Brazil Grading System

High School Grade Scale

The Brazilian grading system for high secondary education (Ensino Médio) is typically based on a numerical scale ranging from 0 to 10. This system is utilized across various states, with slight variations in some regions. To provide clarity, we’ll also compare these grades with terms familiar to English-speaking countries, along with their equivalent percentage ranges and Grade Point Averages (GPA) on a 4.0 scale where applicable.

Brazil GradesComparable English TermsEquivalent Percentage RangeGPA (4.0 Scale)
9.0 – 10Excellent90% – 100%4.0
7.0 – 8.9Good70%89%3.0 – 3.9
5.0 – 6.9Satisfactory50% – 69%2.0 – 2.9
0.0 – 4.9Insufficient/Fail0% – 49%0.0 – 1.9

In some schools, grades might include “+” or “-” to further differentiate performance within these ranges, although this practice is more common in college or university levels than in high schools.

College Grade Scale

At the college or university level, the grading system follows a similar numerical scale but is often interpreted with slightly higher expectations for achievement, especially in more competitive programs. Here, the emphasis on grades can vary more significantly from one institution to another, and some may use a different scale or add letters to the numerical grades.

Brazil GradesComparable English TermsEquivalent Percentage RangeGPA (4.0 Scale)
9.0 – 10Excellent90% – 100%4.0
8.0 – 8.9Very Good80% – 89%3.5 – 3.9
7.0 – 7.9Good70% – 79%3.0 – 3.4
5.0 – 6.9Satisfactory50% – 69%2.0 – 2.9
0.0 – 4.9Insufficient/Fail0% – 49%0.0 – 1.9

It’s important to note that some universities might use a letter grading system (A, B, C, D, F) alongside or instead of numerical grades, especially for international programs or courses taught in English. Additionally, the “+” and “-” variants might be more prevalent, offering a nuanced view of a student’s performance.

These tables offer a general overview of the grading scales in Brazil for both high school and college levels. Keep in mind that there could be regional and institutional variations that adjust these scales to fit specific educational objectives or standards.

Understanding Grades in Brazil

Grades in Brazil not only reflect a student’s academic performance but also serve as a key indicator of their understanding and mastery of the subject matter. Let’s dive into what each grade range signifies and the implications for students at both the high school and college levels.

🌟 9.0 – 10: Excellent (Excelente)

Achieving a grade in the range of 9.0 to 10 is considered outstanding. It indicates a high level of comprehension, the ability to apply knowledge effectively, and often the demonstration of critical thinking skills beyond the basic requirements. Students who consistently score in this range are seen as excelling in their studies, showing both dedication and a strong grasp of the material.

📚 7.0 – 8.9: Good (Bom)

Grades between 7.0 and 8.9 are interpreted as good. This signifies that the student has a solid understanding of the coursework and can apply their knowledge competently. While there may be some areas for improvement, students in this grade range are generally well-prepared to advance or tackle more complex topics within the subject.

👍 5.0 – 6.9: Satisfactory (Satisfatório)

A satisfactory grade, falling between 5.0 and 6.9, suggests that the student meets the basic requirements of the course. They demonstrate an adequate understanding of the material but may struggle with more complex concepts or applications. These grades often signal the need for additional study or support to fully grasp the subject matter.

🚩 0.0 – 4.9: Insufficient/Fail (Insuficiente/Falha)

Scoring below a 5.0 is considered insufficient, indicating that the student has not met the minimum criteria to pass. This range suggests significant gaps in understanding or the inability to apply course concepts effectively. Students receiving these grades may need to retake the course or participate in remedial education to progress.

The “+” and “-” symbols attached to grades can further refine this feedback, offering additional insight into a student’s performance. A “+” indicates that a student is at the higher end of the grading criterion for that letter or number, showing a stronger command of the material. Conversely, a “-” suggests there’s room for improvement within the grade level to reach the next higher performance category.

Understanding these grades and what they signify helps students identify their strengths and areas for improvement. For educators and institutions, these distinctions are crucial in providing targeted support and ensuring that all students have the opportunities they need to succeed.

Brazil Grade Comparison

In the global context, understanding how Brazilian grades translate to other educational systems can be crucial for students studying abroad, international admissions, and academic evaluations. Below is a table comparing the Brazilian grading system to those of the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), India, Australia, Canada, and China. This comparison aims to provide a rough equivalent, recognizing that grading practices can vary significantly between institutions and countries.

BrazilUS (GPA/Grade)UKIndia (%)AustraliaCanadaChina (%)
9.0 – 10A (4.0)First-class Honors75% – 100%High DistinctionA+ (90% – 100%)85% – 100%
7.0 – 8.9B (3.0 – 3.9)Upper Second Class60%74%DistinctionA (80% – 89%)75% – 84%
5.0 – 6.9C (2.0 – 2.9)Lower Second Class50% – 59%CreditB (70% – 79%)60% – 74%
0.0 – 4.9F (0.0 – 1.9)FailBelow 50%FailF (Below 70%)Below 60%

Key Points to Note:

  • United States (US): The GPA system is widely used, with A through F letter grades. The Brazilian grades of 9.0 – 10 roughly equate to an A or a 4.0 GPA.
  • United Kingdom (UK): The UK uses classifications for degree honors. A Brazilian grade of 9.0 – 10 is akin to achieving First-class honors.
  • India: India predominantly uses a percentage system. Grades of 9.0 – 10 in Brazil could be compared to scoring 75% and above in India.
  • Australia: Australian grades vary from High Distinction to Fail. A Brazilian score of 9.0 – 10 would be comparable to a High Distinction.
  • Canada: Similar to the US, Canada uses letter grades, but the percentage ranges can differ slightly. A top Brazilian grade translates to an A+ in Canada.
  • China: China primarily uses a percentage system, where a 9.0 – 10 in Brazil equates to scoring between 85% to 100%.

