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Australian Grading System – All you need to know

Australian Grading System for international students

Table of Contents

Academic grading systems differ from country to country. So if you’re an international student, you can find the Australian grading system confusing and hard to interpret. For instance, you may be worried about getting a ‘D,’ which is considered to be a low grade in other countries. However in Australia, it actually refers to a ‘Distinction’ grade.

Each university, institute, or state in Australia can use a different grading system. But we’ve summarised the general Australian grading systems below. So keep reading as we go through the Australian grading system for universities, high schools, and vocational schools!

Australian Grading System in Universities

If you are studying for an Undergraduate, Master’s, or Doctoral Degree at an Australian University, you will be assessed using the higher education grading system, which contains the terms below.

Percentage (%)AUUSUK
85 – 100HD – High DistinctionA+First Class
75 – 84.99D – DistinctionASecond Class – Upper Division
65 – 74.99C – CreditBSecond Class – Lower Division
50 – 64.99P – PassCThird Class
0 – 49.99F– FailFFail

HD – High Distinction

This score, which ranges from 85% to 100%, suggests that you have not only fulfilled the learning goals, but have demonstrated a detailed understanding of the course materials.

D – Distinction

Students who get between 75% and 84% receives a ‘Distinction’. It also means you’ve met the learning objectives and shown a high-level of understanding of the course materials.

CR – Credit

A ‘Credit’ represents the 65-74 percentile. Additionally, students who achieve this grade have shown a good understanding of the course material and have fulfilled the learning criteria.

P – Pass

A Pass is given to students who score between 50 and 64%. Moreover, if you receive a ‘Pass’, you have shown that you have met the course’s learning objectives and that you have a thorough understanding of the content.

PC – Conceded Pass

Students who earn 45-49% are granted a ‘Conceded Pass’ in a course that is not a requirement for future subjects or needed for some kind of professional accreditation.

F – Fail

This grade falls between 0% and 49%, indicating that the student has not met the course’s learning objectives and does not have a thorough understanding of the content.

The Grade Point Average (GPA) 

Some Australian universities use numeric grade points to help students measure their grade point average in addition to descriptive and percentage grades (GPA).

Your GPA is the weighted average of all of your grades earned during the semester, trimester, or even your entire university studies. It is determined by multiplying the numeric rating in a course by the amount of credits the course is worth, adding all of these numbers together, and dividing the total by the number of courses you have taken.

In Australia, there are two major ways to assign grade points: the 7-point scale and the 4-point scale. 

Percentage (%)7-point GPA Scale4-point GPA ScaleUSUK
85 – 10074.0A+First Class
75 – 84.996 to 6.993.0ASecond Class – Upper Division
65 – 74.995 to 5.992.0BSecond Class – Lower Division
50 – 64.994 to 4.991.0CThird Class
0 – 49.990 to 3.990.0FFail

Calculate your GPA using the 7-point scale with our calculator below!

7 POINT CALCULATOR Number of Credit Points
HD grade
D grade
Cr grade
P grade
F, FA, FH and FW grades
Please place a ‘0’ in grades where you did not obtain any credit points in

Your GPA is

If you want to calculate using the 4-point GPA scale, use our calculator below:

4 POINT CALCULATOR Number of Credit Points
HD or D grades
Cr grade
P grade
PC grade
F, FA, FH and FW grades
Please place a ‘0’ in grades where you did not obtain any credit points in

Your GPA is

Australian Grading System for TAFE and VET Courses

If you have selected a certificate or diploma program and will be receiving vocational training in Australia, you will be rated on a slightly different scale. The two most well-known vocational education systems are:

Technical and Further Education (TAFE) 

TAFE is a government-run program that offers post-secondary training and education in a variety of fields, including agriculture, beauty therapy, and construction. Every Australian state and territory has a TAFE institution.

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Meanwhile, VET includes all vocational training offered in Australia, including those offered by TAFE and private schools.

TAFE and VET courses are usually not graded. Conversely, students can be marked Competent or Not Yet Competent based on how they do in their assessments. In saying that, some TAFE and VET courses are graded, and students can earn one of the following marks:

Competent (CA/CY)

Students who earn this grade have proven that they have the ability to complete assessment tasks in their field of study correctly.

Competent with Merit/Credit (CM)

This mark indicates that you have demonstrated your competence and demonstrated a high degree of proficiency in your chosen field of study.

Competent with Distinction (CD)

This mark indicates that you have demonstrated your competence and demonstrated exceptional proficiency in your chosen field of study.

Not Yet Competent (CN)

This grade indicates that you have not yet demonstrated sufficient functional ability to complete evaluation tasks in your chosen field of study.

