Bhutan Grading System

High School Grade Scale

The Bhutanese educational system employs a distinct grading scale for high school students, which is crucial for understanding students’ academic performance. Here’s a breakdown of the main grade scales used in Bhutan for High Secondary Education, along with their comparable English terms, and equivalent percentage range and GPA. Note that variations such as ‘+’ and ‘-‘ exist within certain schools, adding a layer of nuance to the grading system.

Bhutan GradesComparable English TermsEquivalent Percentage RangeGPA
A-Very Good85-89%3.7
BAbove Average75-79%3.0
FFailBelow 50%0.0

College Grade Scale

At the college or university level, the grading scale in Bhutan might slightly differ or expand to accommodate higher academic standards and expectations. Below is a typical grading scale for higher education institutions in Bhutan.

Bhutan GradesComparable English TermsEquivalent Percentage RangeGPA
A-Very Good85-89%3.7
BAbove Average75-79%3.0
DMinimum Pass50-59%1.0
FFailBelow 50%0.0

This table gives a general overview of how grading works at different levels of education in Bhutan, with variations in the use of ‘+’ and ‘-‘ grades to provide more precision in evaluating a student’s performance. Keep in mind that specific institutions may have additional or slightly different grading criteria, so it’s always a good idea to check with the school or university for the most accurate information.

Understanding Grades in Bhutan

Delving deeper into the meanings behind each grade in the Bhutanese grading system helps clarify the expectations for students and the level of achievement these grades represent. Let’s explore what each grade signifies, from excellent to failing, and sprinkle in some relevant emojis to keep things engaging. 📚

A – Excellent 🌟

The “A” grade symbolizes excellence and is awarded to students who achieve a score between 90-100%. It reflects a high level of understanding, skill, and competence in the subject matter. An “A” grade is indicative of outstanding performance, with the student demonstrating a comprehensive grasp of the content and the ability to apply knowledge in various contexts.

A- / B+ – Very Good / Good 👍

“A-” and “B+” grades are given to students scoring in the ranges of 85-89% and 80-84%, respectively. These grades represent very good to good performance, with students showing a strong understanding of the material, though there may be minor gaps in knowledge or application compared to those achieving an “A.”

B / B- – Above Average / Average ✅

“B” grades (75-79%) and “B-” grades (70-74%) denote above-average to average performance. Students with these grades have a satisfactory grasp of the subject, with “B” indicating a solid performance and “B-” suggesting there’s room for improvement in understanding or skill application.

C+ / C – Satisfactory / Fair 🆗

Grades “C+” (65-69%) and “C” (60-64%) reflect a fair to satisfactory performance. These grades indicate that while the student has met the basic requirements, there are significant areas for improvement. Understanding of the subject is adequate but not thorough.

D – Pass 🛑

A “D” grade, ranging from 50-59%, is considered a passing mark but signifies that the student has only met the minimum requirements to progress. The understanding of the subject is basic, and the application of knowledge is limited.

F – Fail ❌

An “F” grade is given when a student’s performance falls below 50%, indicating a failing mark. This grade suggests that the student has not met the necessary criteria to pass and demonstrates a significant lack of understanding or ability regarding the subject matter.

Understanding these grades and what they represent is crucial for students, parents, and educators alike. It provides a clear framework for academic expectations and achievements within the Bhutanese education system.

Bhutan Grade Comparison

Comparing Bhutan’s grading system with those of other countries can provide valuable insights into the academic standards and expectations at an international level. This comparison can help students, educators, and professionals understand how Bhutanese grades translate into systems used in countries like the US, UK, India, Australia, Canada, and China.

High School Grade Comparison

Bhutan GradesUS GradesUK Grades (GCSE)India GradesAustralia GradesCanada GradesChina Grades
AA9 (A*)91-100 (A1)AAA (90-100%)
A-A-8 (A)81-90 (A2)A-A-A- (85-89%)
B+B+7 (A)71-80 (B1)B+B+B+ (80-84%)
BB6 (B)61-70 (B2)BBB (75-79%)
B-B-5 (C)51-60 (C1)B-B-B- (70-74%)
C+C+4 (C)41-50 (C2)C+C+C+ (65-69%)
CC3 (D)33-40 (D)CCC (60-64%)
DD2 (E)21-32 (E)DDD (50-59%)
FF1 (F)20 and below (Fail)FFF (Below 50%)

College / University Grade Comparison

The grading scale for higher education often varies more significantly between countries due to different academic standards and assessment methods. However, the table below provides a general comparison based on common grading scales.

Bhutan GradesUS GPAUK ClassIndia PercentageAustralia LevelCanada GPAChina GPA
A4.0First-class honours75-100%High Distinction (HD)4.04.0 (90-100%)
A-3.7Upper second-class honours (2:1)65-74%Distinction (D)3.73.7 (85-89%)
B+3.3Lower second-class honours (2:2)55-64%Credit (C)3.33.3 (80-84%)
B3.0Third-class honours50-54%Pass (P)3.03.0 (75-79%)
B-2.7Ordinary degreeBelow 50%Pass (P)2.72.7 (70-74%)
C+ and below2.0-2.3Fail or Pass (varies)FailFail (N)2.0-2.3Below 2.7 (Below 70%)

This table highlights the rough equivalences between Bhutanese grades and those used in other countries, allowing for a basic understanding of how academic performance is recognized and measured across different educational systems. It’s important to note that these comparisons are generalizations and specific equivalences can vary by institution and country.

