Academic grading in India

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Academic grading in India is based on a percentage system.


In India, grading is different for different boards.

The national board Central Board of Secondary Education uses a percentage system coupled with a positional grade that indicates the student's performance with respect to his/her peers. The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education board doesn't and gives only the mark obtained. State boards may give either or both marks and grades; if grades are given, most grade students linearly (eg: A+ for >90, A for 80-90 for Kerala state).

Many colleges outside India favour CBSE and ICSE; those colleges either outright disallow students from other boards (eg: University of Oxford[1]) or require them to write additional examinations (eg: National University of Singapore).

Generally, at the school level percentages of 75-85 are considered average while above 95 is exceptional. At the university level however percentages between 60-79 are considered excellent and are quite difficult to obtain. The direct comparison of the percentage of marks obtained at one university with that at another is difficult. Indeed, the differential between universities in terms of marking scale can be as much as 20%, with some requiring an 85% plus for the award of Distinction, an approximate equivalent of the Latin honor summa-cum-laude, while yet others would award Distinction at above of 70%.

In some instances, a score close to 90% is very rare and is virtually impossible. Much of this can be reconciled in the backdrop of the minimum pass score. In a university with a 90% plus for Distinction, 60% may be the minimum passing mark. The university awarding distinction at 70% may have a passing mark of 45%. Thus the comparison of GPA (grade-point average) is quite difficult for Indian students elsewhere. A student having 95% will be close to 3.9 on the GPA scale, as would a student with a 75% from a 70% cut-off-for-distinction institution.

Panjab University, one of nation's top universities,[2] is one such example of a tough scoring system where a 40% is required for passing and 60% for the first division, while 75% is the required cut-off for Distinction. University of Mumbai also follows a similar system for scoring. At Pune University, Distinction is awarded at 66% and first class being awarded at 60%. The University of Delhi and affiliated institutions are another example of this type of marking which give distinction above 60% with 40% required for a pass. Taking from the old English tradition, where a 1st division is rare and extremely difficult to obtain. Few students can speak of having achieved such. Most old Indian government universities have a yardstick of 75% as their distinction cut-off. For such a university, the measure of a student's performance can be done against the rest of the class in the university. The best yardstick seems to be, apart from the base passing mark, the very classification of the awarding university as to where a given range would fall (distinction, first class, second, or fail). Attempts are being made to move to a GPA-based system by most modern universities, but older ones tend to continue to rely on the percentage of marks.

Grade-point average (2011 alternate version)[edit]

In India, many universities and institutes rank their students in percentage of marks they get from the examinations and credits.[3] Many universities have their ranking on point system. Though there are exceptions to standard system such as MBA Courses,[4] the following table will summarize the grading system and conversions for normal graduation and post graduation in universities and institutes, unless otherwise declared by the institute.

  • ** Some institutes with difficult curriculum and tough scoring give 70% scoring[5] as Distinction
  • ** Universities like the Jamia Millia University have different CPI system of evaluating B.Tech degree students.[6] They have and give First Division at 60% Marks and Distinction / Honors at 75%.


The 7 point GPA introduced by University of Mumbai from Academic year 2012 - 2013 is categorized as follows:[7]

Letter Grade Marks Grade Point
O 80 and above 10
A 75 to 79.99 9
B 70 to 74.99 8
C 60 to 69.99 7
D 50 to 59.99 6
E 45 to 49.99 5
P 40 to 44.99 4
F (Fail) 39.99 and below 0

International grade conversion[edit]

International grade conversion for Percentages scored in Indian Universities.[8]

Scale U.S. Grade Equiv.
60-100 A
50-59 B
40-49 C
<40 F

*At selected institutions, a lower grade may be considered passing.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Panjab University ranked no. 1 in country — again". The Indian Express. 2014-10-02. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  3. ^ "Ranking in University". Archived from the original on 10 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  4. ^ " =asedu". Archived from the original on 2004-05-13. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  5. ^ "Academic Grading in India". 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  6. ^ "CPI to Percentage for JMI Students".
  7. ^ "University of Mumbai" (PDF). 2011-03-09. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-25. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
  8. ^ ""

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