Australian Grading System Applied in Different States and Territories in Australia

New South Wales (NSW)

The state of New South Wales is one of the most popular study destinations in Australia. For instance, University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, and University of New Castle are just some of the famous universities found here. 

The grade scale used by New South Wales educational institutions is shown in the table below:

GradeGrade NameGrade Scale (%)US Equivalent
HDHigh Distinction85 to 100A +
DDistinction75 to 84.99A
CRCredit65 to 74.99B
P or PWPass50 to 64.99C
FFail0 to 49.99F

Victoria

Victoria is famous for its world-class education system. University of Melbourne, Monash University, Deakin University, Swinburne University of Technology, and La Trobe University are among the nine universities in the region.

The following table shows the ranking system used by Victoria’s educational institutions:

GradeGrade NameUS Equivalent
A A+
B A
C B
D C
ELowest grade needed to passD
FFailF

Queensland

Queensland is home to some of the world’s best universities, including Griffith University and the University of Queensland.

The grade scale used by Queensland’s educational institutions is shown in the table below:

GradeGrade NameGrade ScaleUS Equivalent
HDHigh Distinction7A+
DDistinction6 to 6.99A
CRCredit5 to 5.99B
PPass (the lowest passing grade)4 to 4.99C
FFail1 to 3.99F

South Australia

South Australia has some of Australia’s finest universities, including the University of Adelaide, Carnegie Mellon University, Flinders University, and the University of South Australia.

The grade scale used by South Australian educational institutions is shown in the table below:

GradeGrade NameGrade ScaleUS Equivalent
HDHigh Distinction85 to 100A+
DDistinction75 to 84.99A
CCredit65 to 74.99B
P1Pass Level 155 to 64.99B-
P2Pass Level 250 to 54.99C
F1Fail Level 1 (the lowest passing grade)40 to 49.99C-
F2Fail Level 230 to 39.99F

Western Australia

There are a number of universities in Western Australia. University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, and Murdoch University are only a handful of them.

The grade scale used by Western Australian educational institutions is shown in the table below:

GradeGrade NameGrade ScaleUS Equivalent
HDHigh Definition80 to 100A
AExcellent Achievement80 to 100A
BHigh Achievement70 to 79.99B
CSound Achievement60 to 69.99C
DLimited Achievement (lowest grade needed to pass)50 to 59.99D
EFail0 to 49.99F

Australian Capital Territory

The University of Canberra and the Australian National University are the two largest tertiary institutions of higher education in the Australian Capital Territory.

The grade scale used by educational institutions in the Australian Capital Territory is shown in the table below:

GradeGrade NameGrade ScaleUS Equivalent
AExtremely High Standard of Achievement85 to 100A
BHigh Standard of Achievement70 to 84.99B
CAcceptable Standard of Achievement50 to 69.99C
DLimited Standard of Achievement25 to 49.99D
EVery Limited Performance0 to 24.99F

Note: There is also a ‘S’ grade, which is used when students are unable to receive A to E grading scale percentages in Australia due to unforeseen circumstances.

Northern Territory

Charles Darwin University is the only tertiary education institution in Australia’s Northern Territory.

The following table shows the Charles Darwin University of the Northern Territory’s grade scale:

GradeScale 1Scale 2US Equivalent
A517 to 20A
B4 to 4.9914 to 16.99B
C3 to 3.9911 to 13.99C
D2 to 2.998 to 10.99D
E1 to 1.990 to 7.99F

Tasmania

The island state of Tasmania is home to only one university, the University of Tasmania, as well as the well-known TasTAFE.

The grade scale is shown below, followed by the University of Tasmania:

GradeGrade NameGrade ScaleUS Equivalent
EAExcellent Achievement4A+
HAHigh Achievement 3.5 to 3.99A
CACommendable Achievement3 to 3.49B
SASatisfactory Achievement2.5 to 2.99C
PAPreliminary Achievement2 to 2.49D

Australian Grading System in Primary, Secondary, and Senior Secondary School

Year 1 to Year 12 are used in Australia’s primary, intermediate, and senior secondary education programmes. In high school, of state and territory has its own grading scale, but the majority of grades fall between A and F.

After the age of six, an international student will start school in Australia, and their parents can receive a complete student outcome report at least twice a year.
If you are an international student interested in studying at the primary, intermediate, or senior secondary level, you will be marked based on the following grades:

GradeGrade NamePercentage
AExcellent85% and above
BGood70% to 84%
CSatisfactory51% to 69%
DLimited31% to 50%
EVery Low26% to 30%
FFailBelow 25%

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