A Complete Guide: Australian Grading System Explained

Graduation Caps Flying in front of the university (Australian Grading System) - Overseas Students Australia

It is quite obvious that the grading system varies from one country to the other. It can be quite challenging for overseas students to understand the Australian grading system, especially when they are new here.  We have seen overseas students getting upset about the “D” grade in the Universities and TAFEs, so we created this nifty guide about Australian grading system at various education levels.

Please note that each and every state, university or institute may have different percentages and grade names. You may need to check with your university or institute about the grading system they use.

Universities

First, let’s have a look at the university grading system. Although most universities will have similar grading scales which includes grades given below, some universities may have different percentage scales.

The grading scale given below is for the undergraduate (Bachelor Degree Programs) and postgraduate programs (Master Degrees Programs).

GradesGrade DescriptionGrade Scale (%)GPA
HDHigh Distinction80 - 1007.00
DDistinction70 - 796.00 - 6.99
CCredit60 - 695.00 - 5.99
PPass50 - 594.00 - 4.99
FFail0 - 490.00 - 3.99

If you are planning to study a Degree with Honours, your grades will look different than the usual undergraduate and postgraduate grades. Honours Degree is usually an additional year of study after completing an undergraduate degree.

It usually requires a student to complete independent but supervised research in their field of study after completing the third year of Bachelor’s degree.

GradesGrade DescriptionGrade Scale (%)
H1First Class Honours80 - 100
H2ASecond Class Honours (Division A)75 - 79
H2BSecond Class Honours (Division B)70 - 74
H3Third Class Honours65 - 69
PPass50 - 64
NFail0 - 49

You can also search for various universities, TAFEs and private colleges on our search engine.

GPA and ATAR

Unlike the USA, GPA’s (Grade Point Average) are rarely used in the Australian grading system. Most commonly they are used in Medicine or Law stream courses.  For those who don’t know, GPA is a numerical calculation that helps to evaluate students academic performance in each study period or over the whole course.

It is calculated using the following formula:

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

While GPA is not a very popular method of grading in Australia, ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks) score is one of the key scale used in measuring the student’s performance in Australia. Students who exceed certain ATAR threshold are eligible for government-sponsored opportunities and positions.



Now let’s look at each and every state and territories grading system in Australia.

Australian Capital Territory

The educations institution in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) uses the following grading system

GradeGrade NameGrade Scale (%)
AExtremely High Standard of Achievement 85 - 100
BHigh Standard of Achievement70 - 84
CAcceptable Standard of Achievement50 - 69
DLimited Standard of Achievement25 - 49
EVer Limited Performance0 - 24

New South Wales

The table below shows the grading system used by the educational institutions in New South Wales

GradeGrade NameGrade Scale (%)
HDHigh Distinction85 - 100
DDistinction75 - 84
CCredit65 - 74
PPass 50 - 64
FFail0 - 49

Northern Territory

Northern Territory institutions use the following grading system :

GradeScale 1Scale 2
A517 - 20
B4 - 4.9914- 16.99
C3 - 3.9911 - 13.99
D2 - 2.998 - 10.99
E1 - 1.990 - 7.99

Queensland

The table underneath explains the grading system adopted by the educational institution in Queensland:

GradeGrade NameGrade Scale (%)
HDHigh Distinction7
DDistinction6 - 6.99
CCredit5 - 5.99
PPass4 - 4.99
FFail1 - 3.99

South Australia

The institution in South Australia uses the following grading system:

GradeGrade NameGrade Scale (%)
HDHigh Distinction85 - 100
DDistinction75 - 84
CCredit65 - 74
P1Pass Level 155 - 64
P2Pass Level 250 - 54
F1Fail Level 1 (lowest grade to pass)40 - 49
F2Fail Level 2 30 - 39

Tasmania

Tasmanian institutions had adopted the following grading scale since 2003:

GradeGrade NameGrade Scale
EAExcellent Achievement4.00
HAHigh Achievement3.50 - 3.99
CACommendable Achievement3.00 - 3.49
SASatisfactory Acheivement2.50 - 2.99
PAPreliminary Achievement2.00 - 2.49

Victoria

The educational institutions in Victora use the following grading system:

GradeGrade Name
A
Highest Grade
B
C
D
ELowest grade to pass
FFail

Western Australia

The table below explains the grading system adopted in Western Australia:

GradeGrade NameGrade Scale (%)
HDHigh Distinction80 - 100
AExcellent Achievement80 - 100
BHigh Achievement70 - 79
CSound Achievement60 - 69
DLimited Achievement (lowest grade to pass)50 - 59
EFail 0 - 49



Vocational Education and Training

The vocational education system in Australia does not have university-style grades but rather based on the concept that you can either complete the task or not. So those students who are planning to undertake qualifications like Certificates (I to IV), Diploma and Advanced Diploma may get different grades in their certificates than at the university levels.

If the institute decides to use the grading system, it might use the same scales as university undergraduate scales (given above). But since vocational education is based on competency levels rather than grades, most of the vocational education provider will use grades like these:

GradesGrade DescriptionGrade Scale (%)
C / SCompetent (Pass) / Satisfactory100%
NYC / NSNot Yet Competent (Fail) / Not Satisfactory0%

Primary, Secondary and Senior Secondary

In Australia, every state and territory has their own grading scales, so it is extremely important to understand that grades may look different than the one given below in the table.  As an overseas student, you can study in Australia after the age of 6.

Usually, the result reports of the students are given to the parents at least 2 times a year using the grading scale between A to F. Overseas students who are planning to study at Primary and Secondary level education in Australia, your grades may look something like:

GradesGrade DescriptionGrade Scale (%)
AExcellent85 - 100
BGood70 - 84
CSatisfactory51 - 69
DLimited31 - 50
EVery Low26 - 30
FFail0 - 25

If you would like to watch a quick summary of this guide in our video, you can watch it here:

If you like this video, then you might also like to watch our comparison between Universities, TAFEs, and Colleges.

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