Grading Systems in Australia Explained: GPAs, Scale, ATAR | Study in Australia • OzStudies (2023)

Grading Systems in Australia Explained: GPAs, Scale, ATAR | Study in Australia • OzStudies (1)

The academic grading system varies from one country to the other. In Australia, students may need help understanding the grading system.

Understanding that every university, institute, or state may have a different grading system in Australia is essential. Therefore, you must check with the university, college or high school about their grading system.

This blog explains Australian grading systems, scales and GPAs for universities, high schools, colleges and vocational education and training providers (VET). You will also learn what a good GPA is and what the highest GPAs are.

Basic Australian University Grading Scale

The table below demonstrates the general grading system common among most Australian universities. It’s important to note that these universities might have minor variations in their grading scales.

The university grading scale below is relevant to Australian undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs. You will also find equivalent American and British grades mentioned next to the Australian grades.

Australian Grade

Grade Name

Percentage (%)

GPA Scale

US Equivalent

UK Equivalent

HDHigh Distinction83 - 1007A +First Class
DDistinction73 - 82.996 - 6.99ASecond Class
Upper Division
CCredit63 - 72.995 - 5.99BSecond Class
Lower Division
PPass50 - 62.994 - 4.99CThird Class
NFail0 - 49.990 - 3.99FFail

University Grading Systems In Different States And Territories of Australia

1. New South Wales (NSW)

The state of New South Wales is a popular study destination in Australia. It is home to several famous universities:

  • Australian Catholic University

  • Charles Sturt University

  • Macquarie University

  • Southern Cross University

  • University of New England

  • University of New South Wales

  • University of Newcastle

  • University of Sydney

  • The University of Technology Sydney

  • University of Wollongong

  • Western Sydney University

The table below shows the grade scale followed by universitiesinNew South Wales:

Australian Grade

Grade Name

Grade Scale (%)

US Equivalent

HDHigh Distinction85 - 100A +
DDistinction75 - 84.99A
CRCredit65 - 74.99B
P or PWPass50 - 64.99C
FFail0 0 49.99F

Note: There is another grade known as Pass Conceded (PC), which allows progression to some other course under mitigating circumstances.

2. Victoria (VIC)

Victoriais known for its renowned education system worldwide. It boasts around nine different universities, including:

  • Deakin University

  • Federation University Australia

  • La Trobe University

  • Monash University

  • RMIT University

  • Swinburne University of Technology

  • University of Melbourne

  • Victoria University

The table below shows the grading system followed by universities in Victoria:

Australian Grade

Grade Name

US Equivalent

AHighest GradeA +
ELowest grade needed to passD

3. Queensland (QLD)

Queenslandhas some top-ranking universities worldwide, including:

  • Bond University

  • CQUniversity

  • Griffith University

  • James Cook University

  • Queensland University of Technology

  • University of Queensland

  • University of Southern Queensland

  • University of the Sunshine Coast

The table below shows the grade scale followed by universities inQueensland:

Australian Grade

Grade Name

Grade Scale

US Equivalent

HDHigh Distinction7A +
DDistinction6 - 6.99A
CRCredit5 - 5.99B
PPass (the lowest passing grade)4 - 4.99C
FFail1 - 3.99F

4. South Australia (SA)

The state ofSouth Australiahas some of the best universities in Australia, which include:

  • Flinders University

  • Torrens University Australia

  • University of Adelaide

  • University of South Australia

The table below shows the grade scale followed by universities inSouth Australia:

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

5. Western Australia (WA)

The state ofWestern Australiaconsists of several universities. Some are the:

  • Curtin University

  • Edith Cowan University

  • Murdoch University

  • University of Notre Dame Australia

  • University of Western Australia

The table below shows the grade scale followed by universities inWestern Australia:

