A Complete Guide: Australian Grading System Explained

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.


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).

HDHigh Distinction80% and above7.00
DDistinction70% – 79%6.00 – 6.99
CCredit60% – 69%5.00 – 5.99
PPass50% – 59%4.00 – 4.99
FFail49% and below0.00 – 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.

H1First Class Honours80% and above
H2ASecond Class Honours (Division A)75% to 79%
H2BSecond Class Honours (Division B)70% to 74%
H3Third Class Honours65% to 69%
PPass50% to 64%
NFail49% and below

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 )

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

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, they 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:

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

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:

AExcellent85% and above
BGood70% – 84%
CSatisfactory51% – 69%
DLimited31% – 50%
EVery Low26% – 30%
FFail25% and below

Source: www.overseasstudentsaustralia.com