Pakistan Grading System

High School Grade Scale

The grading system for High Secondary Education in Pakistan (grades 9 through 12) typically adheres to a standard scale that translates letter grades to percentage ranges and GPA (Grade Point Average). However, it’s important to note that variations exist, particularly with the addition of ‘+’ or ‘-‘ symbols to grades in some schools, which can slightly adjust the percentage or GPA associated with those grades.

Pakistan GradesComparable English TermsEquivalent Percentage RangeEquivalent GPA
AVery Good80-89%3.7 – 3.9
B+Good70-79%3.3 – 3.6
BAbove Average60-69%3.0 – 3.2
C+Average50-59%2.5 – 2.9
CSatisfactory40-49%2.0 – 2.4
DPassing33-39%1.0 – 1.9
FFailBelow 33%0.0

College / University Level Grade Scale

At the College/University level, the grading system becomes slightly more varied across different institutions. However, the following table represents a general scale that is widely recognized across Pakistan for higher education. Note that some universities might have their own specific grading policies, and the use of ‘+’ and ‘-‘ alongside grades may further differentiate performance within a grade boundary.

Pakistan GradesComparable English TermsEquivalent Percentage RangeEquivalent GPA
A-Very Good80-84%3.7
BAbove Average70-74%3.0
C-Barely Passing50-54%1.7
DNeeds Improvement45-49%1.3
FFailBelow 45%0.0

This grading scale provides a broad overview of the academic performance indicators used in Pakistan’s educational institutions. However, the exact grading policies might slightly differ from one school or university to another, particularly in terms of the grade point averages (GPA) assigned to different percentage ranges.

Understanding Grades in Pakistan

The grading system in Pakistan serves as a key indicator of a student’s academic performance, with each grade reflecting a specific level of achievement. Let’s delve deeper into what each grade signifies:

A+ 🌟 Excellent

  • Significance: Represents outstanding performance and a deep understanding of the subject matter.
  • Implication: Students achieving an A+ grade demonstrate exceptional skills and knowledge, often going above and beyond the curriculum requirements.

A 🎓 Very Good

  • Significance: Indicates a high level of comprehension and ability in the subject.
  • Implication: Students with an A grade show a strong grasp of concepts and the ability to apply them effectively.

B+ 💡 Good

  • Significance: Reflects above-average understanding and proficiency.
  • Implication: B+ students exhibit good comprehension and application skills, though there may be minor areas for improvement.

B 👍 Above Average

  • Significance: Denotes a solid performance and understanding of the material.
  • Implication: Achieving a B grade means the student has a satisfactory grasp of the subject, with some room for enhancement in certain areas.

C+ ✔️ Average

  • Significance: Represents a moderate understanding of the subject content.
  • Implication: Students with a C+ grade have a basic knowledge of the curriculum, but they might struggle with more complex concepts or applications.

C ✅ Satisfactory

  • Significance: Indicates a fair level of comprehension, meeting the minimum requirements.
  • Implication: C grade students meet the basic learning objectives but need to improve to excel in the subject.

D 🆗 Passing

  • Significance: Shows that the student has achieved the minimum criteria to pass.
  • Implication: A D grade signifies that while the student has passed, their understanding of the subject is below average, and significant improvement is needed.

F 🚫 Fail

  • Significance: Demonstrates that the student has not met the required standards for passing.
  • Implication: Failing a subject indicates a need for substantial review and relearning of the material to meet the course requirements.

Understanding these grades and their implications is crucial for students, parents, and educators alike. It helps in identifying areas of strength and opportunities for improvement, guiding the path towards academic success and mastery of the subject matter.

Pakistan Grade Comparison

Comparing Pakistan’s grading system with those of other countries can provide valuable insights into the relative performance standards and expectations in global education contexts. Below is a table that outlines how grades in Pakistan might equate to grading systems in the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), India, Australia, Canada, and China.

Pakistan GradesUS GradesUK GradesIndia GradesAustralia GradesCanada GradesChina Grades
A+A+First-Class HonoursO (Outstanding)HD (High Distinction)A+A+
AAUpper Second-Class Honours (2:1)A+D (Distinction)AA
B+A-Lower Second-Class Honours (2:2)AC (Credit)A-A-
BB+Third-Class HonoursB+P (Pass)B+B+
C+BPassBP (Pass)BB
CB-CP- (Pass Conceded)B-B-
DC+DF (Fail)C+C+
FFFailFF (Fail)FF

This table serves as a general guide; actual comparisons may vary depending on the specific institution and its grading policies. It’s important to consider that each country’s educational system has unique standards, methodologies, and grading scales. Therefore, direct comparisons should be made with a degree of flexibility and understanding of these differences.

  • US and Canada: Both countries use letter grades, but the percentage ranges associated with these letters can differ slightly. The GPA system is similar, making it easier to compare directly with Pakistan’s grades.
  • UK: The UK’s system is degree classification-based at the university level, with honors degrees divided into classes. The comparison here is more conceptual, focusing on the level of honors as a measure of performance.
  • India: Uses a mix of percentage ranges, letter grades, and qualitative descriptors. The division is similar, but the exact numerical ranges might vary.
  • Australia: Also uses letter grades and distinctions, with High Distinction being the highest achievable grade. The comparison reflects both letter grading and the level of achievement.
  • China: Employs letter grades similar to the US system, making direct comparisons possible with some consideration for local grading practices.

