USA Grading System in 2024: An Extensive Guide

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USA Grading System – Education is an important life skill for a person, and it can help to grow and learn new things. Regarding higher education, the United States has some of the best universities in the world. To get into these universities, students must go through a rigorous us grading scale and system that can be quite confusing for those unfamiliar. This blog post will discuss the different grades used in US universities and how they are calculated. We will also provide some tips to improve grades!

A student planning to study abroad in the US needs to be well aware of the information regarding the US education grading system. It would be really beneficial for the students if they were well-versed in US GPA system calculation and other related information. The different letters and grades are given to the student. We understand that these figures and grades still need to be clarified so that we can decode the grading system for your understanding. Buckle up yourself, and let us get started.

Grading System in USA Universities

Why to Study in USA?

The US is known worldwide for having a diversified and excellent educational system. You’ll have an unparalleled opportunity to pursue your academic passions and career ambitions with top-ranked universities in various subjects.

The United States is a cultural melting pot where you may meet and engage with people worldwide. Beyond the classroom, this cultural immersion creates a singular and rewarding experience. The nation’s creativity and world-class research are also highly regarded, fostering the perfect professional and academic advancement atmosphere. The abundance of financial assistance and scholarship opportunities increases access to higher education in the US. The improved US education grading system is a gateway for student to know their capabilities.

There is something for everyone among its varied array of landscapes, which include picturesque natural beauties and lively cities. The adaptability of programs, internship opportunities, and hands-on learning strategies prepare you for a prosperous profession.

In the end, deciding to study in the US entails accepting top-notch research, excellent education, and a route to a bright future. Let’s go further and understand about the US education grading system in detail.

Grading System in USA Universities for 2024

In US education grading system, there are multiple parameters on which the student’s performance is assessed. Here, you will understand, how this happens.

How Have Students Individually Assessed Grades in USA?

While your professors assign you any work, you are graded based on your assignment. The letter grading system begins with ‘A’ to ‘F’ with pluses and minuses. The percentage of students scoring an A, B, C, D, or F varies from college to college and from professor to professor.

You will receive a letter grade (A-F) for every class you take and a credit/no credit option. Your college grades affect your GPA (grade point average). The US GPA System is a numerical value representing the average of all letter grades.

There are different types of assessment methods, which include-:

  • Tests or exams – These are the most common assessments to evaluate students. They can be either multiple-choice, essay-based or a combination.
  • Assignments – These can be anything from essays, research papers, lab reports, presentations, etc.
  • Participation and Attendance – Some professors may also consider attendance and participation when calculating grades.
  • Quizzes – These are usually shorter and less comprehensive than tests or exams.
  • Each letter has a different value and weight. These are combined to produce the final GPA that is on your transcript.

Overview of USA Grading System

A grading system allows common standards to assess marks and academic performance of the individual. In the USA, marks are assessed based on the grades and percentages you receive from college, universities, or your school. However, a different us gpa system, known as Grade Point Average, is included in the curriculum.

The USA Grading System is standardised and used across the country. The 4-point grade system is most common in US Universities. There are two types of grading systems in USA, one is the letter grade system, and the other is numerical grading. The US GPA system format is derived from these.

Letter US Grading System

Students receive letter grades for individual tests, which can be used to calculate their GPA. The student’s correctness in answering questions is indicated by a percentage on the grading scale, which goes from A to F.

In the US education grading system, a student’s Grade Point Average (GPA) is very important since it determines whether or not they can apply for scholarships and enrol in the university of their choice.

Numerical US Grading System

The numerical US grading system is fairly system and straightforward which makes it easy to understand. These numerical grades in USA marks on a number based pattern which is decided by the university. So, as students, how well they are performing depending on that, they are assigned numerical us grading system. Therefore, whatever percentage you achieve, you will assigned based on that.

Special US Grading System

A few additional letter grades are added to the American grading scale by the US grading system. These serve to emphasize the status of your course rather than to actually indicate your marks. Still, these appear on your transcript under the American grading scheme. Therefore, to make sure you understand what these seemingly odd letters on your mark sheet imply according to the American marking system, here they are:

1. IP

IP stands for “In Progress.” Students will likely receive this grade if they haven’t completed all of the assignments for a subject by the deadline in order to receive the usual grade. This grade is converted to the standard grade upon completion.

2. NC

‘Not Complete’ is what the letter NC stands for on the US grading system. A student’s grade is recorded on their transcript if they fail to complete a task or homework assignment that has been assigned to them.

3. W

In the US grading system, a WW stands for “withdrawn.” This mark is given to students who show up for class or attend but leave in the middle of the session.

Grade Point of Average US Grading System

The term’ Grade Point Average’ (GPA) itself suggests that it’s an average of the grades. This 4-point scale is a distinctive feature of the American grading system, helping students and parents comprehend it better.

