Study in USA

How US Grading System Is Different

There’s a lot that distinguishes American institutions from others in other nations, from average course duration and higher tuition prices to the popularity of college football.

On the other hand, the US grading system is among the most challenging things for a student interested in studying abroad in the United States to grasp. As an applicant, you may have heard that American institutions utilise letter grades to grade assignments, or you may already be aware of the word “GPA,” so let’s take a closer look at it in this article.

Convert your Indian CGPA to the USA Grading System – The letter grading system goes from A to F, and the letter you receive is determined by the percentage of the assignment you scored, either by correctly answering questions or indicating that you’ve satisfied the course requirements. The United States assigns grades in a somewhat different way. The majority of US colleges and universities use a 5-point system that assigns these grades to the applicants. They are as follows:

  • The top of the scale denotes excellence.
  • It denotes a higher-than-average grade.
  • It’s an average grade if you’re in the middle of the scale.
  • The required minimum score.
  • Failure is indicated by the lower end of the scale.


90% – 100% A Excellent
80% – 89% B Very Good
70% – 79% C Improvement Needed
60% – 69% D Close Fail
0% – 59% F Fail


You are considered to be passed if you score anything between A and D, while F indicates a failed grade. But yes, you can further split down each grade. For example, a B could be classified as a B+, B=, or B-. There was a time when Grade ‘E’ existed, but it was often mistaken for ‘Excellent’ by students and families, and hence, in post 19th Cent, it was excluded from the grading system of the US

Letter grades are commonly used to grade individual assignments, but the other truth is that they aren’t the only factor needed to evaluate your absolute competence.

And that is when the grading system in the United States becomes a little more complicated. The actual grades you have received from your school or undergraduate college are called quality points which are later calculated and converted into GPA. Though each school, college, and other such university has its scale, most use a 4.0 scale to compliment your letter grades.


What Is CGPA and GPA?

The Grade Point Average (GPA) is the conventional manner of measuring academic accomplishment in the United States, and it is calculated using your overall grades. A GPA’s objective is to depict the type of student you are based on your academic achievements during the tenure of your course. You will most likely have a GPA of around 4.0 if you succeed in passing all your subject exams. If you want to apply for scholarships, enroll in a master’s program, or get a graduate job, having a solid GPA is critical since your admissions team expects that.

The cumulative grade point average, or CGPA, is the mean average of the applicant’s GPA grades earned throughout the course at the respective college or university. To calculate a student’s CGPA, add his/her GPA (Grade Point Average) from all semesters and divide it by the number of his overall credit hours. To achieve a high CGPA, candidates must have an excellent GPA.


The Conversion of Grades

With a few exceptions, most Indian schools and universities use a percentage system to provide a grade for students, with a few exceptions using a 10-point scale or a percentile. By dividing the proportion by ten, the latter is calculated. There is a further separation of marks based on the percentile or percentage earned:

  • Distinction or First Division
  • First Division
  • Pass or Third Division.

While most colleges request students to submit their grades on a ten-point scale, other universities prefer applicants to submit their grades on a four-point scale.

Applicants are not required to perform the conversions directly; third-party agencies handle them. However, candidates may complete a preliminary calculation for reference only. The applicants can convert a 10-point CGPA to a 4-point GPA using the formula below:

If your university’s statement of marks shows you have a CGPA of 7.0 and your batch topper’s CGPA is 8.0, you can calculate your score as (7.0/8.0) X 4 = 3.5. 

To Convert A Grade in India to the US 4.0 GPA Scale


    PERCENTAGE       GRADE         GPA           DESCRIPTION
90 – 100 A 4 Excellent
80 – 89 B 3 Very Good
70 – 79 C 2 Improvement Needed
60 – 69 D 1 Close Fail
0 – 59 F 0 Fail

But Should You Convert

When applying for graduate or postgraduate degrees in the United States, every registration has a common question: ‘state the GPA attained in school or college.’ Including your CGPA, percentile, or % in your transcripts is the best option. The rationale behind this is that there is currently no reliable technique for translating marks. Furthermore, leading universities in the United States are informed of the Indian grading procedure, which is why they specifically request that students not do so.


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