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An Insight into the Grading System in the USA


Nothing can beat the lucrativeness of international education. In fact, studying abroad is a matter of pride. And when it comes to pursuing your education in a foreign country, nothing can beat the kind of education you receive in the USA!

You must be knowing that the US is home to many leading universities like Columbia University, the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Boston University, and the University of Texas at Austin. But are you also aware of the grading system followed in US universities?

So today, in this article below, we, at Storm Overseas, ranked among the top USA education consultants in Hyderabad, will shed light on the grading system in the USA and will break down this facet for you so that you gain utter clarity on the same.

Getting to know the “Letter Grading System”:

When studying in the USA, you will have to complete a certain number of assignments for which you will receive grades. These grades will appear on the face of your assignment. Letters is the word used in the USA for grades.

You will receive Grade A, B, C, D, or F based on your performance. Here, A represents very good performance, while F means you have failed to clear the assignment.

Precisely, here is how the Grading looks:

Grade A – This is the highest grade any student can get. Grade A is the equivalent for 90 to 100 percent.

Grade B – Grade B is quite good too, which means the student has secured 80 to 89 percent.

Grade C – Grade C is somewhere in-between, neither too good nor too bad. Grade C equals 70 to 79 percent.

Grade D – Grade D means you have just passed by securing 59 to 69 percent.

Grade F – Grade F means you have failed to clear the assignment. You need to study hard and reappear.

As one of the most trusted USA education consultants in Hyderabad, we, at Storm Overseas, make sure that this information is handy with all the aspirants so that they do not feel lost through their study tenure in the USA.

Spot the missing Grade E

If you have observed, Grade E is missing from the above grading system. There is a history behind it!

Around 1897, the grading system did not have a Grade F. Grade E was used in place of Grade F, with the former representing poor grades and failure in examinations.

However, students and parents alike displayed confusion with respect to this grading system. They were of the opinion that E stands for Excellent, while F stands for Failure. They found it easier to associate F with poor grades.

Since then, Grade E disappeared from the USA grading system, while Grade F turned into a grade that students feared.

Have you heard about the “quality point” in the USA grading system?

While you may like to believe that the grades we spoke about stand in their own capacity, there is more to it. Each of these grades is quantified based on a parameter the respective institute/university deems fit.

The quality point is important because it acts as a deciding factor while calculating the students’ overall GPA. While every institute has the freedom of choosing its scale, the most common one is the 4.0 scale.

In most cases, the letter A will correspond to a 4 or a multiple of 4. It is important to note that to achieve a satisfactory cumulative quality point average (CQPA), the student needs to achieve an academic standing of 2.0 or more.

If you are wondering how the CQPA is calculated, an average is taken of all the grades scored by the student coupled with the completed credits for all the semesters.

In the absence of proper guidance, you might find it difficult to familiarize yourself with the USA grading system. We, at Storm Overseas, have seen students unknowingly underperform, which is not something we would want any student to face. With this in mind, our consultation sessions include necessarily passing on grading-related information concerning the US education system to aspirants who approach us for assistance.

What are Special Grades?

While studying in the USA, you are most likely to come across the concept of “special grades.” Here is what they represent.

  • IP: IP stands for In Progress. This means the student is yet to be awarded the final/regular grade. Students, who receive such grades, have failed to complete parts of a subject that forms part of multiple semesters and is necessary for getting the regular grade. Once the student completes the subject, IP changes to a regular grade.


  • NC: NC, in this case, means Not Complete. As the name rightly suggests, students who receive this grade have failed to complete an assignment or appear for an examination related to that particular subject.


  • W: W stands for withdrawn. This grade is awarded to every such student who drops out of a course beyond the stipulated trial period. Here, the student appears for the classes but drops out midway without assignment completion.

It is USA Calling!

We hope the article could help you closely understand the ambit of the US grading system. However, if there still remains any doubts regarding the grades or anything else pertaining to education in the USA, we, at Storm Overseas, are here to offer you the necessary guidance. After all, having the necessary clarity on all the aspects of attaining education in a foreign land beforehand will only work as an icing on the cake.

In fact, we, at Storm Overseas, being one of the leading USA education consultants in Hyderabad, believe that it is crucial for every student heading to the USA to know every little thing associated with the academic functionalities in the USA well in advance. With this in mind, we assist aspirants with information related to the different fields of study, intake period, advantages of studying in the USA, the admission procedures, and a lot of other facets.

So, come and connect with us for your study abroad dreams. We will help you let go of all the confusion and prep you up to get going to taste the highest standard of education at one of the world’s pioneering universi