88% Very Satisfactory
2.25 83% - 85% High Average
2.50 80% - 82% Average
2.75 77% - 79% Fair
3.00 75% - 76% Pass
4.00 70% - 74% Conditional (Midterm Only)
5.00 70% and below Failing Final Grade
5A - Failure Due To Absences
5W - Withdrawal
INC - Incomplete
DRP - Dropped

In particular, De La Salle University & FEU-East Asia College follows the 1.000 - 4.000 grading system which patterns those of American Universities. This system uses 4.0 grade point equivalence as the highest grade while 0.0 grade point equivalence is considered as the lowest grade one can obtain. 0.0 grade point equivalence is considered a failing mark.

Grade point scale (1.000 - 4.000)
De La Salle University & FEU-East Asia College Grade Point System
Grade Point Equivalence Description Equivalence
4.0 Excellent 97% - 100%
3.5 Superior 93% - 96%
3.0 Very Good 89% - 92%
2.5 Good 85% - 88%
2.0 Satisfactory 80% - 84%
1.5 Fair 75% - 79%
1.0 Passed 70% - 74%
0.0 Failed below 70%
De La Salle University Latin Honors
Latin Honors Grade Point Equivalence Range
Summa Cum Laude 3.800 - 4.000
Magna Cum Laude 3.600 - 3.799
Cum Laude 3.400 - 3.599

Other universities, such as the Ateneo Universities, use the letter grade system with varied grade equivalence range.

Letter grade system
Ateneo de Manila University Letter Grade System
Grade Point Equivalence Letter Grade Equivalence Equivalence
4.0 A 92% - 100%
3.5 B+ 86% - 91%
3.0 B 77% - 85%
2.5 C+ 69% - 76%
2.0 C 60% - 69%
1.0 D 50% - 59%
0.0 F below 50%
Ateneo de Manila University Latin Honors
Latin Honors Grade Point Equivalence Range
Summa Cum Laude 3.87 - 4.00
Magna Cum Laude 3.70 - 3.86
Cum Laude 3.50 - 3.69

More importantly, Philippine universities do not have standard grade equivalence. Different universities have varied equivalence range, while passing grades are subject to imposed academic quality of an institution.

Russia and Former Soviet Union/CIS (without Moldova and Belarus)

In Russia, Ukraine, Hungary and likely the rest of the former Soviet Union (with the notable exception of Moldova, that switched to the Romanian system) and some countries formerly associated with the Eastern Bloc, a five-point grading scale is used, where:

  • 5 (very good or excellent) is the best possible grade,
  • 4 (good),
  • 3 (satisfactory) indicates "average" performance,
  • 2 (unsatisfactory),
  • 1 (poor) is the lowest possible grade.

Qualifiers + and – are often used to add some degree of differentiation between the grades, eg. 4+ is better than 4 but a little worse than 5–. Grading varies greatly from teacher to teacher and tends to be entirely subjective 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 uncommon and is rarely given for academic reasons—in many cases a failure to show up for an exam or to answer any questions only results in a 2 (in Russia/Ukraine, but not in Hungary).

Students in these countries may be labeled by their teachers according to their average grade, the labels stemming from the respective digits. For example, someone with a 5-point average is a отличник (m) (pronounced: otlichnik, from Russian excellent, отлично (otlichno))/ отличница (f) (otlichnitsa), while someone with a 2-point average is a двоечник (m) (dvoyeshnik, hard to see if you don't know Russian, but from Russian 2, два(dva))/двоечница (f) (dvoyeshnitsa).

It's fair to mention that 1 is a very exotic grade in Russian schools. It is used rarely by some teachers in primary school. The four-point grading scale (five to two) is employed in middle school and university. Plus and minus modifiers follow the same tendency: they are used rarely in middle school, and almost never in colleges or universities. Some institutions and teachers, unsatisfied with the four-point scale, work with various larger ones, but these grading systems are not recognized by the state and have to be converted for official use.

There are certain courses that are graded on ‘Pass/Not pass’ basis. So the grade is ‘Pass/Not pass’, or ‘Credit/No credit’. Also there are certain courses that are not marked at all, so the grade ‘Attended’ is issued if the attendance requirements are met by a student.


Main article: GPA in Singapore


Schools and universities in Vietnam use the 10-points grading scale with 10 is the highest and 0 is the worst. Often, 5 is the lowest passing grade

  • 10 = perfect
  • 9 = very good
  • 7 to 8 = good
  • 5 to 6 = passable
  • 1 to 4 = poor
  • 0 = unacceptable

United Arab Emirates

At most universities and colleges the United Arab Emirates grading system is very similar to the United States grading system. See United Arab Emirates.



In Albania, grades from 1 (sometimes 0) up to 10 are used, with some schools allowing decimals (up to 0.01 precision) and some others only allowing whole numbers.

