Australian Universities Grading System

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Academic grading system varies from one country to another. It’s important that all students become familiar with the grading system in the country they are pursuing their studies. The academic system in Australia is a little bit complicated to new students as there are some differences when compared with other countries in the world. In today’s post, we shall be looking at a comprehensive compilation of the academic grading system in Australia for all study programs both undergraduate and postgraduate.

Find below the grading system in Australia form one province to the other:

Grading System in Australia

Australian Grade Grade Description GPA Scale Percentage UK Division US Equivalent
HD High Distinction 7.00 83.00-100.00 First Class A+
D Distinction 6.00-6.99 73.00-82.99 Second Class, Upper Division A
C Credit 5.00-5.99 63.00-72.99 Second Class, Lower Division B
P Pass 4.00-4.99 50.00-62.99 Third Class C
N Fail 0.00-3.99 0.00-49.99 Fail F


However, Degrees with Honors tend to have a different grading scale. Honors degrees usually include an additional year of study to the standard undergraduate degree.


Grade Description Percentage
H1 First Class Honours 80% and above
H2A Second Upper Class Honours (2:1) 75-79%
H2B Second Lower Class Honours (2:2) 70-74%
H3 Third Class Honours 65-69%
P Pass 50-64%
N Fail 49% and below



Australian Capital Territory

The two dominant tertiary institutions of higher education include the Australian National University and the University of Canberra, both of which follow a grading system similar to the one given below.


Grade Scale Grade Description US Grade
A 85.00-100.00 Extremely high standard of achievement A
B 70.00-84.99 High standard of achievement B
C 50-69.99 Acceptable standard of achievement C
D 25.00-49.99 Limited standard of achievement D Lowest passing grade
E 0.00-24.99 Very limited performance F
S Status Unavoidable circumstances prevent student from being awarded grades A-E




One of the most popular study destinations in Australia, the state of Victoria has around 9 different universities in its region. These include the University of Melbourne, Monash University, La Trobe University, Swinburne University of Technology and Deakin University.


Grade Grade Description US Equivalent
A A+
E Lowest grade required to pass D
F Fail F

New South Wales

Home to the city of Sydney, the state of New South Wales is an alternatively popular study destination in the country. Universities in this state include the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Macquarie University and the University of Newcastle.


Grade Scale Grade Description US Equivalent Notes
HD 85.00-100.00 High Distinction A+
D 75.00-84.99 Distinction A
CR 65.00-74.99 Credit B
P 50.00-64.99 Pass C P or PW
PC Pass conceded Usually granted to allow progression to another course under extenuating circumstances
F 0.00-49.99 Fail F


Northern Territory

Australia’s Northern Territory is home to only one tertiary institution which is Charles Darwin University, which follows a grading system similar to the one below.

Scale Scale 2 Grade Description US Grade
5.00 17.00-20.00 A A
4.00-4.99 14.00-16.99 B B
3.00-3.99 11.00-13.99 C C
2.00-2.99 8.00-10.99 D D
1.00-1.99 0.00-7.99 E F



Universities in Queensland include the University of Queensland, Bond University and Griffith University.

Scale Grade Description US grade
7.00 High Distinction A+
6.00-6.99 Distinction A
5.00-5.99 Credit B
4.00-4.99 Pass C Lowest passing grade
1.00-3.99 Fail F

South Australia

The state of South Australia’s tertiary institutions follows a grading system based on the table below. Universities include Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Adelaide, University of South Australia and Flinders University.


Grade Scale Grade Description US Grade Notes
HD 85.00-100.00 High Distinction A+
D 75.00-84.99 Distinction A
C 65.00-74.99 Credit B
P1 55.00-64.99 Pass Level 1 B-
P2 50.00-54.99 Pass Level 2 C
F1 40.00-49.99 Fail Level 1 C- Lowest passing grade
F2 30.00-39.99 Fail Level 2 F


Western Australia

Universities in the state of Western Australia follow a grading system similar to the table below and include institutions such as Curtin University, Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University and the University of Western Australia.


Grade Scale Grade Description US Grade Notes
HD 80.00-100.00 High Distinction A
A 80.00-100.00 Excellent Achievement A
B 70.00-79.99 High achievement B
C 60.00-69.99 Sound achievement C
D 50.00-59.99 Limited achievement D Lowest grade required to pass
E 0.00-49.99 Fail F



Use of the Grade Point Average (GPA System) and the ATAR in Australia

Although not very common, GPA scores tend to be used in relation to Law and Medicine courses in Australian universities.

GPA = (Sum of all grade points x Course unit values) / Total number of credit points

ATAR scores or the Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks are also a strong component of the education system. Government-sponsored positions and opportunities are offered to students who surpass a certain ATAR threshold.

The value, as expected, will correspond to academic performance. For example, an ATAR score of 80.00 explains that a student with such a score has performed better than 80% of all other students in that cohort.

So this is the summary of the grading system in Australia for students who are pursuing their studies in that country. Its important that you take note of this, so you will be able to calculate your grades and know if you have passed or failed the program.

Some study in Australia Frequently Asked Questions


How can I apply for admission into Australian University?


All Australian Universities accept online application for admission. All you need do is search for your desired program, check if you qualify to apply, gather all required documents, go to the university website, locate the online application and start your application. Once you submit it, the school will contact you if you have been admitted.


Do I need to sit for Toefl or Ielts before I can study in Australia?


Since all Australian Universities use English as medium of instruction, its important that you show you proficiency in English. You can do this by sitting for Ielts or Toefl and presenting the scores to your chosen university. Students who come from countries where English is their mother tongue are usually exempted from presenting English language test results.


Can I work and study in Australia


Yes, international students can take up part time jobs while studying in Australia. Students can work for up to 20 hours per week during school period and full time during holidays. The average wage per hour is from AUD$12 to AUD$30.


Is it easy to get Australian visa?


Its not difficult to get a visa to study in Australia. Once you get admitted into an institution, get the acceptance letter; ensure that you have all documents needed to secure a visa. If don’t know the documents to present for visa, contact the embassy in your home country and get all these details before submitting you visa application. Once you do all these, you will surely get a visa to study in Australia.

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