Know the Grading System in Australia

Australia is known for its impressive universities, colleges and academic institutions, many of which are held in high esteem. The reason we see, Australia receive one of the highest number of international students almost every year. The country follows one of the strictest standards in its academic system. If you are already studying in Australia or planning to start your academic career here, you must know that one of the distinct characteristics of the Australian education system is its grading system, which varies region-wise. Yes, usually, what you see in most countries where the grading system is the same across the country, in Australia, it varies from one region to another.

The grading system is a standardised scale intended to measure the achievements of students and display an equitable and accurate view of their academic performance or progress. The Australian grading system is different from other countries, so international students need to understand how it works to take maximum advantage of their education in Australia.

Here in his post, we will discuss the Australian university grading system, its importance and how it functions. Whether you are aspiring to study in Australia or an international student already studying at an Australian university, in this post we will provide you with significant information about the Australian grading system.

Australia University Grading System

The Australian university grading system is a key element in evaluating a student’s academic achievements and overall academic progress. The grading system in Australia is different from other countries, and it is essential for overseas students to understand how it works with an idea to know more about the proficiency of the Australian education system.

What is the Evaluation Pattern in the Australian Academic Grading System?

Usually, in Australia, a 0 to 100 numerical scale is adopted for academic grading; with 0 as the lowest score and 100 as the greatest. However, this system is not followed by every academic institution as many follow the letter grade system or just the pass/fail system. Therefore, when you are in Australia for studies, make sure you have enquired about their specific grading system.

Numerical Grading System

The numerical scale system allows a cutoff score of 50 for passing results. Scores above 50 are divided into various levels of performance and achievements.

  • 85 and above is a distinction,
  • 75 to 84 is a credit,
  • and 65 to 74 is a pass.
  • A score between 50 to 64 is a borderline pass,
  • and anything below 50 is a failure.

To judge the academic performance of students, several academic engagements of students are considered. It includes occasional or regular tests, homework, involvement of students in class and various other activities included in their evaluation technique. However, depending on the institution and subject the value given to the elements in this may vary.

There are some instances where the evaluation depends completely on the results of the final examination, while in other instances, the performance of the students during their entire course is considered for the overall grade or results.

Use of Grading Curve

Grading curve is one of the unique features of the Australian university grading system. In this, the final grade for a course depends on students’ overall performance in account of the remaining of the class. Taking into account the overall performance of the class, this grading curve system ensures that the grades are fair and accurate. There are two ways in which the grading curve works:

  • Lifts the grade of students who performed better than the average or
  • Lowers the grade of students who performed poorer than the average.

The university or the course coordinator is responsible for determining the grading curve in any institution or university. It is usually implemented in places with courses that have a large number of students enrolled.

Weighted Average Mark (WAM)

In Australia, the Weighted Average Mark (WAM) is another special feature of the higher education grading system. In this, the grades a student receives from each course are taken into account in the calculation system and the number of credit points are linked to it. To calculate the WAM, the grade points received from each course are multiplied by the credit points attached to it, and then all the grade points obtained are combined, and then divided by the credit points attempted. The WAM is a grading system that provides a complete and accurate explanation of the academic performance of a student. Universities use WAM to assess students’s eligibility for scholarships, aids, awards, and many other academic opportunities.

Letter Grading System in Australia

Apart from the numerical grading system, many Australian universities have implemented a letter grade system. In the letter grade system A to F are assigned as grades for higher to lower grades, in which A is the highest grade and F is the lowest grade. The letter grades depict the percentage of marks students have scored in their exams, that is, if students score 80 to 100%, they earn an A grade and for scoring 50 to 59% one gets a D grade.

Pass/Fail Grading System

In addition to all the above grading systems in Australia, some universities in Australia use a pass/fail grading system that just mentions whether a student has passed or failed a course. In this grading system, the students do not get numbers or letter grades as a performance assessment. Non-core courses like electives and extracurricular activities usually apply this pass/fail grading system.

Why Grading in Essential?

Grades are a crucial factor that should be taken into consideration while determining students’ eligibility for certain courses or degree programs like graduate programs, postgraduate programs, internships, and scholarships. International students should take the impacts of the Australian grading system into account while aspiring for any future academic and professional course in Australia. Grades play a key role in impacting the future career possibilities of students. Students who are blessed with good academic records or are brilliant in their academics have prospects of qualifying for scholarships and awards. Scholarships and student aid can help them enrol in the courses of their dreams as they get financial help to fund their education. Many times students fail to enrol in courses or programs of their dreams due to lack of funds. This way brilliant students or students with excellent academic records can achieve their academic goals.

Apart from achieving academic success, academic integrity is another factor that is appreciated in the assessment system of Australian universities. If students engage in misconduct while pursuing their higher studies in Australia, it can lead to serious consequences and may even end up with a failure or expulsion from the university. Therefore, it is vital for transnational or international students and scholars to maintain and support academic integrity rules while studying in Australia.

Final Thought

From all the above points in which we tried to understand the Australian grading system, we have understood that the grading system is an essential part of the Australian education system just like it is in other countries. We have discussed all the different types of grading scales followed in the Australian education system from numerical grading, WAM grading, curve grading and letter grading to just mention of pass and fail grading. Each of the grading systems is used to provide a fair and accurate declaration of a student’s academic performance.

Both local and international students should make themselves aware of this Australian grading system and take advantage of it in their academic performance. Moreover, they are advised not to misbehave in order to support and maintain academic integrity in Australia while pursuing their studies here. If you understand the Australian university grading system well, it will help you succeed in completing your studies in Australia without any confusion or inconvenience.

To get more insight into the grading system in Australia, you can reach out to us at CrunchGrade. We will ensure, you do not get into any kind of trouble due to the unavailability of information about your study in Australia.

September 4, 2023
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