Grade Qualification
10.00 Excellent
8.00–9.99 Very Good
6.00–7.99 Good
4.00–5.99 Sufficient
0.00–3.99 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 take just half. In some schools, if the average grade of the two mid exams is equal to or higher than 7.00, the student passes the class without the need for a final exam (since there are only two exams, some teachers also pass students who average 6.50, others weigh in that decision the student's performance in class). An average of less than 4.00 is failing, the student doesn't even have the chance to take that final exam.

In high schools, the year is divided into three trimesters and classes are usually year-long. The student needs 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 3rd trimester he will have to take a final exam regardless of his average.

This last point is considered controversial since the last trimestral exam is not more important than the first two but the rule stands to prevent students that already reached the minimum average (e.g.: two 10.00 in the first two give you a lowest possible average of 6.33) from not making an effort the last three months of the year.


In Austria, scholastic grades use a 5-point grading scale, where:

  • 1 ("sehr gut" - "very good") is the best possible grade.
  • 2 ("gut" - "good") is the next-highest.
  • 3 ("befriedigend" - "satisfactory") indicates "average" performance.
  • 4 ("genügend" - "adequate") is the lowest passing grade.
  • 5 ("nicht genügend" - "unsatisfactory") is the lowest possible grade and the only failing grade (usually earned for 50% or less of maximum achievable credit).


In Bulgaria, the following grades are used in schools:

  • 6 (Excellent) is the best possible grade.
  • 5 (Very Good) is the next highest.
  • 4 (Good) indicates average performance.
  • 3 (Sufficient) is the lowest passing grade.
  • 2 (Poor) is a failing grade.

For exact grading, two positions after the decimal point are used. Thus grades as e.g. Poor 2.50 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.

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.


In Croatia the following grades apply to elementary school, high school and university students:

1 Insufficient (nedovoljan) - failing grade.
2 Suficcient (dovoljan).
3 Good (dobar).
4 Very good (vrlo dobar).
5 Excellent (odličan).

Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, primary and secondary schools use a 5-point grade system with 1 as the best and 5 as the worst. There are only whole numbers in the report cards, but tests or oral exams are often marked by additional distinctive signs: 3+ is slightly better than 3, 2− is slightly worse than 2, 1-2 or 1/2 means halfway between 1 and 2, and 1* means exceptionally excellent.
Universities use a 4-point grade system where 1 is the best and 4 means fail, or an expanded version of this: a six-grade system with half-grades between 1 and 2, and 2 and 3. The grades are then 1 (also A), 1.5 (B), 2 (C), 2.5 (D), 3 (E), and 4 (F, or fail).


Main article: Grading in Denmark

The current Danish gradation scale is called the 13-scale and consists of 10 grades ranging from 00 to 13, with 00 being the worst.

Grade Given for...
00 completely unacceptable performance.
03 very unsatisfactory performance.
 5 not satisfactory performance.
 6 acceptable performance. Passed!
 7 average performance.
 8 good performance.
 9 very good performance.
10 excellent performance.
11 excellent performance with honours.
13 exceptionally excellent performance.

- The scale normally goes from 00 to 11. When a 13 is achieved (very rare situation), it is taken as a very exceptional grade.

- Best way to make equivalences with other grading scales is to use percentiles, where 00 = 0% and 11 = 100%.

- An 11 is also a pretty hard grade to achieve, but easier than a 13.

The gaps between 00 & 03, 03 & 5 and 11 & 13 are there to signify a larger difference between those grades. The leading 0 in 00 and 03 are used to prevent fraud with grades (as otherwise a student could add a leading 1, yielding a perfect 13)

00 is nearly impossible to achieve, presuming one knows even a single fact taught in that particular class, it is given for the truly incompetent performance. At exams, 00 is given to absentees.

13 is a fairly rare grade outside of exams and requires a performance way beyond the expected.

The average of grades given in Danish high schools in 2003 was 8.22.

New system

From the 2006-07 school year, a new scale will be introduced, made to be compatible with the ECTS-scale.

Grade Description 13-scale-equivalent ECTS-equivalent
−3 entirely inadequate 00 F
 0 inadequate 5 Fx
 2 adequate the minimum acceptable (minimum passing grade) 6 E
 4 fair numerous considerable flaws 7 D
 7 good numerous flaws 8 & 9 C
10 excellent few considerable flaws 10 B
12 outstanding none or few unconsiderable flaws 11 & 13 A

Furthermore, undervisningsministeriet (the Ministry of Education) will adapt to a more international way of grading, by handing out a set amount of grades per class, this is due to the fact that in foreign countries, the grade A (12) is handed out two times as often as in Denmark (because of the strict, absolute grading in Denmark).


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 were discarded. Thus, it is divided between 4, the failing grade, and 5–10, the succeeding grades. This is similar to the grading scale used in Romania.

  • 10 (excellent), represents about 5% of the top
  • 9 (very good)
  • 8 (good)
  • 7 (satisfactory), the mode
  • 6 (satisfactory)
  • 5 (mediocre)
  • 4 (fail)

In the individual exams, but not in the final results, it is also possible to divide the scale further with '½', which represents a half grade, and '+' and '−', which represent one-fourth a grade better or inferior. For example, the order is 9 < 9+ < 9½ < 10− < 10. The grade '10+' can also be awarded to represent perfect performance added with extra effort by the student.

