Grading System in India: Complete Guide

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Grading System in India

The primary objective of having a grading system is to assess the academic performance of a student. Used by schools all over the world, this technique is considered the most viable medium to analyze a child’s grasping power and reciprocating abilities. Earlier, the Indian education system relied heavily on the percentage system to grade a student. However, this process has seen a paradigm shift since 2009. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), a national-level education board, decided to do away with the percentage system and made way for the grading mode. In this blog, we will discuss the reasons for introducing the grading system in India and the process followed to calculate the scores.

Why was the Grading System in India Introduced?

The grading system in India was introduced not only to match the international range of grades but to also take the load off from students. While the marks allotted in the age-old percentage system focused on the quantity, the scores obtained in the grading system are based on the student’s ability to understand the concepts. The following are the major reasons why a grading system became a necessity for formulating an effective education system in India.

1. The most important reason behind the introduction of the grading system in India was to ease the examination-related pressure on the students. In this method, the student’s ability is tested not only based on academic performance but also on other activities like internal assignments, classroom projects, and answering ability. This helps mold students and makes studies less monotonous. 

2. Since the students are grouped in different types of grading scales, it gives them an idea about their weaknesses and strengths. This not only allows teachers to focus more on the average and below-average students but also provides an opportunity for students to improve upon their weak points.  

3. The grading system in India also gives parents an opportunity to assess their child’s capabilities and find the aspects they need to focus on to help their child become better at studies. 

4. It ensures uniformity across schools and colleges both in India and abroad. 

5. As compared to the older version, the modernly updated grading system in India no longer allows classifying students solely based on marks.

6. It also provides students with the necessary educational prerequisites to mold themselves to become better versions of themselves. 

Understanding the Grading System in India

To comprehend the grading system in India, you must know about the grading standards of GPA and CGPA which have been explained in detail below.

What is GPA?

GPA stands for the Grade Point Average. It is a standard method of calculating a student’s average score obtained over a stipulated period i.e. a semester or a term. GPA is calculated by dividing the average points scored by a student by the total credit hours attended by the student.

What is CGPA?

CGPA stands for Cumulative Grade Point Average. An important grading system in India, CGPA is used to denote a student’s overall performance in an academic year. The mean GPA of the semesters is first calculated and then it is divided by the total number of credits. Both CGPA and GPA are indicated by a numeric value as opposed to the percentages and different grades that are assigned under the Indian grading system.

Conversion of Percentage to GPA

The Indian school percentages as per the grading system in India and their US grade point equivalent scores are mentioned below. 

Conversion of GPA to 4.0 Scale

The formula for conversion of percentage to GPA of 4.0 as well as a 10-point scale is as follows:

For U.S. 4.0 Scale, GPA = (Percentage/100)*4

For 10-point scale, GPA = Percentage/9.5

Types of Grading Scales in India

Most commonly, Indian schools, colleges, and universities follow their grading system, some adhering to percentage or 10-point grading scales for CGPA and GPA. Further, for those institutions following the percentage system for grading, the marks obtained during a particular time duration are converted into percentages and then divided into the following four divisions of ranks:

75% – Distinction
60-75% – 1st Division
50-60% – 2nd Division
40-50% – 3rd Division

Detailed Grading Scale in India

Along with this, the CGPA and GPA scales detailed in the above section corresponding to the grading systems in India are further put in comparison in the following table:

E/F0.0<6.7Below 65

Grading System in India by CBSE

In 2010, CBSE introduced a new grading system in India for class X to XII students. This 9-point grading system allotted a grade on the basis of formative as well as summative assessments and corresponding to a range of marks.

Take a look at the CBSE grading system compared against the US Scale:

GradeGrade PointMarks RangeUS Grade
E1 & E20.021-32F
CBSE Grading Scale

University Grading System in India

Universities are major contributors to higher education in India. The grading system of Indian universities is likely to vary across states. Private and public Indian universities also follow different grading patterns for evaluation. Here are some of the prominent institutes and their process of grading:

UGC Grade Scale

The UGC suggests that all Indian Colleges use a consistent 10-point grading system, with letter grades from O(Outstanding) to F(Fail) and the appropriate number of points. The goal is to make sure that all colleges use the same methods to grade student’s work and figure out their Grade point Average (GPA). Even though there are some differences in how it is used, it has made it easier to compare and understand school results in India.

Marks (in %)Grade PointGrade
Below 37.00F

Anna University Grade Scale

A 10-point CGPA system is used at Anna University. Letter grades like “A” (9.0) mean excellent results, and “D” (6.0) means passing grades. More points mean a better GPA, a 7-7.49 out of 10 is known as First division.

Marks (in %)Grade PointGrade
Less than 50%0RA
Short of Attendance0SA
Withdrew from exam0W

University of Madras Grade Scale

A 10-point system is used at the University of Madras as part of the Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS). Grades are given out with “O” (90-100) being the best, “A+” to “D” being next, and “F” being the worst. Also, both the end-of-semester exams and the highest marks for each exam have a passing grade of at least 40%. This method figures out both the general CGPA and the grades for each course that make up a degree.

Marks (in%)Grade PointGrade
Less than 400U

Indraprastha University Grade Scale

The standard 10-point UGC grading method is used at Indraprastha University, with 10 being the best score and 4 being the passing mark. The Semester Grade Point Average (SGPA) shows how well a student did. A CGPA of 10 means that the student did exceptionally well and other grades are divided into groups based on their CGPA levels, First: 6.5+, Second: 5-6.49, and Third: 4-4.99.

Marks (in %)Grade PointGrade
Less than 40 or absent0F

Gujrat University Grade Scale

Gujarat University uses the Choice Based Credit System(CBCS) to grade students. A score of 70-100 means that the student is “FirlClass with Distinction”, “60-69.99 means “First Division”, 50-59.99 means that the student is “Second Division”, and 40-49.99 means “Passing Marks”. 

Marks (in %)Grade PointGrade
85-1008.5 and aboveO+
70-84.997.0 to 8.49O
60-69.996.0 to 6.99A
55-59.995.5 to 5.99B+
48-54.994.8 to 5.49B
36-47.993.6 to 4.79C
35.99 and below3.59 and belowD


Which grading system is used in India?

Typically, Indian universities employ a 10-point grading system (though some use a 4-point scale). The whole sum of your grades is divided by the total number of credits you have taken to determine your GPA. There will be a number between 0 and 10 as the outcome. Your grade point average is as follows.

What is a good GPA in India?

Most universities consider a GPA between 3.0 and 3.5 to be respectable. Most prestigious academic institutions demand GPAs of at least 3.5. You can still get admitted with a lower GPA, but you might not be qualified for scholarships.

What is GPA called in India?

In India, academic grades are determined using a percentage system and are referred to as GPA or CGPA.

Thus, continuous efforts are being made to revamp the educational system which is also visible in the changes made to the grading system in India. Calculating and mentioning the CGPA forms an integral part of the admission process. If you are confused about the application process of a particular university then you can feel free to contact Leverage Edu. The counselors will help you complete the cumbersome process and help you get into your dream university. 

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