Understanding these comparisons can help students, educators, and professionals navigate international education and employment landscapes, recognizing the equivalence of academic achievement across different grading systems.

Special Grading Considerations

The grading system in Pakistan, while standardized at a national level, can exhibit notable variations across different states, school types (public vs. private), and even among individual institutions. These differences may influence grading practices, interpretations of grades, and how failing grades are handled.

Variations Across States and School Types

  • Public vs. Private Institutions: Private schools and colleges in Pakistan may adopt more rigorous grading standards, or alternatively, provide more grade inflation compared to their public counterparts. This can lead to discrepancies in grade distribution and overall student performance metrics.
  • Regional Education Boards: Each of Pakistan’s provinces has its own education board, which can lead to slight variations in how curriculum is delivered and assessed. While the core grading scale remains consistent, the difficulty level of examinations and the marking scheme can vary, influencing the final grades awarded.

Grading Practices and Teacher Discretion

  • Teacher Discretion: In some cases, teachers have a degree of flexibility in how they assign grades, particularly for coursework, projects, and class participation. This can lead to variations in grading even within the same institution, based on individual teacher standards and student engagement.
  • Subjective vs. Objective Assessment: Certain subjects that rely more on subjective assessment (e.g., literature, art) may see more variability in grading compared to subjects with objective answers (e.g., mathematics, science).

Handling of Failing Grades

  • Remedial Measures: Schools and colleges often offer remedial classes or supplementary exams for students who receive failing grades. This provides an opportunity for students to improve their understanding and potentially improve their grades.
  • Grade Repetition: In more severe cases, particularly at critical examination levels (e.g., Matriculation or Intermediate exams), students may have to repeat a year if they fail multiple subjects. This is considered a last resort and is aimed at ensuring students have mastered the necessary material before advancing.
  • Impact on Further Education: Failing grades, particularly in critical exams like the SSC (Secondary School Certificate) and HSSC (Higher Secondary School Certificate), can significantly impact a student’s opportunities for further education. Institutions and scholarship boards consider these grades closely when making admission and funding decisions.

Understanding these variations and considerations is crucial for navigating the Pakistani educational landscape. Awareness of how grades are assigned and what they signify can help students, parents, and educators make informed decisions about academic pathways and interventions.


Q: What is the passing grade in Pakistan’s education system?
A: The minimum passing grade in Pakistan’s education system varies slightly between high school and higher education levels. For high schools, the passing grade is typically a “D”, equivalent to 33-39%. At the university level, a “C-” or around 50-54% is usually the minimum passing grade.

Q: Can I improve my grades after receiving my final results?
A: Yes, many educational institutions in Pakistan offer opportunities for grade improvement. Students may be able to retake exams or submit additional work for assessment. This option is often available for critical exams like the SSC and HSSC, where students can reappear in supplementary exams to improve their grades.

Q: How do Pakistani grades convert to GPA?
A: Pakistani grades are converted to GPA based on a 4.0 scale, with an “A+” translating to a 4.0. Each grade down the scale corresponds to a decrement in GPA, with an “F” equating to a 0.0. The exact conversion can vary by institution, so it’s advisable to check with your specific school or university.

Q: Are grading systems in Pakistan consistent across all educational boards?
A: While the basic framework of the grading system is consistent, there can be slight variations in how grades are assigned across different educational boards and provinces in Pakistan. These differences may be due to variations in examination difficulty, marking schemes, or grade boundaries.

Q: How does the grading system in Pakistan compare to international grading systems?
A: The grading system in Pakistan can be compared to international systems by understanding the equivalent grades, percentages, and GPA conversions. However, direct comparisons should be made cautiously, as educational standards and evaluation criteria can vary significantly between countries.

Q: What happens if I fail a subject in Pakistan?
A: If you fail a subject in Pakistan, you may have options such as retaking the exam, attending remedial classes, or participating in supplementary exams, depending on the level of education and the institution’s policies. Failing critical exams might require repeating the year or part of the curriculum.

These FAQs aim to provide a general understanding of the grading system in Pakistan, offering insights into how grades are determined, interpreted, and can be improved upon.

Additional Resources

For more detailed information about the grading system in Pakistan, including specific policies, guidelines, and opportunities for grade improvement, the following official and educational websites are invaluable resources:

  • Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan:
  • Provides comprehensive details on higher education policies, including grading systems at university levels, accreditation, and quality assurance in higher education across Pakistan.
  • Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE):
  • Offers insights into secondary and higher secondary education standards, exam schedules, grading criteria, and resources for students and teachers for federal board schools.
  • Punjab Board of Technical Education (PBTE):
  • Contains information related to technical and vocational education in Punjab, including grading policies, examination procedures, and certifications.
  • Sindh Education and Literacy Department:
  • Offers information on educational initiatives, policies, and grading systems specific to the Sindh province, including resources for primary, secondary, and higher education.
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Education Department:
  • Provides details on the educational framework, policies, and grading system for schools in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, including curriculum guidelines and assessment criteria.

These websites serve as official sources for education-related information in Pakistan, offering updates on policies, grading systems, and educational standards across different levels and provinces. They can be extremely helpful for students, educators, and parents looking to navigate the educational landscape in Pakistan, understand grading scales, and explore opportunities for academic advancement.