The matriculation examination grades are similar to the above, but in Latin.

Grade Abbrv. Gloss Translation Percentage of grades
laudatur L excellent praised Top 5%
eximia cum laude approbatur E excellent accepted, with extraordinary commendations 15%
magna cum laude approbatur M good accepted, with many commendations 20%
cum laude approbatur C satisfactory accepted, with commendations 24%
lubenter approbatur B satisfactory readily accepted 20%
approbatur A mediocre accepted 11%
improbatur I fail disapproved bottom 5%

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, compulsory courses typically have pass/fail grades.


The French grading system is mostly the (above mentioned) 20-point grading scale: it is used above all in secondary schools and universities. The baccalauréat uses the 20-point scale, with the following mentions (honors) :

  • 18 : with honors (félicitations du jury)
  • 16 : very good (très bien : TB)
  • 14 : good (bien : B)
  • 12 : quite good (assez bien : AB)

Primary schools generally use a 10-point grading scale or a letter grade like the ECTS grading Scale French universities traditionnally use the 20-point grading scale, but the ECTS grading Scale is more and more common as it is is the standard for comparing the study performance across the European Union.

Some Grandes écoles use 'exotic' systems, like Ecole Centrale de Lille, which uses a three letter scale system, called A, S, I:

  • A : excellent
  • S : satisfactory (satisfaisant)
  • I : fail (insuffisant)


Germany uses a 6-point grading scale (GPA) to evaluate the performance of school children:

  • 1 (sehr gut, excellent) is the best possible grade and is given for outstanding performance
  • 2 (gut, good) is the next-highest and is given for performance that meets the standard completely and is above-average
  • 3 (befriedigend, satisfactory) indicates "average" performance.
  • 4 (ausreichend, sufficient) is the lowest passing grade and is given if the standard has been met but with a number of notable errors.
  • 5 (mangelhaft, deficient) is the higher of two failing grades and is given if the standard has not been met but the basics have been understood.
  • 6 (ungenügend, insufficient) is the lowest possible grade and is given if the standard has not been met and the basics have not been understood.

Five and six are both considered to be failing grades, though in earlier years students are not required to repeat classes with 5 grades if they perform well in other classes. Grades 1 to 5 can be suffixed with + and −. To calculate averages of suffixed grades, they are assigned fractioned values, where 1 is 1.0, 1− is 1.3, 2+ is 1.7, 2 is 2.0, 2− is 2.3 and so on. There is even the grade of 1+ or 0.7, which means more or less 'with distinction'. (But there is neither 6+ nor 6− since 6 means null.)

As schools are governed by the states, not by the federal government, there are slight differences. Sometimes there is 1− equal to 1.25, 1-2 = 1.5, 2+ = 1.75 and so on. And sometimes the grades are in tenth of a number, 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and so on.

Some states replace this system in higher grades (usually 12th and 13th) by "points" whereas 15 points represent the highest possible score, "1+". 14 points equal a "1" (sehr gut), 13 points a "1−" and so on. 1 point equals a "5−", 0 points represent a "6" (ungenügend). This system is used for easier calculation of averages and to ease the admission process for the "Abitur", the final exam. The written marks below are replaced by numbers, too. (Instead of using fraction values such as 1.2)

In school reports, only unmodified integer grades may be used; they are written in text form in some parts of Germany:

  • 1 - sehr gut
  • 2 - gut
  • 3 - befriedigend
  • 4 - ausreichend
  • 5 - mangelhaft
  • 6 - ungenügend

"In-between" grades such as 1-2, 2-3, 3-4 etc., which used to count as 1.5, 2.5 and so on, have largely been discontinued due to ambiguities when converting the averages back to integer values.

In the final classes of Gymnasiums the grades are converted to numbers ("points") in order to calculate the average for Abitur. In this case an 1+ exists (and counts as 15), 1 is 14, 1− is 13, 2+ is 12, etc. up to 5− is 1 and finally 6 is 0. Although 1+ exists in this system, ultra-perfect Abitur averages below 1.0 are not possible, even if one has got an 1+ in every subject. When the point system is used, 4 (5 points) is the lowest passing grade, and 4− (4 points) the highest failing grade.

In converting German grades to the A-F scale, a 1 = A, ... 4 = D scale is often used (with 5 and 6 both converted to F's). The accuracy of this conversion is often debated, since expected performance averages vary among schools. For example, a 2 in the German is often given for a performance of 90%. A 90% will almost always be equivalent to an A among the U.S. grading scale. Both situations will vary depending on the school's, faculty's and/or instructor's guidelines.

For the conversion of Gymnasium grades, the following must be taken into account: Only 23% of the German population obtain the Abitur - Allgemeine Hochschulreife (General Maturity for University), implying that a 4.0 (passed) is applied to students within the best 23% of the population. Another 17-21% obtain a Fachabitur limiting their university choices to more application oriented studies at a Fachhochschule ("University of Applied Sciences") in a field they majored in for their Fachgebundene Hochschulreife. The public often use the name Fachabitur for the Fachgebundene Hochschulreife graduation. Consequently, even a 4 (pass) in a university exam is awarded to students within the top 23% (or top 40% for Fachhochschule) group of the German population.