The numerical values in this system are translated into grades. Next, the pre-established grade point system allocates a point to these grades.

Generally speaking, the scale looks like in most US universities are as follows:

Types of USA Grading Systems

There are five different grades in US education grading system and below are in detail with remarks.

A (90-100%): An A is the highest possible grade and indicates excellent performance.

B (80-89%): A B is a good grade and indicates above-average performance.

C (70-79%): A C is considered average and indicates satisfactory performance.

D (60-69%): A D is a passing grade but indicates below-average performance.

F (59-0%): An F is a failing grade and indicates unsatisfactory performance.

This grading system is divided into minus and plus grades. Through this, the teachers can perform correct assessments and give accurate scores to the students. Below, we have mentioned the bifurcated US Grading System.


Grade Point Scale

A+ 4.33 to 4 97-100
A 4.0 93-96
A- 3.7 90-92
B+ 3.3 87-89
B 3.0 83-86
B- 2.7 80-82
C+ 2.3 77-79
C 2.0 73-76
C- 1.7 70-72
D+ 1.3 67-69
D 1.0 63-66
D- 0.7 60-62
F 0.0 Less than 60

How to calculate the GPA?

In US education grading system, the university determines your credits after giving you your grade weights. Credits are points assigned to courses according to their content and the amount of time needed for homework and weekly classes. Credits are often referred to as units or credit hours.

You multiply your grade weight by the credit hours allotted to your class to get your GPA.

Say you receive an A in a class consisting of four units. We are aware that the USA grading system values an at 4. Therefore, we will multiply three by the total number of units allotted to the class to get the grade point. In this instance, there are four units. Consequently, 16 will be the grade point obtained. So, that’s how you calculate your us grading scale point.

Various Types of US GPA System

Here are details about various types of US GPA System:

  1. Class GPA: It is the GPA which is of a particular class.
  2. Cumulative GPA is the GPA of all the classes you have taken together.
  3. Semester GPA: It is the GPA of a particular semester.
  4. Career GPA: It is the GPA to date. Extracurricular Activities That Help Boost Cumulative GPA. While maintaining a high GPA is important, getting involved in other activities on campus is also essential.

Here are a few extracurriculars that can help boost your cumulative GPA:

  • Student organizations
  • Community service
  • Internships
  • Study

In US education grading system, with the help  of extracurricular activities, you can improve your us grading scale and points. So, opt for good activities that you are interested in.

Types of Honors

In US education grading system, the US universities, students who scored well and had an excellent academic record were awarded honours. These honours are different depending on the university. However, you can find there are three types of honours:

Cum Laude (With Honor)

This honor is awarded to students with great academic performance, including the cumulative GPA, which ranks above all the other students.

Magna Cum Laude (With Great Honor)

Students who also have significant academic performance and higher GPA are awarded this honour.

Summa Cum Laude (With Greatest Honor)

This honour is the highest honour students receive for higher and extraordinary academic performance. This is given to students who have consistently scored well and remained in rankers position.

These honours are given to students to provide awards and recognition for their efforts towards learning and making universities proud.

How are letters and grades related to each other in USA grading system?

In US education grading system, the grades can be obtained through the application of both the numerical and letter systems, that grade is in numerical values. With the addition of + and – to the grades, the USA Grading System or USA grading scale further segments the grades. This aids in establishing a more precise performance metric. The percentages that correspond to the grades are as follows:

Grades Percentages
A+ 97-100
A 93-96
A- 90-92
B+ 87-89
B 83-86
B- 80-82
C+ 77-79
C 73-76
C- 70-72
D+ 67-69
D 63-66
D- 60-62
F Less than 60

How to Convert GPA to Percentage for USA Grading System?

The GPA is calculated on a 4.0 scale. This means that each letter grade corresponds to a certain number of points. For example, a student who earns all A’s in his or her classes will have a 4.0 GPA. A student who makes all B’s will have a 3.0 GPA, and a student who earns all C’s will have a 2.0 GPA. Let’s have a look on US grading scale.

To calculate in your US GPA system, you’ll need to know the following information:

Refer to this table as well to understand Grading System in USA Universities:

Percentage Scale Description
90-100% 4.0 Excellent
80-89% 3.3 Very Good
70-79% 2.3 Improvement Needed
60-69% 1.3 Close Fail
Below 60% 0 Fail

The number of credits for each class you’re taking

The letter grade you earned in each class

The GPA value for each letter grade

Once you have this information, you can use the US GPA system formula to calculate your GPA.

Here is how you can calculate the us gpa scale.

The GPA formula is as follows:

GPA = (grade value x class credits) ÷ total credits

For example, let’s say you’re taking three classes this semester.

