Guide on USA Grading System: Decoding the US GPA System  Image
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Guide on USA Grading System: Decoding the US GPA System

Yocket Editorial Team

The average course length and higher tuition fees among other thing set American colleges apart from those abroad. For a student seeking to study in the US, the grading system in USA is one of those things, and it can be complicated. You may have heard that American institutions employ letter grades or the word 'US GPA system'.

Before applying to a university in the United States, you need to have a solid understanding of American institutions’ method of scoring academic work or the grading system in USA university use in order to be considered for admission. This blog has everything you need to know about the grading system in USA, from how individual assignments are scored to how your grade point average is determined. Read on to learn more about the grading system in USA/ US grading system university, etc.

Table Of Contents

Brief Overview of The USA Grading System

USA grading system is a typical evaluation matrix used in schools and institutions across US. Using this matrix, it is possible to calculate students' overall performance in an efficient and straightforward manner. USA is consistently recognised as one of the best places in the world to pursue higher education because it is home to a number of prestigious colleges that consistently draw large numbers of students from other nations.

In the US, students are graded utilising both a number scale and a letter scale. The grade point average, also known as the four-point scale, is the USA grading system that is most commonly used at American colleges. If you intend to pursue higher education in US, it is imperative that you become familiar with their method of grading.

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Types of Grading Systems in USA

Students are awarded letter grades based on their performance in standard examinations, such as A, B, C, and so on. You then have the option of converting the grade into a grade point average. One other form of USA grading system that is used is a numerical one. It goes from 0 to 100.  Let's take a closer look at both.

Letter and Number System

The letter system ranges from A to F, and it is complemented by a percentage that indicates the number of questions that a student has answered properly. Due to its singular character, the grading scale USA uses is further subdivided into a variety of grade minus and grade plus categories.

It has gotten more complicated as a result of this bifurcation, which assists both the students and the professors in understanding the almost exact score.

  • Grade A: The highest possible rating for a student's performance on a quiz or assignment in a classroom setting is a "A." It varies anywhere from 90 percent to one hundred percent. (A: 93 -100/ A-: 90 – 92)
  • Grade B: The letter grade B is generally regarded as one of the better grades. Simply said, it is a score that is typically higher than the average score. Students who have received grades between 80 and 89% are eligible to receive it. (B+: 87 – 89/ B: 83 – 86/ B-: 80 – 82)
  • Grade C: The letter grade C is one of those grades that is situated between A and C and corresponds to a score that falls anywhere in the range of 70 percent to 79 percent. (C+: 77-79/C: 73-76 / C-  : 70-72)
  • Grade D: Even if it is below average, a grade of D is nevertheless considered to be qualifying. This grade might fluctuate anywhere from 59 percent to 69 percent as far as its percentile range is concerned. (D+ : 67-69/ D: 63-66/ D-: 60-62)
  • Grade F: The letter grade F is assigned to students who did not meet the requirements to pass the examinations or tests. The score percentile ranges from 0 up to little below 59 percent of possible points. (Below 60)

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Types of GPA in the USA GPA System

The Grade Point Average (US GPA system) is the most common metric that is used all around the country to reflect how well students are doing in their classes. It is broken up into three distinct categories, each of which represents a different level of education. The three groups are as follows:

  1. Class GPA
  2. Semester GPA
  3. Cumulative GPA

If you want to apply for scholarships, enrol in a master's degree programme, or find a graduate job, getting a good GPA in the USA GPA system is really important because looking at your GPA is one of the first things that admissions tutors or potential employers will do when evaluating your application.

How to Calculate your GPA in US?

There is a predetermined number of 'units' or 'credits' that correspond to each class that you take. This number is based on the material covered in the class as well as the amount of time spent on weekly classes and assignments.

To determine your overall grade point average, first add up all of the quality points that you earned in each individual unit, and then divide that total by the total number of course credits or units (credit hours) that you attempted. This figure denotes your overall grade point average.

Types of Honors in the US Grading System University

Students who meet the requirements of any level of education according to the grading system used in the United States are eligible to receive a gratuitous honour based on their grade point average. There are three distinct kinds of honours. They can differ from university to university, and they are also dependent on a variety of other requirements. The Latin language is used for all of the different kinds of honours. It is important to note that a student must have earned a higher level of grade point average in order to be eligible for any of the three honours. They are as follows:

  1. Cum Laude – With Honor
  2. Magna Cum Laude – With Great Honor
  3. Summa Cum Laude – With Greatest Honor

Decoding and Interpreting The USA Grading System

You've probably heard that many of the best schools in the United States require a grade point average on a scale from one to four. Since the grade point average (GPA system in USA) on a scale of 4.0 is an integral component of the grading scale USA employs, the US grading system is widely utilised at a variety of schools and universities across the country.

When calculating a student's grade point average (GPA system in USA), first the numerical grades that a student has earned are translated back to the letter grade, and then the letter grade is converted using the scale that was decided to be 4.0. The following table provides an explanation of how this particular scale for grading works so that it is easier to understand.





90 - 100




80 - 89       



Very Good

70 - 79       



Improvement Needed

60 - 69



Close Fail

0 - 59




Suggested: Here's the easiest way to convert the 10 point CGPA to 4 point GPA

The US grading system, though intimidating at first, is actually fairly simple once you get the hang of it. Simply attend your classes on time and complete the required number of credit hours. The grading system in the United States is often regarded as one of the best in the world. To clarify any doubts about the grading system in USA, or even regarding studying abroad, reach out to our Yocket counsellors today!

Frequently Asked Questions About Grading System in USA

Ques. What is the passing grade in the USA?

Ans. In order to pass, you need a C grade, at least 70 percent.

Ques. What is the highest GPA?

Ans.  A 4.0 GPA is equivalent to getting an A in all of your classes, which is the highest possible score.

Ques. What GPA is required for Harvard?

Ans. The reported average GPA of an admitted high school student at Harvard University was a 4.0 GPA.

Ques. What is a b grade in US education system?

Ans. B- indicates good performance.

Ques. How do Indian marks convert to US GPA?

Ans. 100 points is 100 percent in the Indian system. As a result, 25 percentage points are the same as 1 grade point under the US GPA system. To calculate your GPA from your percentage, just multiply your percentage by 100 and divide by 4.

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