In former East Germany, a 5-point grading scale was used until July of 1991, where:

  • 1 (very good) was the best possible grade.
  • 2 (good) was the next-highest.
  • 3 (satisfactory) indicates average performance.
  • 4 (sufficient) was the lowest passing grade.
  • 5 (insufficient) was the lowest possible grade and the only failing grade.

The textual form of the grades was:

  • 1 sehr gut
  • 2 gut
  • 3 befriedigend
  • 4 genügend
  • 5 ungenügend

This scale is identical to the current Austrian grading scale.

In German universities (besides the law schools) also the 1 to 5 scale for the grade (Note / Zensur) is used:

  • 1 sehr gut (very good: an outstanding achievement)
  • 2 gut (good: an achievement, which lies substantially over average requirements)
  • 3 befriedigend (satisfactory: an achievement, which corresponds to average requirements)
  • 4 ausreichend (sufficient: an achievement, which still meets the requirements)
  • 5 nicht ausreichend / nicht bestanden (not sufficient / failed: an achievement, which does not meet the requirements)

Sometimes, esp. with a Dr. Phil. (D.Phil. / Ph.D.) also the Latin versions are used for the grading (here then the grade (Note / Zensur) is called Prädikat):

  • summa cum laude (0 = mit Auszeichnung, "with honor")
  • magna cum laude (1 = sehr gut, "very good")
  • cum laude (2 = gut, "good")
  • rite (3 = bestanden, "passed")

There is no grade for failing then, because in that case the dissertation is just formally rejected, without any kind of grading.

For law students at German universities, a similar system to the 1 to 5 scale is used that comprises one more grade that is inserted between 2 (gut) and 3 'befriedigend', named "vollbefriedigend." This is due to the fact that the grades "gut" and "sehr gut" are extremely rare, so an additional grade was created below "gut" to increase differentiation. Every grade is converted into points very much like the Gymnasium system described above, starting at 18 points (excellent) down to 0 points (poor). 4 points is the lowest passing grade.

Often the German grades are treated like an interval scale to calculate means and deviations for comparisons. Despite it lacks any psychometric standardization, the grading system is also used like a normal distributed statistical scale for norm-referenced assessments (with an expected value of 3 and a standard deviation of 1). So, transformations into other statistical measures like Percentiles, T, Stanine etc. or (like in the PISA studies) the very often used IQ are then possible, here e.g. a transformation into Percentiles and IQ:

  • 1.0: 98%, 130
  • 2.0: 84%, 115
  • 3.0: 50%, 100
  • 4.0: 16%, 85
  • 5.0: 2%, 70

(note: this is the statistical norm IQ (expected value of 100, standard deviation of 15) which is nowadays widely used outside of intelligence tests, and which is not a measure for intelligence!)

This transformation is - as mentioned above - highly questionable at the least. E.g., substantially far more than 14% (>4.0) of German students at universities fail in an exam (usually about 20-40%, often even more, in very rare cases at technical universities up to 98% fail an individual exam as they first try and know they are entitled to a second chance). Grades awarded vary widely between fields of study and between universities/schools. In reality, nevertheless, independent from field and school students normally have to get more than half of the tasks given within an examination right to even pass it (to get a 4.0). So, also the reality contradicts the treatment of grades as statistical norms.

Also, it must be taken into account that in Germany education (at school as well as at university) is still not only about learning but also a great deal about permanent selection (whereas the criteria of selection are widely criticized, esp. the underlying principles of grading used in Germany). The selection might be one reason for the (in comparison) low succession rates at university as well as for the small number of people who obtain an "Abitur" in the first place. However, several empirical psychological studies show that the grades awarded in Germany at school and university have only a low reliability (and therefore extremely weak validity)[9]. Only a GPA from school is a mild (weak) predictor for success in school, university and to a slightly better degree for success in vocational trainings, and GPAs from school or university have nearly no predictive value for job performance[10]. In Germany, due to the lack of German psychometric tests (like the Scholastic Aptitude Test(SAT) or the Graduate Record Examination(GRE) and the like in the US) mainly the GPA is used (has to be used as the most valid criterion available) as the only criterion within an application process. In the work field the grades have a high impact on career opportunities, scientific based recruitment and assessment is still only used by less than 8% of the German employers (in the other European countries 50-70%)[11].


