Italy Grading System

High School Grade Scale

In Italy, high school (known as “Scuola Secondaria di Secondo Grado”) grades range from 1 to 10, with 6 being the minimum passing grade. Here’s how the Italian grading scale translates into English terms, percentage ranges, and the equivalent GPA for a better understanding.

Italy GradesTerms in EnglishEquivalent PercentageGPA (out of 4.0)
8-8.9Very Good80-89%3.0-3.9
1-5.9Insufficient/FailBelow 60%0.0

Note: Some schools might use ‘+’ and ‘-‘ to further differentiate performance within these ranges.

College Grade Scale

At the college/university level in Italy, the scale typically runs from 18 to 30, with 18 being the minimum passing grade and 30 cum laude representing excellence with distinction. Here’s a breakdown of this scale.

Italy GradesTerms in EnglishEquivalent PercentageGPA (out of 4.0)
30 Cum LaudeExcellent with Distinction100%4.0
24-26Very Good75-89%3.0-3.4
Below 18FailBelow 60%0.0

The ‘+’ and ‘-‘ variations are less common at the university level, but some professors may use them to indicate a slightly better or worse performance within a grade.

Keep in mind, these tables are simplified and actual grading can vary by institution, professor, and specific course criteria. Stay tuned, as we’ll explore each grade’s meaning in more detail next!

Understanding Grades in Italy

Diving into the Italian grading system reveals much about academic expectations and achievements at both high school and university levels. Let’s break down what each grade really means for students.

🌟 9-10: Excellent (Eccellente)

A score between 9 and 10 signifies top-notch performance. It reflects a student’s exceptional understanding and mastery of the subject matter. At this level, students not only meet all criteria but also demonstrate original thinking and the ability to apply knowledge in novel situations. It’s akin to a standing ovation in the academic world.

🚀 8-8.9: Very Good (Molto Buono)

Grades in the 8 to 8.9 range are indicative of a very good grasp of the material. Students performing at this level have shown thorough understanding and are able to tackle complex problems with effective solutions. It suggests a high degree of effort and a strong command of the subject.

👍 7-7.9: Good (Buono)

Achieving a grade between 7 and 7.9 means the student has a good understanding of the curriculum. They meet the required standards, demonstrating solid knowledge and the ability to apply it. There might be minor errors or gaps in understanding, but overall, the performance is commendable.

✔️ 6-6.9: Satisfactory (Sufficiente)

A satisfactory grade, ranging from 6 to 6.9, indicates that the student meets the minimum criteria for passing. This grade shows an adequate level of understanding, with some weaknesses in knowledge or application. It’s a nudge saying there’s room for improvement.

❌ 1-5.9: Insufficient/Fail (Insufficiente)

Grades below 6 are considered insufficient and represent a failing mark. This range indicates that the student has not met the minimum requirements of the course. It highlights significant gaps in understanding or inability to apply knowledge effectively.

At the university level, the grading becomes more nuanced with a focus on precision and depth of knowledge, especially with the introduction of “30 Cum Laude” which denotes excellence with distinction.

In the next section, we’ll look at how these grades compare internationally. Stay tuned for an insightful overview!

Italy Grade Comparison

Understanding how Italian grades translate to other countries’ grading systems is crucial for students pursuing international education or for educational institutions evaluating foreign transcripts. Here’s a comprehensive comparison of Italy’s grading system with those of the US, UK, India, Australia, and China.

High School Grade Scale Comparison

Italy GradesUS GPA (out of 4.0)UK GradesIndia PercentageAustralia GradesCanada GradesChina Grades (Percentage)
9-104.0A* (Outstanding)90-100%A+A+90-100%
8-8.93.5-3.9A (Excellent)80-89%AA85-89%
7-7.92.5-3.4B (Very Good)70-79%BB75-84%
6-6.91.5-2.4C (Good)60-69%CC65-74%
1-5.90.0U (Fail/Ungraded)Below 60%FFBelow 65%

College Grade Scale Comparison

The college-level comparison involves more specific equivalences, especially considering the wide range of grading practices at the tertiary education level across different countries.

Italy GradesUS GPA (out of 4.0)UK GradesIndia PercentageAustralia GradesCanada GradesChina Grades (Percentage)
30 Cum Laude4.0+First-Class HonoursAbove 90%High DistinctionA+Above 95%
27-293.5-3.9Upper Second-Class75-89%DistinctionA85-94%
24-263.0-3.4Lower Second-Class65-74%CreditB75-84%
18-232.0-2.9Third-Class Honours50-64%PassC65-74%
Below 180.0FailBelow 50%FailFBelow 65%

This table aims to provide a general framework for understanding how grades translate across borders. However, it’s important to note that conversion can vary significantly depending on the institution and the specific standards applied. Always consult with academic advisors or use official conversion tools when making precise comparisons.

Next, we’ll explore how grading variations occur across different states and school types within Italy. Stay tuned for an in-depth look at special grading considerations!

Special Grading Considerations

Italy’s education system, like many around the world, has its own set of nuances and variations when it comes to grading practices. These differences can be influenced by the type of school, regional education policies, and individual teacher preferences. Understanding these variations is crucial for getting a complete picture of the Italian grading landscape.

