Kazakhstan Grading System

High School Grade Scale

The grading system in Kazakhstan for high secondary education (high school) typically ranges from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest grade and 1 the lowest. This system is somewhat analogous to other grading systems worldwide but with its unique aspects, especially when considering variations like ‘+’ or ‘-‘ grades, which some schools might use to indicate slightly higher or lower performance within the same grade level.

Here’s a general comparison:

Kazakhstan GradeComparable English TermEquivalent Percentage RangeEquivalent GPA
1Very Poor0-24%0.0

College Grade Scale

At the college or university level, Kazakhstan’s grading system might differ slightly, incorporating a more detailed scale, sometimes with a 10-point system or the American GPA system, depending on the institution’s policies. However, the most common remains the 5-point scale, detailed above, with some universities applying a ‘+’ or ‘-‘ to denote higher or lower achievement within a grade level.

For universities that use a different scale, you might encounter the following:

Kazakhstan GradeComparable English TermEquivalent Percentage RangeEquivalent GPA
A (Excellent)Excellent90-100%4.0
B (Good)Good80-89%3.0
C (Satisfactory)Satisfactory70-79%2.0
D (Pass)Pass60-69%1.0
F (Fail)FailBelow 60%0.0

It’s important to note that variations exist, and some institutions may employ a more detailed grading system to further distinguish student performance. This includes the use of ‘+’ or ‘-‘ to provide a more nuanced evaluation, e.g., ‘A-‘ for an excellent performance that is slightly lower than an ‘A’ standard.

Remember, while the tables provide a general guideline, specific schools or universities may have their own grading policies, including the use of plus and minus grades or alternative systems. Always check with the educational institution for the most accurate and up-to-date grading scales.

Understanding Grades in Kazakhstan

Grades in Kazakhstan’s educational system are more than just numbers; they reflect a student’s comprehension, effort, and achievement in their studies. Let’s dive deeper into what each grade signifies:

🌟 5 – Excellent (Отлично)

A grade of 5, or ‘Excellent,’ is the highest accolade a student can receive. It signifies outstanding performance and a deep understanding of the subject matter. Students who achieve this grade have demonstrated mastery over the course content, often going above and beyond the required learning objectives. This grade corresponds to a near-perfect to perfect score, indicating a 90-100% achievement range.

👍 4 – Good (Хорошо)

Receiving a 4, or ‘Good,’ indicates a strong grasp of the course material and the ability to apply knowledge effectively. Students with this grade have shown a high level of competence, though there may be room for further improvement in some areas. The ‘Good’ grade typically represents a 75-89% score range, reflecting solid performance and understanding.

✔️ 3 – Satisfactory (Удовлетворительно)

A grade of 3, or ‘Satisfactory,’ means that the student meets the basic learning requirements. It reflects an adequate understanding and ability to apply the key concepts of the subject, though it suggests there might be significant gaps in knowledge or areas that require improvement. This grade usually spans a 50-74% score range, indicating that the student has passed but could benefit from additional study or support.

⚠️ 2 – Poor (Неудовлетворительно)

Receiving a grade of 2, or ‘Poor,’ indicates below-average performance and a lack of understanding of the core subject material. This grade suggests that the student has struggled significantly with the content and has not met the minimum criteria for passing. Representing a 25-49% score range, this grade signals a need for considerable improvement and possibly, retaking the course.

❌ 1 – Very Poor (Очень Плохо)

The lowest possible grade, 1 or ‘Very Poor,’ denotes a failure to grasp the course material and an absence of the required effort or understanding necessary for passing. This grade is assigned to performances within the 0-24% range, indicating little to no achievement of the learning objectives. It is a clear signal that the student needs to revisit the subject matter entirely and requires additional support to progress.

Understanding these grades helps students, parents, and educators to better communicate about academic performance and areas needing attention. It’s not just about the numbers; it’s about what those numbers represent in a student’s educational journey.

Kazakhstan Grade Comparison

To provide a clearer understanding of how Kazakhstan’s grading system aligns with those of other countries, here’s a comparative table. This table offers insights into how grades in Kazakhstan might translate into equivalent grades in the US, UK, India, Australia, Canada, and China. Note that grade equivalences can vary slightly depending on specific institutions and contexts, but this should serve as a general guide.

🌍 International Grade Comparison Table

Kazakhstan GradeUS GradeUK GradeIndia GradeAustralia GradeCanada GradeChina Grade
5 (Excellent)AFirst-Class Honours60-100%High DistinctionAA (90-100%)
4 (Good)BUpper Second Class50-59%DistinctionBB (80-89%)
3 (Satisfactory)CLower Second Class40-49%CreditCC (70-79%)
2 (Poor)DThird Class30-39%PassDD (60-69%)
1 (Very Poor)FFailBelow 30%FailFF (Below 60%)

This table helps in understanding the relative performance of students from Kazakhstan in an international context. For example, a grade of ‘5’ in Kazakhstan, signifying ‘Excellent,’ is broadly equivalent to an ‘A’ grade in the US and Canada, a ‘First-Class Honours’ in the UK, a ‘High Distinction’ in Australia, and an ‘A’ grade in China.

Similarly, a ‘Satisfactory’ grade in Kazakhstan, which is a ‘3’, aligns with a ‘C’ grade in North American institutions, a ‘Lower Second Class’ in the UK, a ‘Credit’ in Australia, and a ‘C’ in China. This comparison is particularly useful for students pursuing international education or for educational institutions evaluating international applicants.