There are four grading systems in Greece; two for primary education -grades 1 to 3 and 4 to 6-, one for secondary education and one for higher education. The primary education grading system for grades 1 to 3 is as follows, with letters being used:

  • A -excellent
  • B -very good
  • Γ -good
  • Δ, Ε -fail

The primary education grading system changes after grade 4, where numbers only are used:

  • 9-10 -excellent
  • 7-8 -very good
  • 5-6 -good
  • 1-4 -fail

The grading system's range is widened in secondary school, and ranges from 1 to 20. Each grade from every individual subject from a total of 13 is worth one point:

  • 18 6/13-20 -excellent
  • 15-18 5/13 -very good
  • 12 6/13-14 12/13 -good
  • 10-12 5/13 -average
  • 1-10 -fail

In higher education, the primary grading system from grades 4 to 6 is used, with the addition of zero and non-integral grades:

  • 8.5-10 -excellent
  • 7-8.4 -good
  • 5-6.9 -satisfactory
  • 4-4.9 -poor
  • 0-3.9 -unsatisfactory [2]


In Hungary the 5-point grade system is used. There are only whole numbers in the report cards, but to grade exams, there are fractions (such as 3/4, which is between 3 and 4) also. Some teachers use lines above (rarely) or under (more commonly) the numbers to draw a clearer distinction: 4, (4-minus) is worse than a 4 but better than a 3 a 3' (3-plus), or a 3/4 (3 < 3' < 3/4 < 4, < 4); sometimes they even use multiple lines, such as 5,,. For an unusually good performance, the grade 5* can be awarded, but that is less frequently used in secondary schools. 1 is the only failing grade. When grading a student's attitude or diligence, only the grades 2-5 are used.


In Irish secondary schools grades are awarded using letters along this scale:

  • A: 100% - 85%
  • B: 84% - 70%
  • C: 69% - 55%
  • D: 54% - 40%

Anything below 40% is considered a failing grade and is awarded an E (40% - 25%) or F (25% - 10%) grade. Any score below 10% is classed as NG or No Grade. At Higher Level a C grade and above is considered an 'Honor' grade. For some purposes the grade letter ranges are further sub-divided from 15% ranges to 5% ranges yielding grades A+, A, A−, B+, B, B−, etc. (or A1, A2, B1, B2, B3...).

Leaving Certificate results are measured by the number of 'points' awarded to the student. It is usually the amount of points awarded to the student that forms the basis for the student's acceptance or otherwise into a course of higher education (e.g. a university degree course). A number of points between 0 and 100 are awarded to the student for each Leaving Certificate exam sat. The student then combines the points from his or her six top scoring exams giving a final total score between 0 and 600. The number of points awarded for a particular grade depend on whether the student sat the exam for the 'Higher Level' course or the 'Ordinary Level' course. The number of points awarded for each grade at the two levels are as follows:

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

Anything below a D3 is considered a failing grade, and no points are awarded.


In Italian primary school, a 5-point grading scale is used, where:

  • Ottimo (excellent)
  • Distinto (good)
  • Buono (average)
  • Sufficiente (pass)
  • Non Sufficiente (non pass)

In high school a 10-point scale is used , being 6 the minimum grade for passing. Specifications such as +, −, "double minus" ("="), half grades ("double plus") and grades like 6/7 are often used. Note that the grades used in primary school are derived from this scale, with Non Sufficiente meaning "5 and under", and the other grades standing respectively for 7, 8, 9, 10. A 10 is very rare to score, as well as a 1. The weakest grade you normally can get is a 3 or a 4= ("4 minus minus"). An 8 is usually considered as a good grade, whilst 9 yet is an excellent grade. The average grade goes between and 7 and 8.

Universities in Italy use a 30-point scale simply divided in two, non passing (0 to 17 points), and passing grades (18 to 30 points), for ordinary exams, and a 110-point scale for the final dissertation, divided in two as well, being 66 the minimum grade for passing. For outstanding results the Lode "praise", is added at the maximum grade.

ECTS grading Scale
ECTS Grade Definition  % of successful students Corresponding Italian grades
A Excellent 10% 30-30 Laude
B Very Good 25% 27-29
C Good 30% 24-26
D Satisfactory 25% 19-23
E Sufficient 10% 18
FX Fail 14-17
F Fail 0-13

To someone familiar with both the Italian and the U.S. college systems, Italian grades are best translated into American grades (and vice versa) according to the following table:

U.S. Grade Definition Corresponding Italian grades
A−, A, A+ Excellent 28-30 Lode
B−, B, B+ Good 25-27
C−, C, C+ Satisfactory 21-24
D−, D, D+ Barely passing 18-20
E or F Fail 0-17


The grading system in Latvia has been changed to a 10-point grading system. 10 is the highest achievable grade, while 1 is awarded for extremely poor performance. The minimal passing grade is 4 (though some universities have a minimum passing grade of 5). The absence of any kind of performance is awarded with 'nv' (nav vērtējuma - no grade). Teachers in lower classes are encouraged to award one of two grades 'i' (ieskaitīts) for a passing grade and 'n/i' (neieskaitīts) when the performance is not acceptable.


In Lithuania, the grading system has been changed to a 10-point one. 10 is the highest achievable grade for an excellent performence and 1 is the lowest. Usually 1 is written when where is no work present at all, as most teachers tend to keep 2 the lowest grade and they would rarely write 1. Some teachers would not write 1 and write 2 even when there is no work present.