Variations Across States and School Types

In Italy, education is largely standardized; however, there are subtle differences in how grades might be awarded based on regional policies or the type of school. For example, vocational schools might focus more on practical skills and thus have a slightly different emphasis in grading practical versus theoretical knowledge compared to traditional lyceums.

Teacher Discretion

The role of the teacher in the grading process cannot be understated. While the Italian education system has clear guidelines and scales for grading, teachers have a degree of discretion in how they apply these standards. This means that two teachers might assess student performance differently based on their interpretations of the criteria, especially in subjects that are more subjective in nature, such as the arts and humanities.

Handling of Failing Grades

Failing grades are treated with a degree of seriousness in the Italian education system, as they are indicators of a student’s struggles with the course material. Schools typically offer support mechanisms, such as additional tutoring or the opportunity to retake exams, to help students overcome these challenges. The goal is always to provide students with the means to improve and succeed in their studies.

  • Remedial Exams: Students who receive insufficient grades may have the opportunity to take remedial exams to improve their scores and demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter.
  • Continuous Assessment: Some schools and universities might employ a system of continuous assessment to mitigate the impact of a single failing grade. This could include additional assignments, projects, or oral exams to provide a more comprehensive evaluation of the student’s abilities.

Regional Variations

While the Italian Ministry of Education sets the overall standards for education, regions can have slight variations in how these standards are implemented. This includes the use of supplementary educational materials, the emphasis on certain subjects, and even the approach to grading and assessment.

Understanding these special considerations is crucial for navigating the Italian education system, whether you’re a student, a parent, or an educator. By recognizing the flexibility within the system, individuals can better prepare for the expectations and opportunities that come with education in Italy.

Next up, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about the Italian grading system to clear up any remaining uncertainties. Stay tuned for helpful insights!


Let’s address some of the most frequently asked questions about the Italian grading system to clarify any lingering doubts and provide further insights into how it operates.

Q: What is the passing grade in Italian high schools?
A: The minimum passing grade in Italian high schools is 6 out of 10. This indicates satisfactory performance and a basic understanding of the subject matter.

Q: How does the ‘cum laude’ distinction work at Italian universities?
A: The ‘cum laude’ distinction is awarded to university students who achieve the highest possible grade (30/30) with exceptional merit. It’s an honor that signifies outstanding academic achievement beyond the standard grading scale.

Q: Can grades vary significantly between teachers and schools?
A: Yes, there can be variations in grading between teachers and schools due to individual assessment styles and the subjective nature of some courses. However, the Italian educational system strives for consistency through standardized exams and guidelines.

Q: What happens if a student fails a subject in Italy?
A: If a student fails a subject, they may be required to attend summer school or take remedial courses and then pass a subsequent exam to move on to the next grade level or graduate. Schools offer support to help students improve their understanding and performance.

Q: Are grades in Italy inflated compared to other countries?
A: Grade inflation is a global issue and can vary widely between countries and even within institutions. Italy has measures in place to maintain grading standards, but perceptions of inflation may arise, particularly in comparison with countries that use different grading scales.

Q: How do Italian grades translate for international university applications?
A: Italian grades are converted to the grading system of the destination country using equivalence tables or conversion formulas. Educational institutions often provide guidelines or have admissions offices that assist with the translation and evaluation of foreign grades.

Q: Do Italian students get graded on behavior and attendance?
A: Yes, Italian students’ behavior and attendance can be considered in their overall assessment, particularly in lower and middle schools. While not directly impacting academic grades, they are important for a student’s comprehensive evaluation.

Q: How does grading in vocational schools differ from traditional academic schools?
A: Vocational schools in Italy might place more emphasis on practical skills and assessments related to specific trades or professions. While the grading scale is similar, the criteria and evaluation methods may differ to reflect the practical nature of the education.

Hopefully, these FAQs have helped clarify how the Italian grading system works and what it means for students, educators, and parents navigating the educational landscape in Italy. If you have more specific questions, it’s always a good idea to consult directly with the educational institution or a qualified educational advisor.

Additional Resources

For those looking to dive even deeper into the Italian grading system, or perhaps needing official information, here are some recommended resources. These websites are either .edu or .gov, ensuring that the information provided is accurate and reliable.

  1. Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (MIUR)
  • The official website for Italy’s Ministry of Education, University, and Research. Here, you can find detailed policies on education standards, grading systems, and academic guidelines across all levels of Italian education.
  1. CIMEA (Italian ENIC-NARIC centre)
  • CIMEA is the Italian Information Centre on Academic Mobility and Equivalence. It provides resources on the recognition of academic qualifications and compares Italian grades with those of other countries, making it invaluable for students planning to study abroad or in Italy.
  1. Universitaly
  • An official portal aimed at promoting Italian university education internationally. It offers information on university programs, admissions, and the Italian higher education grading system.

These sites can offer comprehensive insights into Italy’s educational framework, grading scales, and the procedures for international academic recognition. Whether you’re a student, a parent, or an educator, tapping into these resources can provide you with the necessary information to navigate the Italian educational system more effectively.