It’s important to recognize that these comparisons are approximate. Educational institutions may have their own specific criteria for evaluating foreign grades, especially for purposes like admissions and credit transfer. When in doubt, it’s always best to consult directly with the institution or a qualified educational consultant.

Special Grading Considerations

In Brazil, while the grading system provides a standard framework for assessing student performance, variations exist across states, school types, and even individual teachers. These differences can influence how grades are awarded and interpreted, impacting both students and educators.

Variations Across States and School Types

  • Regional Differences: Brazil’s vast size and diverse educational landscape mean that grading practices can vary from one state to another. For example, some states or municipalities might have slightly different criteria for what constitutes each grade level, especially at the margins.
  • Public vs. Private Schools: There can also be variations between public and private institutions. Private schools may have more flexibility in their grading systems and may employ different scales or additional markers like ‘+’ or ‘-‘ to denote high or low ends of a grade range.
  • College and University Standards: Higher education institutions, particularly universities, often have their own specific grading policies. These can include different scales, the use of letter grades, or more nuanced evaluations like pass/fail options for certain courses.

Teacher Discretion

  • Grading Practices: Individual teachers have a degree of discretion in how they apply the grading scale. This can lead to variations in grading strictness between courses or departments. For example, one teacher might grade more leniently, while another might apply the criteria more rigorously.
  • Feedback and Assessment Methods: The types of assessments used (e.g., exams, projects, continuous assessment) and the feedback provided can also vary. Some educators may focus more on holistic understanding and improvement over time, while others might emphasize specific benchmarks or outcomes.

Handling of Failing Grades

  • Remedial Support: Students who receive failing grades are often offered additional support, such as tutoring, extra assignments, or the opportunity to retake exams. This approach is aimed at helping students overcome their difficulties and achieve the necessary understanding to progress.
  • Repeating Courses or Grades: In some cases, students may need to repeat a course or, in more severe situations, an entire grade level. This decision is typically made in consultation with teachers, parents, and the student, considering the best path forward for academic success.
  • Graduation Requirements: For high school and university students, failing grades can impact graduation timelines. Institutions may have policies in place that allow students to retake only certain courses or limit the number of retakes available.

Understanding these variations and considerations is crucial for students, parents, and educators navigating the Brazilian educational system. It highlights the importance of communication and engagement with individual institutions and teachers to fully grasp the nuances of grading practices and expectations.


Below are some frequently asked questions about the Brazil grading system and scale, providing concise answers to help students, parents, and educators understand key aspects of this educational framework.

Q: What is considered a passing grade in Brazilian high schools?
A: Generally, a grade of 5.0 or above on a scale of 0 to 10 is considered passing in Brazilian high schools.

Q: Can students retake exams if they fail?
A: Yes, many schools and universities offer students the opportunity to retake exams or complete additional assignments to improve their grades.

Q: How are grades calculated in Brazilian universities?
A: Grades in Brazilian universities are typically calculated based on a combination of assignments, projects, mid-term exams, and final exams. The specific weighting can vary by course and instructor.

Q: Is there grade inflation in Brazil?
A: Grade inflation is not widely reported as an issue in Brazil, but perceptions can vary by institution and region. It’s important for students to focus on mastering the material rather than just achieving high grades.

Q: How do Brazilian grades translate for international study?
A: Brazilian grades must often be converted into the grading system of the destination country for international study. This can involve direct grade conversion or evaluation by an educational assessment service.

Q: Are there differences in grading between subjects?
A: Yes, grading can vary between subjects depending on the nature of the material and assessment methods. For example, subjective assessments in the arts or humanities might differ from objective assessments in math or science.

Q: How do plus (+) and minus (-) grades affect my overall score?
A: Plus (+) and minus (-) grades can provide more nuanced feedback on performance within a grade level. While not all schools use this system, those that do may use it to indicate slightly higher or lower performance within a given grade range.

These FAQs offer a glimpse into the complexities and considerations of the Brazilian grading system, providing a foundation for understanding how academic performance is measured and interpreted across the country.

Additional Resources

For those seeking more detailed information about the Brazil grading system, including official guidelines, educational standards, and support for academic progression, here are some valuable resources. These websites are primarily in Portuguese, given their focus on the Brazilian educational system, but they may offer some information in English or other languages for international audiences.

  1. Ministério da Educação (Ministry of Education)
  • This official government website provides comprehensive details on educational policies, regulations, and standards across Brazil, including grading practices.
  1. INEP – Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisas Educacionais Anísio Teixeira
  • INEP is responsible for educational assessments and research in Brazil. Their site offers insights into the ENEM (Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio), which is a significant standardized test in Brazil, alongside other educational statistics and reports.
  1. Conselho Nacional de Educação (National Education Council)
  • The CNE advises on the formulation and evaluation of educational policies and regulations. Their website includes discussions on grading systems and educational frameworks.
  1. CAPES – Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior
  • CAPES focuses on the promotion of high standards for post-graduate courses in Brazil. Their website is a valuable resource for understanding grading and evaluation in higher education.
  1. CNPq – Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico
  • CNPq supports scientific and technological development in Brazil. While not directly related to grading, their site provides information on academic achievement and research standards.

Each of these sites can offer valuable information for students, educators, and researchers looking to understand more about the Brazilian educational system, grading scales, and academic standards. Whether you’re planning to study in Brazil, conducting educational research, or simply interested in comparing educational systems, these resources are a great starting point.