It’s important to remember that while these comparisons offer a general framework, the exact equivalences can vary. Different institutions may have their own specific criteria for evaluating grades, especially for purposes such as admissions, scholarships, or credit transfers.

Special Grading Considerations

In Kazakhstan, like in many countries, grading practices can vary significantly across different states, schools, and even between teachers within the same institution. This variation is influenced by several factors, including educational policies, school types, and individual teacher assessment methods. Let’s explore some of these variations and considerations in more detail.

Variations Across States and School Types

Kazakhstan’s education system encompasses a wide range of institutions, from public to private and from general secondary schools to specialized schools focusing on arts, sports, or sciences. Each type of school may adopt slightly different grading scales or criteria based on their specific focus or educational philosophy. For example, specialized schools might place a greater emphasis on certain subjects, which could influence grading standards and expectations in those areas.

Teacher Assessment Methods

Even within the same school, teachers may have different approaches to grading. Some teachers might grade more leniently, while others adopt a stricter standard. The methods used to assess student performance can also vary, with some teachers prioritizing exams, while others may focus on coursework, projects, or class participation. This variability underscores the importance of understanding the specific criteria and expectations of each teacher.

Handling of Failing Grades

Failing grades in Kazakhstan are taken seriously, with interventions designed to help students improve their performance. If a student receives a failing grade (‘2’ or ‘Poor’, and ‘1’ or ‘Very Poor’), schools typically offer several options for recovery. These may include remedial classes, the opportunity to retake exams, or additional assignments to demonstrate understanding of the subject matter. The goal is to ensure that every student has the chance to succeed and meet the required standards.

Special Considerations for University Admissions

When it comes to university admissions, grades are a crucial factor. However, universities also consider other aspects of a student’s application, such as entrance exam scores, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular activities. For students coming from schools with known grading variations, admissions officers may take these differences into account, ensuring a fair evaluation process.

Understanding these special grading considerations helps students, parents, and educators navigate the complexities of the education system in Kazakhstan. Recognizing the nuances of grading practices is key to setting realistic expectations and developing strategies for academic success.


What is the highest grade in the Kazakhstan grading system?
The highest grade in the Kazakhstan grading system is a 5, which stands for ‘Excellent’. This grade signifies outstanding performance and mastery of the subject matter.

How does the Kazakhstan grading system compare to the US system?
In general terms, a grade of 5 in Kazakhstan is equivalent to an ‘A’ in the US system, a 4 corresponds to a ‘B’, a 3 to a ‘C’, a 2 to a ‘D’, and a 1 is equivalent to an ‘F’. However, exact comparisons can vary depending on specific criteria used by educational institutions.

Can students improve their grades if they perform poorly on an exam?
Yes, schools in Kazakhstan often provide opportunities for students to improve their grades, such as retaking exams, completing additional assignments, or participating in remedial classes. The specific options available can vary by school.

Are there differences in grading between different types of schools in Kazakhstan?
Yes, there can be differences in grading scales and criteria between different types of schools in Kazakhstan, such as general secondary schools, specialized schools, and private institutions. Each may have its own approach to assessment and grading based on its educational focus and philosophy.

How are failing grades handled in Kazakhstan’s education system?
Failing grades typically prompt interventions to help the student improve, including remedial education, the opportunity to retake assessments, or additional support to address learning gaps. The aim is to ensure all students achieve the necessary understanding and skills in their subjects.

Do universities in Kazakhstan consider grades from all subjects for admission?
While grades are a significant factor in university admissions, universities also look at entrance exam scores, extracurricular activities, and other criteria. The importance of grades from specific subjects can vary depending on the program of study a student is applying to.

Is it possible for a student’s grade to vary significantly from one teacher to another?
Yes, individual teaching and assessment styles can lead to variations in grading among teachers, even within the same school. It emphasizes the importance of understanding each teacher’s expectations and criteria for grading.

Additional Resources

To further explore the grading system in Kazakhstan and gain more insights into educational practices, the following official sources and helpful websites are invaluable. These resources offer a range of information from grading scales to admissions criteria and can be particularly useful for students, parents, and educators.

  1. Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan (www.edu.gov.kz)
    This official government website provides comprehensive information on the Kazakhstani educational system, including policies, grading systems, and reforms. It’s a crucial resource for understanding the regulatory framework governing education in Kazakhstan.
  2. National Testing Center (www.testcenter.kz)
    The National Testing Center offers details on standardized tests, including university entrance exams. This site is invaluable for students preparing for higher education, providing insights into the testing criteria that may influence university admissions and grading.
  3. Kazakhstan National Educational Database (www.ned.edu.kz)
    This database offers access to a wide range of educational materials, statistics, and research on the education system in Kazakhstan. It’s an excellent resource for students and researchers looking for in-depth information on grading practices and educational outcomes.
  4. Educational Information Resource Center (www.eirc.kz)
    An informative platform providing educational resources, guidelines, and support for students, teachers, and parents. It includes materials on curriculum, assessment methods, and strategies for improving academic performance.

These websites represent official and reliable sources of information on the Kazakhstani education system. Whether you’re seeking to understand the grading scale in detail, preparing for university entrance exams, or researching educational policies, these resources can provide valuable insights and guidance.