Academic grading in India

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Academic grading in India is based on a percentage system. Generally, at the school level percentages of 85-95 are considered excellent while above 95 is exceptional. At the university level however percentages between 69-79 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 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, is one such example of a tough scoring system where a 40% is required for passing and 60% for the first division, while 70% 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 student's can speak of having achieved such. Most old Indian government universities have a yardstick of 75% as their distinction cutoff. 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.

GPA Grading (Alternated version 2011 School year)[edit]

In India, many universities and institutes rank their students in percentage of marks they get from the examinations and credits.[1] Many universities have their ranking on point system.[2] Though there are exceptions to standard system such as MBA Courses,[3] 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[4] as Distinction
  • ** Universities like the Jamia Millia University have different CPI system of evaluating B.Tech degree students.[5] They have and give First Division at 60% Marks and Distinction / Honors at 75%.


Credential evaluator World Education Services provides U.S. Grade Point Equivalent for Percentages scored in Indian Universities.[6]

Percentage Classification/ Division U.S. Grade Point Equivalent U.S. Grade Equivalent
70% and above Distinction / Outstanding 4.0 A+
60% and above but below 70% First class 3.5 - 3.99 A
50% and above but below 60% Second Class 2.5 - 3.49 B+/B
40% and above but below 50% Pass Class 1.5 - 2.49 C+/C
Below 40% Fail 0 - 1.49 F

The 7 point GPA introduced by University of Mumbai from Academic year 2011 - 2012 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

IIT/BITS/NIT Grades[edit]

The Indian Institutes of Technology have strict rules for grades. Depending on the course the evaluation is based on participation in class, attendance, quiz, exam and/or paper. Continuous evaluation is done by course instructors. A similar grading system is followed by other top institutes of the country like BITS-Pilani and the NITs. For instance, the evaluation system of IIT Madras[8] is the Cumulative Grade Point Average with a scale from 0 to 10 which is converted to letters as follows:

Letter Grade Grade Points in Words
S 10 Excellent (top students)
A 9 Very Good
B 8 Good
C 7 Satisfactory Work
D 6 Sufficient (passed)
E 4 Poor (but passed)
W 0 Insufficient attendance (below 85%)
U 0 Failed, or use of unfair means

CGPA then gets calculated as the cumulative credit-weighted average of the grade points: CGPA = (Σ Ci • GPi) / (Σ Ci) where: N is the number of courses Ci is credits for the ith course GPi is grade points for the ith course CGPA is the cumulative grade point average [9]

The CGPA is not the same as the American one. In India some credits might be awarded during Bachelor studies for Co-curricular and Extra-curricular Activities, while during the Masters Programme this is not allowed. Through agreements with numerous international organisations, IIT grades are accepted from many international organisations outside India, like NTU, NUS and DAAD.

International Grade Conversion[edit]

International Grade Conversion by World Education Services for Percentages scored in Indian Universities.[6] |- | 35*-42 | 1.5 - 2.14 | C | Fail/Third Division |- | 0-34 | 0 - 1.49 |

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ranking in University". Archived from the original on 10 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  2. ^ [ "Role of GPA in Indian System"] Check |url= value (help). Archived Check |archiveurl= value (help) from the original on 21 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ " =asedu". Archived from the original on 10 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  4. ^ "Academic Grading in India". 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  5. ^ "CPI to Percentage for JMI Students". 
  6. ^ a b "WES Grade Conversion Guide (Select India in dropdown box)". 2013-12-24. Retrieved 2013-12-24. 
  7. ^ "University of Mumbai" (PDF). 2011-03-09. Retrieved 2013-12-24. 
  8. ^ "Evaluation System of IIT Madras". IIT Madras. 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  9. ^ "CGPA Calculator". 
  10. ^ "CPI to Percentage for JMI Students".