Australian GradeGrade NameGrade Scale (%)US Equivalent
HDHigh Distinction80 - 100A
AExcellent Achievement80 - 100A
BHigh Achievement70 - 79.99B
CSound Achievement60 - 69.99C
DLimited Achievement
(lowest grade needed to pass)
50 - 59.99D
EFail0 - 49.99F

6. Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

The two major tertiary institutions of higher education in theAustralian Capital Territoryinclude:

  • TheUniversity of Canberra

  • Australian National University

The table below shows the grade scale followed by universities in theAustralian Capital Territory:

Australian Grade

Grade Name

Grade Scale (%)

US Equivalent

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

Note:There is also an ‘S’ grade, which is used when unavoidable circumstances prevent students from being granted A to E grading scale percentages in Australia.

7. The Northern Territory (NT)

TheNorthern Territoryof Australia is home to two universities:

  • Charles Darwin University

  • Flinders University

The table below shows the grade scale followed by both universities:

Australian Grade

Scale 1

Scale 2

US Equivalent

A517 - 20A
B4 - 4.9914 - 16.99B
C3 - 3.9911 - 13.99C
D2 - 2.998 - 10.99D
E1 - 1.990 - 7.99F

8. Tasmania (TAS)

The island stateof Tasmaniais home to only one University, the University of Tasmania, but it also hosts the famous TasTAFE.

The table below shows the grade scale, followed by the University of Tasmania:

Australian Grade

Grade Name

Grade Scale

US Equivalent

EAExcellent Achievement4A +
HAHigh Achievement3.5 - 3.99A
CACommendable Achievement3 - 3.49B
SASatisfactory Achievement2.5 - 2.99C
PAPreliminary Achievement2 - 2.49D

Honors Degree Grading

The grades might look different if you want to pursue an honours degree in Australia.

Compared to a standard undergraduate degree, an honours degree involves an additional year of study.Here’s what the honours degree grades look like:

Australian Grade

Grade Name

Percentage (%)

H1First Class Honours80 and above
H2ASecond Class Honours - A Division74 - 79
H2BSecond Class Honours - B Division70 - 74
H3Third Class Honours65 - 69
PPass50 - 64
NFail49 and below

VET (Vocational Education andTraining) Grades

TheVocational Education Systemin Australia includesDiplomas, Advanced Diplomas, and Certificates(I to IV). Most VET qualifications only have two grades, meaning you are competent (Pass) or incapable (Fail).

If your institute gives you a graded score, your scores can be similar to university grades. But primarily, vocational courses are based on competency levels.

The table below shows the grades provided by the Vocational Education Institutes:


Grade Name

Percentage (%)

NYCNot Yet Competent (Fail)0%
CCompetent (Pass)100%

Australian High School Grading System

Australia'sPrimary, Secondary, and Senior Secondary educationsystems incorporate Years 1 to 12. Every state and territory might have a slightly different grading system forhigh school, but generally, most grades fall between A to F.

An international student can take up education in Australia after age 6, and a student result report is given at least twice a year to their parents.

So, if you are an overseas or domestic student who wants to study at a primary, secondary, or senior secondary level (high school), then you will have the following grades:


Grade Name

Percentage (%)

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

What Is aGPA in Australia?

The grade point average (GPA) is the average result of all your grades and depends on a four or seven-point grading scale.

To calculate the GPA score, you need to multiply the sum of all grade points with the course unit values and then divide it by the total number of credit points.

The standard formula for calculating an Australian GPA is the sum of grade points x course unit values / by the total number of credit points. Let's look at the formula below:

GPA = Sum of ( Grade Point × Credit Points ) ÷ Sum of ( Credit Points )

  • GPA= Grade Point Average

What Are ATAR Scores In Australia?

The ATAR is a score that ranges between 0 and 99.95, with increments of 0.05. The topmost rank is 99.95, followed by 99.90, and so on. Any rank below 30.00 is not reported specifically and is denoted as 'less than 30'.

