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University Grading System in Australia

June 6, 2024
By MaxiMax
University Grading System in Australia

When embarking on your educational journey in Australia, it's crucial to grasp the intricacies of the country's university grading system.

This understanding not only allows you to track your academic advancement but also maximises your learning experience and enhances opportunities for future employment after graduation.

Our detailed guide to the Australian University Grading System aims to offer a distinct perspective on studying abroad in Australia, equipping you with valuable insights and tools for excelling academically and distinguishing yourself among international students.

Australian Grading System

The grading system used by Australian universities is well-known for its openness and equity. It employs either a numerical or letter-based format, with each grade holding its own importance. Let's explore this system further:

Grade Importance
High Distinction (HD) Top performance
Distinction (D) Exceptional performance
Credit (CR) Above average performance
Pass (P) Satisfactory performance
Fail (F) Insufficient performance

Different Grading Scales Across Universities

It is worth mentioning that although the basic principles of the grading system stay unchanged, there may be differences in the details among various universities nationwide. Familiarizing yourself with your preferred or current institution's grading criteria is essential for success. There are two widely used grading systems:

HD/CR/P/F System

In this setup:

  • A numerical range of 85-100 equates to High Distinction (HD).
  • Credit (CR) is within the bracket of 75-84.
  • The Pass (P) category covers a scope of 50-74.
  • Anything less than 50 leads to a Fail (F).

Numerical Grading

This scale offers higher precision:

  • 85-100: High Distinction (HD)
  • 75-84: Distinction (D)
  • 65-74: Credit (CR)
  • 50-64: Pass (P)
  • Below 50: Fail (F)

Grading in Australia According to Territories

Each educational institution in Australia upholds a strong standard of learning, but variations in grading systems can influence your academic experience. Here is an outline of the potential differences in grading scales across different states and territories:

Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales

Universities in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory often use the HD/CR/P/F grading system, which is widely accepted and easy to understand. However, it's important to verify with your individual university as there may be some variations.


In Victoria, universities frequently use a numerical grading system that is akin to the one mentioned previously. This approach offers a more accurate evaluation of your performance and ensures clear delineation of distinctions.


Queensland's universities also tend to use a numerical grading system. This approach provides a high level of detail, allowing for a thorough assessment of your academic performance.

Western Australia

In Western Australia, it's common to come across different grading systems, with some universities using HD/CR/P/F and others employing a numerical scale. It's important to become acquainted with the specific approach of your university.

South Australia

South Australian universities predominantly make use of the numeric grading system, placing particular emphasis on its ability to accurately assess student performance.

Tasmania and Northern Territory

In Tasmania and the Northern Territory, you might encounter a combination of grading systems. Some schools favor using HD/CR/P/F, while others may use numerical grades.

Grading Criteria

To earn better grades, it's important to have a thorough grasp of how your performance is assessed. Grading standards typically encompass:

  • Tasks and Projects: Tasks, research assignments, and collaborative projects play a crucial role in your evaluation. Meeting deadlines and producing excellent work are crucial.
  • Tests: End-of-term exams are widely used in Australian universities. Successful preparation and time management are vital for achieving good results.

Calculating Your GPA

Each grade you achieve in a course comes with specific GPA points in the Australian grading system:

  • High Distinction: Often awarded 7.0 GPA points, this grade indicates outstanding performance.
  • Distinction (D): A Distinction typically receives 6.0 GPA points, reflecting excellent performance.
  • Credit: Usually assigned 5.0 GPA points, representing above-average performance.
  • Pass (P): Attaining a Pass is generally linked to 4.0 GPA points, demonstrating satisfactory completion of course requirements.
  • Fail (F): Failing a course usually results in 0.0 GPA points due to insufficient performance.

Weighted Average Calculation

Your overall GPA is not simply an average of these GPA points. It's calculated as a weighted average that considers the credit value of each course. This means that courses with higher credit values have a greater impact on your GPA.

The formula for calculating the weighted average GPA is:

GPA = Total Weighted Points / Total Credit Value

To calculate your GPA:

  1. Assign the appropriate GPA point to each grade received for individual courses.
  2. Multiply the GPA point for each course by its credit value.
  3. Add up all the total weighted points for all courses.
  4. Add up all the total credit values for all courses.
  5. Divide the total weighted points by the total credit value to derive your final GPA score.
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