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What Is a Passing Grade In College


The grading systems in the world, although having the same purpose, are not equal. This causes the scales to be misunderstood and the grading practices are not correctly understood in other countries. 

The world of academic mobility is crammed with examples of students who have not been accepted in certain colleges because, according to the institution’s qualification system, their grades have not been the best, although in the country of origin the qualifications obtained are considered outstanding.

In most cases, lack of information is the root of confusion and conflict. Therefore, many colleges recommend always having a diploma supplement at hand that explains the rating system used with their equivalences in other systems around the world.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, the maximum qualifications are awarded very frequently, since the vision of both countries declares that the qualifications are a kind of prize for those who have worked to obtain the best possible qualification. 

As expected, this practice has not only led to students being overvalued at times, but also other countries perceive this way of qualifying students to work as inflated, so they detract from it a little. In Holland, for example, the story is different.

The Dutch qualification system dates back to the 19th century, at which time its creation was disseminated. By that time a scoreboard of 1 to 10 had already been conceived, but the maximum score was never awarded because it was a symbolism of perfection, and perfection only belonged to the Christian God, so qualifying someone with a 10 concurred in an act of blasphemy. 

Although we are already at other times, the practice of not granting 10 is still in the Netherlands, so it is an isolated case in which a student receives such a grade. In this article, we will tell you about the grading system and what is a passing grade in college?

The British Grade System

Contrary to many countries in which the highest grade is 10 (Netherlands) or 100 (United States), in the United Kingdom the maximum grade is 7. This means a culture shock for many of the foreign students since the system does not matter that they use in their countries, for sure the first time they see a 6 as a grade in a task or exam, they get confused and may even despair. Students graduating with 7 receive a degree with distinction, while those who achieved a score between 6 and 6.9 receive a degree with merit.

The Method Of Grades In American Education

The American system of grades or grades is based on the so-called “Grade Point Average,” or by its acronym “GPA,” and is commonly followed by all education departments of all states. That is why for all foreign students trying to take a college course in the United States, they will be required to somehow not only prove that they have their previous course approved, but some clear way to show the equivalence of their grades.

As is known by almost everyone, the United States is a country with a large number of colleges among the best in the world in all Rankings, and this makes the competitiveness of secondary education in the country is very high, with them in order to facilitate access to the best colleges in each high school. 

This also gives prestige to the High Schools, and therefore compete for these accesses and for having the best grades in their students. In addition, as in the Anglo-Saxon model of origin, Americans value personal effort and work very much, and that is why they give points or “credits” to the amount of work done by students. 

The selection to enter or obtain scholarships in American colleges is very hard and is based largely on the qualifications obtained during the entire secondary education. The certificate of studies or Transcript gives the average grade of each student’s file or GPA calculated as a combination of the credits obtained in each subject (valued as we have said for the amount of work done or the “effort”) and the grade itself exams (which assesses the quality of knowledge to a greater extent). 

However, the methods to qualify may vary from state to state or even between college districts, and therefore in each student’s report cards (the certificate of studies or Official School Transcript) explanatory notes usually come in these cases.

Students receive grades at least twice a year and in some school districts, up to six times a year, and these contain the results obtained in each of the subjects they are studying. To better understand these notes, we have created the following table that explains how students are qualified in American colleges.

Alphabetical GradeNumerical scoreEquivalent in the USA
A +4.00Outstanding
B +3.33Notable (high)
B-2.67Notable (low)
C +2.33Good
C-1.67Enough (low)
D +1.33Insufficient
F0.00Very poor – Fail 

What Is a Passing Grade In College?

In most countries, the passing grade in college is “C” or better. So, what is the passing grade in colleges in Europe? Well, in countries across Europe, even “D” is considered the passing grade. This is official. Technically, “D” is a passing grade. Sometimes, it is also called a “mercy pass” or “grudging pass.” 

Therefore, to have a signature approved, it must be between the grades of A and C. D and F are suspended. There is also the incomplete entry (“Inc.” or “I”) that indicates that the student has not completed his / her work in the subject for reasons that the teacher understands and accepts. 

If in the following evaluation the work is still “incomplete,” the grade will change to “F.” Some subjects are qualified only with the indications Pass (approved) or Fail (suspense) in which case they do not obtain credits in that subject. On some occasions, the student is allowed to choose between this option and the alphabetical grade.

That was a brief idea on the different grading systems out there what is a passing grade in college . If you want to get more tips about the study abroad experience you can check study abroad tips and get some useful advice.

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