ATAR scores are an essential component of the Australian education system. If a student's ATAR score is 80, they have performed better than 80% of all other final-year students across Australia.

Also, if a student exceeds a certain ATAR level, they will be offered Government-sponsored opportunities.

  • ATAR= Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks

Frequently Asked Questions On The Australian Grading System

1. What Is AGood GPA In UniversityAustralia?

A good GPA in Australia depends on the grading scale the University is using. Each state and territory has different grading scales:

  • When The UniversityFollows The GPA Scale of 4: GPAs between 3 and 4 are considered exceptional scores in Australian universities and among Australian employers. A GPA of 3 or 4 is a Distinction or Higher Distinction grade.
  • When The University Follows The GPA Scale of 7:GPAs between 6 and 7 are considered excellent scores in Australian universities and among employers. A GPA of 6 or 7 is a Distinction or Higher Distinction.

2. What Is The Highest GPA In Australia?

The highest GPA depends on the grading scale your university is using. You must check with your university to find the highest GPA. Australia has two different GPA scales, one reaching 4 and one 7.

The below shows the highest GPAs for the followinggrading scales:

If You Study at a University Where a GPA of 4Is The Highest:

  • 4 is the highest(HD)GPA, and 0 is the lowest(Fail).

If You Study at a University Where a GPA of 7 Is The Highest:

  • 7 is the highest(HD)GPA, and 0 is the lowest(Fail).

You must check with your school to know which grading scale to follow.

3. Is AGPA of 5.5 Good In Australia?

A GPA of 5.5 is considered a good one and above average in Australia. It is in the upper and higher range compared to lower GPAs.

4.What Are The Grades at University In Australia?

You can find below the most common grades for universities in Australia:

  • HD (High Distinction): You must achieve a score between 85 and 100% to receive this grade. For this, you must display an exceptional learning outcome.
  • DI (Distinction): The score range for this grade is between 75 and 84 %. To fall into this grading bracket, you must show a very high standard of learning outcomes.
  • CR (Credit): You receive this grade if you score between 65 and 74 % in your assignment or course. You must prove an excellent standard of learning outcome.
  • PS (Pass): You will receive this grade when you demonstrate an acceptable standard of learning outcomes for the unit. The score range is between 50 and 64 %.
  • FA (Fail): You will receive an "FA" grade when you fail to meet satisfactory learning outcomes of the courses or assignments. The score range is between 0 and 49.

5. What Grade Is 60%In Australia?

In most Australian states, achieving 60% in your course or assignment is a pass (P). However, this is different for Western Australia, where you receive a credit (C - Sound Achievement) when gaining 60%.

6. What Grade Is 70%In Australia?

In Australian universities and colleges, 70% is either a Credit (C), Distinction (D) or (B) High Achievement grade in Australia. The grading system in Australia differs in each state.

You can find below the grades in each state of Australia when achieving 70%:

  • New South Wales (NSW) - 70% - Grade: CR (Credit)

  • South Australia (SA) - 70% - Grade: CR (Credit)

  • Western Australia (WA) - 70% - Grade: B (High Achievement)

  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT) -70% - Grade: B (High Standard of Achievement)

7. What Grade Is 70% in High School?

For Primary, Secondary, and Senior Secondary education (High Schools) across Australia, achieving 70% in a course, subject, or assignment is a 'B" grade (Good).

8. Is 80% an A in Australian High Schools?

No. 80% is a "B" grade (Good) in high schools across Australia. To achieve an "A" grade (Excellent), you must earn at least 85% and above in any given subject, course, or assignment.

9. Is 75 % an A Grade In Australia?

For primary, secondary, or senior secondary schools (high schools), achieving 75% is a "B" grade (Good). For most universities or colleges, earning a grading score between 75 and 84 per cent is a Distinction (D) grade, the second-best Grade.

10. Is a C Grade a Pass in Australia?

A "C" is a satisfactory grade in Australian high schools.