The minimal grade for passing is usually 4, although some universities can choose it to be 5.

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

Some subjects (like Physical Culture or Music) can be chosen to only have įsk - įskaityta (passed) or neįsk - neįskaityta (not passed).


See Romania

Netherlands, The

Main article: Education in the Netherlands#Grading

In The Netherlands, grades from 1.0 up to 10.0 are used, with 1 being worst and 10 being best. 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.

The grade scale with the labels:

  • 10 (excellent)
  • 9 (very good)
  • 8 (good)
  • 7 (more than sufficient)
  • 6 (sufficient)
  • 5 (insufficient)
  • 4 (strongly insufficient)
  • 3 (very strongly insufficient)
  • 2 (bad)
  • 1 (very bad)

Usually 5.5 and up constitute 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 a fail. Sometimes, when no decimal place is used, an additional grade, 6−, is used as "barely passed". In contrast with the usual interpretation as a 5.75, this grade represents what would have been a 5.5 if a decimal place were used. In some other situations, the decimal point is expressly forbidden to be used for any grade between 5.0 and 6.0, so that graders are forced to specify a clear pass/fail decision.

Depending on the grade, several honors are available, including met genoegen and cum laude. This honor system is typically only used at universities. For an average grade of at least 7, but not meeting the criteria for cum laude, met genoegen (with pleasure) is usually awarded. The criteria for the cum laude honor vary, usually requiring at least an 8 or 8.5 average grade. Various other conditions often apply as well, such as receiving no grades below a certain limit (6 or 7), or finishing within certain time bounds.


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), 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).

Lower levels of education use a scale running from 0 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 postfixed with + or − (except 6+ and 0−) and it is also common to use grades such as 5/6 or 4/3 indicating borderline grades. But the grades you have on you final paper is only 2,3,4,5 or 6. The grading scale looks like this:

  • 1
  • 1+ it must be over the the straight 1
  • 1/2
  • 2/1
  • 2−
  • 2
  • 2+
  • 2/3
  • 3/2
  • 3−
  • 3
  • 3+
  • 3/4
  • 4/3
  • 4−
  • 4
  • 4+
  • 4/5
  • 5/4
  • 5−
  • 5
  • 5+
  • 5/6
  • 6/5
  • 6−
  • 6 (highest grade)


At Poland's primary, middle and high schools a 1 to 6 point grade system is used, with 1 - fail, 2 - pass but very low performance, 3 - satisfactory, 4 - good, 5 - very good and 6 - above requirements (the student's knowledge exceeds what is taught). Until the 1990's, there was a 2 to 5 grade system with plus and minus marks, such as: 3− (passed but barely), or 4+ (between good and very good). Since the mid-90s, Polish primary and secondary schools expanded this system to include the sixth grade. At universities, a traditional four-point system is used; the grades are: 2.0 (fail), 3.0 (pass), 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0 (very good, the highest grade). Some universities use non-standard, additional 5.5 and 6.0 grades.


In Portuguese middle-schools the 5-1 central European system is used, please see that entry. In high-schools and universities the 20-point grading scale is used.


In Romanian primary school, a 4-point grading scale is used, where:

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

In secondary schools, high schools and universities a 10-point scale is used, 5 being the minimum grade for passing. Specifications such as + and −, half grades, and grades like 6/7 are sometimes used. Note that the grades used in primary school are derived from this scale, with Insufficient meaning "4 and under", and the other grades standing respectively for 5-6, 7-8, 9-10. A 10 is not rare to score, especially in low-interest subjects. An 9 is usually considered an excellent grade. The average grade goes between 7 and 8. A very poor performance is usually awarded a 3 or 4, while a 1 is often reserved for cases of academic dishonesty or some other unacceptable behavior. Grades with 2 decimal digits can also be awarded, e.g. 7.38 means "'very' satisfactory", although in the register (catalog, where grades are written) the grade will be rounded. Grades with 2 decimal digits can also be awarded in certificates of final examinations in secondary schools, but in that case this are not rounded.

The same system (10-point scale) is used in Moldova, including in the primary school.[12]


In Serbia a five-point grading scale is used in elementary schools and secondary schools, where:

  • 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.

At universities, a six-point grading scale is used, where:

  • 10 (excellent)
  • 9 (very good)
  • 8 (very good)
  • 7 (good)
  • 6 (sufficient) is the lowest passing grade
  • 5 is failing grade.

Slovak Republic

In Slovak Republic there is a five-point grading scale used in primary schools.

Grade Meaning
1 Best possible grade.
2 Slightly worse than 1.
 3 Worse than 2.
4 Slightly better than 5, below the average.
5 Failing grade.


In Slovenia a five-point grading scale is used in elementary schools and high schools, where:

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

In universities a ten-point grading scale is used, where:

  • 10 (excellent) is the best possible grade
  • 9 (very good)
  • 8 (very good)
  • 7 (good)
  • 6 (sufficient) is the lowest passing grade
  • 5 or less are failing grades.


