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Grading System in UK Education

Grading methods vary by the tiers of study and the institution in the UK and tend to reflect the UK teaching method. "GPA" is Grade Point Average which refers to the cumulative representation of the grade attained by a student at the end of their course of study. 

Grading System in Secondary Schools

In the UK, alphabetical system of grading is followed in Secondary Schools, i.e. from A to E wherein A means excellent/outstanding; B refers to above average; C means average; D refers to below average; and E refers to fail. Highest on scale is grade A and E is the lowest on scale. C and D refer to pass and fail respectively.

Grading System in Higher Education

The Numerical grading mechanism is likewise used in the UK. The numerical grading system is applied to Undergraduate and Postgraduate degree levels.

  • 1st class (a first class honours) - 70% refers to Distinction
  • 2:1 (a second class honours upper division) – 60%-69% refers to Merit
  • 2:2 (a second class honours lower division) - 50%-59% refers to Pass
  • 3rd – 40%-49%
  • Below 40% represents Fail

The highest degree is a “First Class Honours”  i.e., 70% , is awarded to students with an A average across all their classes. The next level is a Second Class Honours degree, which is classified into an Upper Division and Lower Division. The Upper division is referred to as “two-one” and lower division is referred to as “two-two”. Statistically, the majority of students graduate with a 2:1. 
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