However, for universities, the same grade is a "Credit". This applies to some New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australian universities.

In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the "C" grade is called the "Acceptable Standard of Achievement". And in Western Australia (WA), it is called "Sound Achievement".


So far, this is all that you need to remember, but if you want to learn more about the Australian grading system, you can visit the website of each educational institution.

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    What is an Australian 7.0 GPA scale? ›

    GPA of 6 and 7 are considered as an excellent score in Australian universities and among Australian employers. GPA of 6 or 7 means Distinction or Higher Distinction.

    What GPA scale does Australia use? ›

    Australia has two different GPA scales, one reaching 4 and one 7. The below shows the highest GPAs for the following grading scales: If You Study at a University Where a GPA of 4 Is The Highest: 4 is the highest (HD) GPA, and 0 is the lowest (Fail).

    What is a 4.0 GPA in Australia? ›

    ScaleDescriptionU.S. Grade
    4.00EA (Exceptional Achievement)A+
    3.5 – 3.99HA (High Achievement)A
    3 – 3.49CA (Commendable Achievement)B
    2.5 – 2.99SA (Satisfactory Achievement)C
    1 more row

    What is a 90 Atar in GPA? ›

    The Higher School Certificate (HSC) is the highest educational award you can achieve at secondary school in New South Wales.
    Letter GradeGrade PointsNumerical Value
    9 more rows
    Aug 25, 2021

    What is a 7.7 GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›

    Converting 10 point CGPA to 4 point GPA (S to cgpa converter)
    10 Point CGPAEquivalent 4 Point GPAUSA Grade Equivalent
    87 more rows

    What does Australia use instead of GPA? ›

    Some other universities, such as the University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, and University of Wollongong use a Weighted Average Mark (WAM) for the same purpose as a GPA.

    How is GPA calculated in Australia? ›

    A Grade Point Average is a numerical calculation, weighted by credit points, of the mean grades received over a defined study period (eg. semester/teaching period/year) or program, and is calculated by dividing the Grade Points achieved by the Credit Points achieved for each term/year/program.

    Is the GPA in Australia same to us? ›

    Because Australia uses a harder marking system. Different institutions calculate GPA in different ways - so its not comparable even across Australia - but a student with the same knowledge will typically get a lower score in an exam in an Australia than in the US.

    Is a 7.0 GPA good? ›

    It's a good and solid result, and it is the most commonly awarded grade in the Netherlands. It can be officially translated into meaning 'more than satisfactory', but most students will agree that a 7 is actually 'more than enough'.

    What is a 5.0 GPA in percentage in Australia? ›

    Percentage to GPA Conversion Chart for Australia
    Percentage RangeGradeGrade Point
    Above 85%HD(High Distinction)7.00
    75% - 84%D(Distinction)6.00
    65% - 74%Cr(Credit Pass)5.00
    3 more rows

    How do you convert GPA to percentage in Australia? ›

    The grading scale is HD – high distinction, D – distinction, C – credit, P – pass, F – fail. If you secure a 4.5 GPA then your percentage is 50%. The conversions for Australian universities are more or less the same for calculating GPA scores.
    GPA To Percentage in 4.3 Scale.
    LetterPercentage4.3 Scale
    9 more rows
    Mar 30, 2019

    What are the Australian grade levels to the US? ›

    In Australia, Primary School typically includes grades 1–7, and High School is grades 8–12. In the US, there are typically three schools: Elementary (grades 1–6), Middle (7–8) and High (9–12). Why are Australians considered to be wealthy in the United States?

    What is 90% as a grade Australia? ›

    Band 6 equals 90 – 100 marks. Band 5 equals 80 – 89 marks. Band 4 equals 70 – 79 marks. Band 3 equals 60 – 69 marks.

