Grading System in Australia

Grading in education is the process of applying standardised measurements of varying degrees of achievement in a course.

School Education

Primary and Secondary Schools:

Primary and Secondary Schools follow a universal common assessment and reporting standards legislation in order to get federal funding for their schools. The school reports are sent to parents twice a year for Years 1 to 10 using A-F grades.

 Grade Percentage Range
 A (Excellent)
 85 and above
 B (Good) 70-84
 C (Satisfactory) 51-69
 D (Limited)
 E (Very Low)
 F (Failed) or UG (Un-Graded) 25 and below

The descriptors for these grades will appear on the front cover of student reports:
  • A = Evidence of learning demonstrates outstanding achievement at this year level
  • B = Evidence of learning demonstrates high achievement at this year level
  • C = Evidence of learning demonstrates sound achievement at this year level
  • D = Evidence of learning demonstrates limited achievement at this year level
  • E = Evidence of learning demonstrates very limited achievement at this year level.

Tertiary Education

Australian Universities issues results for each subject. The majority of the Australian tertiary institutions use the following grading structure:

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

Where HD: High Distinction; D: Distinction; Cr: Credit; P: Pass; and F: Fail.

Honours System

Some Australian universities have a grading system based on the Honours system used at Oxford and Cambridge: In Schools reports they use these systems: 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)

Where H1: First Class Honours; H2A: Second Class Honours Division A; H2B: Second Class Honours Div B; H3: Third Class Honours; P: Pass; and N: Fail

Grade Point Average

GPAs are considered for selection into the graduate entry courses such as Medicine and Law. Grade Point Average (GPA) = Sum of (grade points x 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

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.

Also, the High School Certificates are given. These certificates system varies from state to state. 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. The value of the ATAR corresponds with their year 7 cohort, including students that did not complete year 12.  For Example: An ATAR of 80.00 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.

Common Grading System in Australia at a Glance:

 Scale 2Grade Description
 US Grade
 HD 7.00 83.00 - 100.00 High Distinction (A ) First Class A
 D 6.00 - 6.99 73.00 - 82.99 Distinction (A) Second Class, Upper Division A
 C 5.00 - 5.99 63.00 - 72.99 Credit (B) Second Class, Lower Division B
 P 4.00 - 4.99 50.00 - 62.99 Pass (C) Third Class C
 N 0.00 - 3.99 0.00 - 49.99 Fail

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