In Spain there is a ten-point grading scale used in elementary schools and high schools where:

  • 9-10 is the best possible grade and is called "sobresaliente" ("outstanding"). 10 is also sometimes called "Matrícula de Honor" or "Mención de Honor", but this distinctions are usually limited to a low number of students per course, because they often imply tuition waves for the following course.
  • 7-8 is called "notable bajo" ("low remarkable") or "notable alto" ("high remarkable")
  • 6 is called "bien" ("good")
  • 5 is the lowest passing grade and is called "suficiente" ("sufficient")
  • 3-4 is called "insuficiente" ("insufficient", as from this mark it's a "fail")
  • 0-2 is the lowest possible grade and is called "muy deficiente" (literally "very defficient")

In universities, the scale is retained, but 6 is no longer called "bien" and there are not difference between "notable alto" and "notable bajo". Instead, 5-6 is called "suficiente" and 7-8 is called "notable". "Matricula de Honor" or 10, is given to less than 1% of the student population at university level.

ECTS grading scale
ECTS Grade Definition Spanish Grade Definition University Spanish Academic Record Grade
A Excellent 10 Matrícula de Honor 4
B Very Good 9-9.9 Sobresaliente 3
C Good 7-8.9 Notable 2
D-E Sufficient 5-6.9 Suficiente 1
FX-F Fail 0-4.9 Insuficiente


These grades are used in the Grundskola (primary school) and the Gymnasium (secondary school):

  • MVG - Mycket väl godkänd (Passed with special distinction)
  • VG - Väl godkänd (Passed with distinction)
  • G - Godkänd (Passed)
  • IG - Icke godkänd (Fail) (Only in the gymnasium, which resembles grades 10-12. In mandatory school IG is represented by a "−")

When grading tests, the following limits are sometimes used:

  • >90% of the possible points of the test - MVG
  • >75% - VG
  • >50% - G
  • <50% - IG

but the grades relate to stated goals and not to a certain percentile of students.

Until 1994 relative grades on the scale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 were used. The scale was intended to have a national average of 3 and a standard deviation of 1, where 5 was the highest grade.

Up until 1962 yet another scale was used:

  • A - Berömlig (Passed with great distinction)
  • a - Med utmärkt beröm godkänd (Passed with distinction)
  • AB - Med beröm godkänd (Passed with great credit)
  • Ba - Icke utan beröm godkänd (Passed with credit)
  • B - Godkänd (Passed)
  • Bc - Icke fullt godkänd (Not entirely passable)
  • C - Underkänd (Fail)

A was the highest grade, but rarely given.

Universities (such as Stockholm University), with some exceptions, use the grading:

  • VG - Väl godkänd (Passed with distinction)
  • G - Godkänd (Passed)
  • U - Underkänd (Fail)

Many of these universities are in a transition phase towards the ECTS credit system with an A to F grading, where A is the highest, following the Bologna process.

The Stockholm School of Economics uses:

  • Ber - Berömlig (Excellent)
  • MBG - Med beröm godkänd (Pass with distinction)
  • G - Godkänd (Pass)

Engineering colleges and universities such as KTH or Chalmers use a truncated five-point numeric scale, where 5 is the highest possible grade:

  • 5 (>=80%)
  • 4 (60%-79%)
  • 3 (40%-59%)
  • U - Underkänd (Fail)

School of Economics and Commerce Law, Gothenburg University uses the same system as Stockholm University:

  • VG - Väl godkänd (Passed with distinction >=75%)
  • G - Godkänd (Passed 50%-74% )
  • U - Underkänd (Fail <50%)


In Switzerland, usually a 6-point grading scale similar to that in Germany is used, but in reverse order and with a higher failing grade. In the Canton of Waadt, the scale goes up to 10 points.

  • 6 (very good) is the best possible grade.
  • 5 (good) is a good grade.
  • 4 (sufficient) is the lowest grade that suffices to pass an exam.
  • 3 (insufficient) is a failing grade.
  • 2 (poor) is a low failing grade.
  • 1 (very poor) is the worst possible grade.

Every grade below 4 is a failing grade, so a 3.9 is considered insufficient. Grade averages between 5.5 and 6 are very rare, an average of a 6 is mostly impossible. In exams, quarter steps are usually used to indicate grades in between integer grades, for example 5.25. Sometimes, finer grained systems are used with steps of one tenth. This is often the case in exams where the grade is a linear function of the number of achieved points (Grade = achieved_point/max_points*5 + 1). In certificates, grades are either rounded to integers or to half integers. After having rounded the individual grades, a weighted mean is used to calculate the overall result. The weight of a grade is normally proportional to the number of hours the according subject was taught per week. To pass a year, this overall result needs to be sufficient. Sometimes further conditions need to be fulfilled, such as a maximum allowed number of grades below four. At university level, classes can often be repeated individually in case of an insufficient grade, so not the whole year or semester needs to be repeated.

In a typical exam, the average result will be somewhat above 4 with a variance between 0.5 and 1. This of course varies depending on the kind of exam, the tested class, the school level, the region, the teacher and other factors.

