Complete Guide: University Grading System in Australia

b2ap3_large_Optimized-shutterstock_1340124914 Complete Guide: University Grading System in Australia

Academic grading system varies across countries. If you are an international student in Australia and have completed a course already, you must have observed a difference in the grading system between your home country and Australia. Here is an overview of the Australian grading system from school to university.

But, you may want to note that the grading system is not the same across Australia. Being a vast country, each of its states has its own system of grading. So, if you are planning to do your next course in another state or from a different university in Australia, take a look at the following tables.

The basic grading scale looks like this for most universities. However, based on which university you study in and which state it is in, the grading system may slightly differ.

For Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses

Grade Grade description Grade scale % GPA
HDHigh Distinction100 - 85A+
DDistinction84 - 75A
CCredit74 - 65B
PPass64 - 50C
FFail49 and belowF

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For Honours Degree

Grade Grade description Grade scale %
H1 First Class Honours 100 - 80
H2ASecond Class Honours79 - 75
H2BSecond Class Honours74 - 70
H3Third Class Honours69 - 65
PPass64 - 50
NFail49 and below

For Vocational and Trade Courses

Grading for vocational courses is binary. You either pass by achieving the required competency or fail.

Grade Grade description Grade scale %
C/S Competent/Satisfactory 100%
NYC/NSNot Yet Competent/ Not Yet Satisfactory0

Grading system across the Australian States

Each Australian state is home to a handful of world-class universities. Due to their diversity and needs, they follow their own, unique grading system.

Australian Capital Territory

University of Canberra, Australian National University, Charles Sturt University, UNSW Canberra, Australian Catholic University are the notable institutions in the capital territory and here is their grading system.

Grade Grade description Grade scale %
A Extremely High Standard of Achievement 100 - 85
BHigh Standard of Achievement84 - 70
CAcceptable Standard of Achievement69 - 50
DLimited Standard of Achievement49 - 25
EVery Limited Performance24 - 0

New South Wales

The east coast state, New South Wales, houses the University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, University of Newcastle, Macquarie University and La Trobe University.  

Grade Grade description Grade scale %
A High Distinction 100 - 85
BDistinction84 - 70
CCredit69 - 50
DPass49 - 25
EFail24 - 0

Northern Territory

With Darwin as the capital city, this beautiful state of Australia has Charles Darwin University and Flinders University to its name.

Grade Scale 1 Scale 2
A 5 17 - 20
B4 - 4.9914 - 16.99
C3 - 3.9911 - 13.99
D2 - 2.998 - 10.99
E1 - 1.990 - 7.99


The second-largest state of Australia takes pride in being home to some of the renowned institutions such as the University of Queensland, Bond University, Griffith University and James Cook University.

Grade Grade description Grade scale %
HD High Distinction 7
DDistinction6 - 6.99
CCredit5 - 5.99
PPass4 - 4.99
FFail1 - 3.99

South Australia

South Australia is a wildlife haven of the continent and home to Kangaroo Island. The state has the University of South Australia, University of Adelaide, Torrens University, to name a few.

Grade Grade Name Grade Scale %
HD High Distinction 85 -100
DDistinction75 - 84
CCredit65- 74
P1Pass Level 155 - 64
P2Pass Level 250 - 54
F1Fail Level 140 - 49
F2Fail Level 230 - 39


Tasmania is an island state known for its richest history and the cleanest air in the world. University of Tasmania is the only university in the state.

Grade Grade description Grade scale %
EA Excellent Achievement 4.00
HAHigh Achievement3.50 - 3.99
CACommendable Achievement3.00 - 3.49
SASatisfactory Achievement2.50 - 2.99
PAPreliminary Performance2.00 - 2.49

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With Melbourne as capital, this industrious state of Australia features some of the best government and private universities in the country: Monash University, RMIT, Swinburne University, Deakin, University of Melbourne, Victoria University etc

Code Grade Mark
HD High Distinction 80-100

Primary, Secondary, and Senior Secondary Grades in Australian schools

In Australia, the schooling system comprises primary, secondary and senior secondary levels. Similar to that of universities, the school system also has a grading system and it varies between states and territories.

Grade Grade Description Percentage
A Excellent 85% and above
BGood70% to 84%
CSatisfactory51% to 69%
DLimited31% to 50%
EVery Low26% to 30%
FFailBelow 25%

Before you join your next course, research your favourite universities, understand their grading systems. Also, check the university website to find if the grading system has gone through any change or update.

Talk to our counsellors if you need further support in the research of your next course and university.

Application of the Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks (ATAR) and the GPA Scores 

GPA scores may not be prevalent in Australia but are occasionally used for law and medicine courses. Calculating the score requires multiplying the total of every grade point by the so-called course unit value and doing a division between it and the total credit points. 

The GPA Formula:

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

The term ATAR refers to a number that dictates the admission of a student into a university. It is a key element of the education system in Australia. If you have an ATAR score of 95, it would mean that you have fared better than 95% of your fellow students with the same stream.

If you exceed a particular ATAR level, you would be provided with opportunities sponsored by the Government. Keep reading to know more about Australia's grading system. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Australian Academic Grading System 

How Much Is A Good Grade Point Average In Australia?

Universities in Australia regard 6 and 7 as top scores. Employers may also recruit students within that GPA range. If you have 6 as your GPA score, you would have got a distinction in your overall course. On the other hand, a grade point average of 7 would mean that you completed the course with the highest possible achievement. It raises this question: Is a 5.5 GPA Good?

Is 5.5 Too A Good Grade Point Average?

It is regarded as a good GPA at Australian universities. It comes in the higher or upper range than the average grade point average in Australia.

How Much Is Australia's Highest GPA?

While 7 represents the highest GPA in Australia, 0 represents the lowest. The word GPA alludes to the average result of all your grades, and it works on the basis of a seven-point academic grading scale. Hopefully, now you will be able to tell what GPA is a distinction and which one is not.

Does 75 Represent An A Grade In Australia?

When it comes to several universities, getting a GPA grading score that ranges from 70 to 84% means a distinction, and it is regarded as a good GPA score.

What Grade Represents 60 Percent In Australia?

Getting a 60 percent in the GPA system means that the student has done just enough to pass their course with an average Australian score. 

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