Special Grading Considerations

In Bhutan, as in many countries, the grading system can exhibit variations across different states and school types. These differences reflect the diverse educational practices and policies that cater to the unique contexts of each region or institution. Understanding these variations is essential for a comprehensive grasp of the Bhutanese educational landscape.

Variations Across States and School Types

Public vs. Private Institutions

  • Public Schools generally follow the grading system as outlined by the Ministry of Education, ensuring uniformity across the nation. However, the implementation of grading practices can vary slightly depending on the resources available and the teacher’s discretion.
  • Private Schools might adopt a more flexible grading scale or incorporate additional criteria like class participation and extra-curricular activities into the final grade. This approach can lead to slight variations in how grades are awarded compared to public schools.

Rural vs. Urban Schools

  • Rural Schools might face challenges such as limited access to educational resources and trained personnel, which can affect grading. Teachers in rural areas might be more lenient in grading to encourage students amidst these challenges.
  • Urban Schools, with better access to resources and a competitive environment, may adhere more strictly to the grading criteria, leading to a perceived difference in grading severity between urban and rural schools.

Grading Practices and Teacher Discretion

Teachers in Bhutan, while adhering to the national grading system, have some level of discretion in assessing students’ performances. This discretion allows teachers to consider factors like student improvement, effort, and participation, especially in subjective subjects such as literature and the arts. Such flexibility ensures that the grading system accommodates various learning styles and intelligences.

Handling of Failing Grades

In Bhutan, failing grades are a significant concern for students, parents, and educators alike. The approach to handling failing grades includes:

  • Remedial Classes: Schools often offer extra classes or tutoring to students at risk of failing, aiming to improve their understanding and performance.
  • Re-examination: Students who fail may be given the opportunity to retake exams or submit additional work to improve their grades.
  • Counseling and Support: Emotional and educational support is provided to help students cope with the stress of failing grades and to strategize for future success.

These practices highlight Bhutan’s commitment to an inclusive and supportive educational environment, recognizing that each student’s journey is unique and may require different types of intervention to succeed.

Understanding the nuances of grading across different contexts in Bhutan reveals the education system’s adaptability and the emphasis on providing a fair and equitable learning experience for all students.


In this section, we tackle some of the most frequently asked questions about the Bhutan grading system and scale. These FAQs aim to clarify common queries and provide quick, helpful insights into how grading works in Bhutan’s educational landscape.

Q: How does the Bhutanese grading system compare to international grading systems?
A: The Bhutanese grading system uses letters (A, B, C, etc.) similar to many international systems, but the percentage ranges for these grades can vary. For example, an “A” grade in Bhutan represents a score of 90-100%, which is consistent with many U.S. institutions but might differ slightly from other countries’ grading scales. Comparisons with specific countries’ grading systems can be found in the “Bhutan Grade Comparison” section.

Q: Are there differences in grading between subjects in Bhutan?
A: Yes, grading can vary slightly between subjects, especially between objective subjects like mathematics and subjective ones like literature. Teachers have some discretion to account for the nature of the subject, student engagement, and improvement over time.

Q: What happens if a student receives a failing grade in Bhutan?
A: Students who receive a failing grade (F) are typically provided with opportunities to improve through remedial classes, re-examination, or additional support. The aim is to help students achieve a passing grade and continue their education without significant setbacks.

Q: Can grade variations occur between different schools in Bhutan?
A: Yes, variations can occur due to factors like rural vs. urban location, public vs. private institution, and the availability of resources. However, all schools adhere to the basic framework of the Bhutanese grading system.

Q: How is student performance evaluated in Bhutan’s colleges and universities?
A: In higher education institutions in Bhutan, student performance is evaluated through a combination of assignments, projects, presentations, and exams. The grading scale used is similar to the one applied in high schools but may include more comprehensive assessments to reflect higher academic standards.

Q: Do plus (+) and minus (-) grades affect a student’s GPA in Bhutan?
A: Yes, plus and minus variations (e.g., B+ or A-) can impact a student’s GPA, providing a more nuanced reflection of their academic performance. These grades allow for a finer distinction between different levels of achievement within the same letter grade category.

These FAQs provide a glimpse into the intricacies of the Bhutanese grading system, helping students, parents, and educators navigate the educational landscape with greater understanding and ease.

Additional Resources

For those looking to dive deeper into the Bhutanese grading system or seeking official information and guidance, here are some valuable resources. These websites are primarily .edu or .gov sites from Bhutan, ensuring the information is reliable and up-to-date.

Ministry of Education, Bhutan

  • Website: Ministry of Education
  • Info Provided: Official policies, curriculum guidelines, and educational standards in Bhutan. This site is a primary source for understanding the educational framework and grading system across different levels of schooling in Bhutan.

Royal University of Bhutan

  • Website: Royal University of Bhutan
  • Info Provided: Details on higher education grading scales, academic programs, and university policies. An excellent resource for students considering or currently pursuing higher education in Bhutan.

Bhutan Council for School Examinations and Assessment (BCSEA)

  • Website: BCSEA
  • Info Provided: Information on national examinations, assessment criteria, and grading standards for high school students. This site is crucial for understanding how standardized testing and grading are conducted in Bhutan.

Bhutan Qualifications Framework (BQF)

  • Website: Bhutan Qualifications Framework
  • Info Provided: A comprehensive guide to the qualifications system in Bhutan, including details on how different levels of education are structured and assessed. Useful for understanding the progression and recognition of academic qualifications in Bhutan.

These resources provide authoritative information and guidance on the Bhutanese educational system, from primary education through to higher education. Whether you’re a student, parent, or educator, these sites can offer insights and answers to more specific questions about education in Bhutan.