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home > Grading scale systems
Grading scale systems

Grades describe a student’s performance at a particular level. A grading system usually includes a range of numbers, letters or descriptors indicating a level of achievement such as fail, pass or merit.

Grading systems and marking criteria vary among different education systems and often between different levels of education. Grades can be awarded based on internal (institutional) assessment or external examination, or both. The very nature of grading systems and grading cultures makes it difficult if not impossible to accurately convert grades from one system to another.

Very few official grade conversion tables are in operation between higher education systems. Accordingly, in the majority of cases, grade conversions are made directly by the admitting institution.

It is not advisable to undertake to convert grades when evaluating the information presented in academic documents (e.g. transcripts): grades are not translatable. It is important to examine the grades as presented in the official documents and look to understand them in the context of the education system of the country of origin to make the best possible assessment of the performance of a learner. 

Further information

If you have a question about the grading scale system in one of the ENIC-NARIC countries listed in the right column, please click on the name of the country and contact the national information centre of that country for expert assistance.

See also:

ECTS Users’ Guide - ECTS Grading Table

CIMEA - MAGNA CUM LAUDE: A worldwide database of University Grading Systems (CIMEA)

WES - International Grade Conversion Guide for Higher Education (USA)