    What GPA is first class Honours Australia? ›

    Honours I (First Class Honours): Honours GPA of 6.50-7.00. Honours IIA (Second Class Honours, Division A): Honours GPA of 5.50 to 6.49. Honours IIB (Second Class Honours, Division B): Honours GPA of 4.50 to 5.49.

    Is GPA and ATAR the same? ›

    The higher the ATAR, the higher the student's first-year GPA is likely to be. Further, the ATAR is related to the likelihood of obtaining a failing first-year GPA (defined as less than 4). The higher the ATAR, the less likely the student would get a failing first-year GPA.

    What is a 99.95 ATAR in GPA? ›

    I got a 99.95 atar in 2016 and maintained a perfect 7.0 GPA in Uni.

    What is the average GPA in America? ›

    The average high school GPA in the US is 3.0, which also accounts for roughly 35% of students who don't end up applying for college. However, for college applicants, the average GPA is more likely between 3.5 and 4.0.

    What is a 9.0 GPA? ›

    GPA Conversion – 12.0 to 4.0 GPA Scale
    12.0 Point GPA4.0 Point GPAPercentage Grade
    9 more rows

    What percentage is 7.0 GPA? ›

    For example, you received 7 CGPA in 12th, then your total percentage of marks would be, 7×9.5= 66.5%.

    What is a 3.5 GPA on a 7.0 scale? ›

    3.5 GPA is a B+ Letter Grade or 87–89% – GPA Calculator.

    What is the equivalent of an Atar in America? ›

    As long as you pass high school, get your graduation certificate, you will have options in the US. But yes, it is what makes up your ATAR that schools in the US will look at. Then they will look at your grades from year 9 through 12 and come up with your cumulative GPA. So basically, an average of your grades.

    What is GPA of 7.0 in percentage? ›

    Percentage to GPA calculator
    80% – 84%A+8.0-8.4
    75% – 79%B+7.5-7.9
    70% – 74%B7.0-7.4
    65% – 69%B-6.5-6.9
    7 more rows
    Oct 18, 2022

    What is the GPA of scale 7 to percentage? ›

    To convert the 7 CGPA in to Percentage, you need to multiply your CGPA by 9.5 which is 7X9.5 = 66.5%.

    What is a 99 GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›

    To convert your GPA to a 4.0 scale:
    Letter GradePercent Grade4.0 Scale
    8 more rows
    Feb 23, 2023

    What is a 94 GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›

    GPA Scale
    Letter GradeGrade PointsNumerical Grade
    9 more rows

    How do I convert my GPA to a 4.0 scale? ›

    Calculate your GPA on a 4.0 scale

    “A” equals 4.0, “B” equals 3.0, “C” equals 2.0, and “D” equals 1.0. A grade of “F” equals 0.0. Some schools use pluses and minuses in their grading scale. For a plus, add 0.3 points.

    What is a 5.0 GPA? ›

    A five-point weighted average is given to students in an AP class that uses weighted grading for each of the four letter grades: As, Bs, Cs, and Ds. A student who only enrolls in AP courses and earns As will therefore have a GPA of 5.0.

    What is a 3.7 GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›

    A 3.7 GPA, or Grade Point Average, is equivalent to an A- letter grade on a 4.0 GPA scale. This means is equivalent to a 90-92%. The national average GPA is 3.0 which means a 3.7 is well above average.

    What is a 95 GPA on a 4.0 scale? ›

    A 4.0 GPA, or Grade Point Average, is equivalent to an A letter grade on a 4.0 GPA scale. This means it is equivalent to 93-95%. The national average GPA is 3.0 which means a 4.0 is far above average.

    How much is a 70 GPA? ›

    A 1.9 GPA, or Grade Point Average, is equivalent to a C- letter grade on a 4.0 GPA scale, and a percentage grade of 70–72.

    What is a 90 on a 5.0 GPA scale? ›

    How to calculate GPA on 5.0 Scale?
    GradePointPercentage range
    8 more rows
    Apr 4, 2022

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