Class 1 is worth 3 credits, and you earned a B in the class, with a GPA value of 3.0.

Class 2 is worth 4 credits, and you earned an A in the class with a GPA value of 4.0.

Class 3 is worth 3 credits, and you earned a C in the class with a GPA value of 2.0.

To calculate your semester GPA, you would plug this information into the GPA formula as follows:

GPA = [(3 x 3) + (4 x 4) + (3 x 2)] ÷ 10

GPA = 27 ÷ 10

GPA = 2.7

Converting your GPA to a percentage is a simple process.

To convert your GPA to a percentage, multiply your GPA by 100.

For example, if your GPA is 2.7, you would multiply 2.7 by 100 to get 270%. This means that you earned 270% in all your classes this semester. It’s important to remember that GPAs vary from school to school and from country to country.

For example, a 3.0 GPA in the United States differs from a 3.0 GPA in Canada.

Additionally, a 3.0 GPA at one school might be equivalent to a 4.0 GPA at another school because of the different weighting systems each school uses. Before you compare your GPA to someone else’s, check with your school to see how they calculate GPA and the equivalent GPA in your country.

Comparing Grading System in India v/s Grading System in USA Universities

The grafting system used in USA is different from that in India. In India, students are evaluated based on Cumulative Grade Point Average CGPA.

Some universities use the CGPA to convert to GPA using a predetermined scale, or some simply multiply it by 10.

US universities use a  4-point GPA, which has a predetermined grade value equivalent to US universities across the country.

Get Admission to US University Today!

This comprehensive guide about the US education grading system helped you understand what scores you must target to get into the universities. However, sometimes you must dive into the smaller details of the grades because it will affect your college selection and guide you. Right, we are here to help you. At SecureMyScholarship, we assure you that we will help you fill out your application letter, SOP, and scholarships, as our admission managers are skilled enough to help you out. Contact us today!

FAQs related to USA Grading System

What’s a Good GPA?

There is no simple answer to this question because every school is different, and each person’s definition of “good” is different. However, as per US GPA system some schools consider a us grading scale point of 3.0 GPA to be good, while other schools consider a 4.0 GPA to be good. It’s essential to check with your school for their definition of a “good” GPA. Additionally, it would help if you remembered that your GPA is one-factor colleges will consider when making admissions decisions.

Admissions committees also examine your ACT or SAT score, extracurricular activities, and personal statement. Your US GPA system grades and numbers are important, but it’s not the only thing colleges will consider when making admissions decisions.

What’s the Difference Between Weighted & Unweighted GPAs grading system in USA universities?

Most schools use a weighted GPA system, meaning certain grades are worth more than others. For example, an A might be worth 4 points, a B might be worth 3 points, and a C might be worth 2 points.

In a weighted GPA system, AP and IB classes are worth more than regular classes because they are more challenging. This means that if you earn an A in an AP class, your GPA will be higher than if you earn an A in a regular class. Some schools also use an unweighted GPA system, meaning all grades are worth the same amount.

In an unweighted GPA system, an A is worth 4 points, a B is worth 4 points, and a C is worth 4 points. As you can see, the two systems are quite different. If you’re unsure which system your school uses, check with your guidance counsellor or academic advisor.

What’s the Difference Between a Cumulative GPA and a Semester GPA?

Your cumulative GPA is your overall GPA for all the classes you’ve taken throughout high school. Your semester GPA is your GPA for the courses you take during one semester.

For example, let’s say you have a 3.5 cumulative GPA and you’re taking four classes this semester. If you earn all A’s in your four classes this semester, your semester GPA will be 4.0.

However, your cumulative GPA will still be 3.5 because it considers all of the classes you’ve taken throughout high school, not just the ones you’re bringing this semester.

What’s the Difference Between a Pass / Fail Class and a Regular Class?

A pass/fail class is a class where you can either earn a passing grade or A failing grade. A regular class is a class where you can reach any grade from an A to an F. Pass/fail classes don’t affect your GPA because you can only earn a passing or failing grade in these classes.

However, regular classes affect your GPA because you can earn grades from an A to an F in these classes.

What’s the Difference Between an Honors Class and a Regular Class?

An honors class is a class that’s more challenging than a regular class. Honors classes often have more assignments and are usually faster-paced than regular classes. The GPA ranges from 0 to 4.0. The average GPA at most colleges is around 3.0. A student with a GPA of 3.0 has earned a “B” average in all their courses.

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Vipin Rana

My role involves supporting student recruitment for USA globally, establishing solid relationships with channel partners, and Student counselling. The most exciting part of my role is, having the opportunity to assist the students in fulfilling their educational and career goals. Working with SMS makes me proud as I work with a fantastic set of people across the globe.

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