Since education is in the responsibility of the cantons (except for the federal universities), grading notations may differ depending on the region. In some regions, + and − are used to indicate marks below or above an integer. Sometimes the − is used to indicate a better grade if it stands after the grade and a lower grade if it stands before the grade (in which case − is a symbol for "bis" 'to' rather than 'minus'), for example −5 is lower than 5 which is lower than 5− in that system.

At university level, Latin expressions are used in some cases. The Latin grades for a passed final exam in law at the University of Zurich for example are "summa cum laude" (excellent), "magna cum laude" (very good), "cum laude" (good) and "rite" (sufficient). Promotionsordnung der Rechtswissenschaftlichen Fakultät (German). URL accessed on August 5, 2005.


Ukraine has introduced some invention in grading system after 2002.

New system provides grades that lay within 1 and 12 and matched with 5-point grade system used before by the following way:

Ukrainian ex-USSR Oral analog
12 5+ Perfect
11 5 Excellent
10 5− Almost excellent
9 4+ Very good
8 4 Good
7 4− Mearly good
6 3+ Above satisfactory
5 3 Satisfactory
4 3−
3 2+
2 2 Unsatisfactory
1 2−

United Kingdom

Main article: Grades in the United Kingdom



Main article: Grading in Australia

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 grading system is now structured as follows, though the percentages are only an approximate guide:

  • A (Excellent) 75% and above
  • B (Good) 65-74%
  • C (Average) 50-64%
  • D (Below Average) 40-49%
  • F(Failure) 39% and below
Letter Percentile
A 75-above
B 65-74
C 50-64
D 40-49
F 39-below

Most Australian tertiary institutions use close variations of the following grading structure:

  • HD (High Distinction) 85% and above
  • D (Distinction) 75-84%
  • Cr (Credit Pass) 65-74%
  • P (Pass) 50-64%
  • F1 (Fail level 1) 45-49%
  • F2 (Fail level 2) below 45%

Many courses also have Non-Graded Pass (NGP) and Non-Graded Fail (F), where 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. They are calculated according to more complicated formula than some other nations:

Grade Point Average (GPA) = Sum of (grade points × course unit values) / total number of credit points attempted

Where grade points are as follows:

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

Where a course result is a Non-Graded Pass, the result will only be included if the GPA is less than 4, and will be assigned the grade point of 4, otherwise NGP results will be disregarded.

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. For example, in New South Wales, the UAI (Universities Admissions Index) determines tertiary positions. Government Supported Positions are given to students that achieve above a certain UAI threshold. (An example of this is a UAI of 85 for Civil Engineering at the University of New South Wales[13]) The value of the UAI corresponds with the percentile the student is placed within the state of New South Wales.

New Zealand

Official Name Common Name Defination
Achievement with excellence Excellence / E The candidate has demonstrated in depth understanding of the material tested
Achievement with merit Merit / M The candidate has met the criteria of the standard which demonstrates substantial knowledge of the material tested
Achievement Achieved / A The candidate met the criteria of the standard to a level which demonstrates adequate understanding of the material tested
Not achieved Not achieved / NA Fail
University grading system (at University of Auckland)
Grade Percentage Grade Value Averaged GPA
A+ 85-100 9 8.5-9
A 80-84 8 7.5-8.49
A− 75-79 7 6.5-7.49
B+ 70-74 6 5.5-6.49
B 65-69 5 4.5-5.49
B− 60-64 4 3.5-4.49
C+ 55-59 3 2.5-3.49
C 50-54 2 1.5-2.49
D 40-49 0 0.4-0.49
E 0-39 0 0.0-0.39

D and E are fail grades. Grade Value is used to convert Grade into GPA. (eg A+ = 9) Averaged GPA is used to convert GPA bact into Grade. (eg 8.57 = A+)


  1. Postman, Neil (1992). Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology (in English), 13, New York City: Alfred A. Knopf.
  2. "European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System". EUROPA: Education and Training.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System: What are the key features of ECTS?". EUROPA: Education and Training.
  4. Graduate admissions. The American University in Cairo.
  6. (63.4 KiB), section 13.2
  7. (39.3 KiB), section UG5
  8. (99.2 KiB), section 21.4
  9. Ingenkamp, K. (1997). "Handbuch der Pädagogischen Diagnostik". Weinheim: Beltz (Psychologie Verlags Union).
  10. Hollmann, H. & Reitzig, G. (1995). "Referenzen und Dokumentenanalyse. In W. Sarges (Hrsg.), Management-Diagnostik (2. Aufl.)". Göttingen: Hogrefe.
  11. Schuler, H. (2000). "Personalauswahl im europäischen Vergleich. In E. Regnet & L. M. Hoffmann (Hrsg.). Peronalmanagement in Europa.". Göttingen: Hogrefe.
  12. Grading scale in Moldova

External links

da:Karakter (bedømmelse) de:Schulnoteno:Karaktersystemer i Norge nn:Karakterru:Отметка sv:Betyg

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