Papua New Guinea Grading System

High School Grade Scale

The grading system in Papua New Guinea (PNG) for high secondary education is structured to evaluate students’ academic performance, aligning with specific criteria to ensure a comprehensive understanding of their capabilities. Below is a table that outlines the main grade scales used at the high school level, along with their comparable English terms, equivalent percentage ranges, and GPA (Grade Point Average) values. Please note that in some schools, variations such as ‘+’ and ‘-‘ may be added to grades to provide a more nuanced evaluation.

Papua New Guinea GradesComparable English TermsPercentage RangeGPA
BVery Good70-84%3.0
EPoorBelow 40%0.0

College Grade Scale

At the college or university level in Papua New Guinea, the grading system is somewhat similar to that of high schools but is designed to reflect higher academic standards and expectations. The following table presents the college grade scale, corresponding English terms, equivalent percentage ranges, and GPA values. This table also acknowledges the presence of ‘+’ and ‘-‘ variations within certain institutions to offer a more detailed assessment of students’ performance.

Papua New Guinea GradesComparable English TermsPercentage RangeGPA
BVery Good65-79%3.0
FFailBelow 35%0.0

Please note, some colleges and universities might employ multiple grading scales or include additional grade categories such as ‘A+’ or ‘B-‘ to further refine the evaluation process. These variations are designed to cater to the specific academic criteria and standards of each institution, allowing for a more personalized assessment of student performance.

Understanding Grades in Papua New Guinea

Grades in Papua New Guinea serve as a key indicator of a student’s understanding, performance, and mastery of course content. Let’s break down what each grade signifies:

A – Excellent 🌟

An “A” grade signifies an excellent performance, indicating that the student has demonstrated a superior understanding of the material and has excelled in their academic pursuits. This grade reflects a comprehensive grasp of the subject matter, exceptional analytical skills, and the ability to apply knowledge in practical scenarios. Students receiving an “A” are considered to have met and surpassed the expected academic standards.

B – Very Good 👍

A “B” grade represents a very good performance. Students achieving this grade have shown a strong understanding of the course content, with only minor gaps in their knowledge. They display good analytical skills and can apply their learning effectively, though there may be room for improvement in certain areas.

C – Good ✔️

The “C” grade indicates a good overall performance. Students with this grade understand the fundamental aspects of the subject but might lack depth in their knowledge. Their analytical skills are satisfactory, and they can apply their learning in familiar contexts, but they may struggle with more complex concepts or applications.

D – Satisfactory ✅

A “D” grade denotes a satisfactory performance. This grade suggests that the student has a basic grasp of the subject matter but shows significant gaps in understanding and application. Students with a “D” may need to improve their comprehension and analytical skills to progress successfully.

E/F – Poor/Fail ❌

An “E” or “F” grade, depending on the educational level, represents poor performance or failure to meet the course requirements. This indicates limited understanding of the material, inadequate analytical skills, and significant difficulties in applying knowledge. Students receiving these grades may need additional support, review, or retaking of the course to achieve a passing grade.

Understanding the significance of each grade can help students gauge their academic progress and identify areas where they may need to focus their efforts for improvement. Grades are not just a measure of academic success; they also offer insights into learning styles, areas of strength, and opportunities for growth.

Papua New Guinea Grade Comparison

To provide a clearer understanding of how the Papua New Guinea (PNG) grading system compares internationally, the following table outlines a comparison between PNG grades and those of several other countries, including the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), India, Australia, Canada, and China. This comparison can help students, educators, and institutions translate PNG grades into equivalent grades in these countries, facilitating academic mobility and understanding.

Grade Comparison Table

PNG GradeUS GradeUK GradeIndia GradeAustralia GradeCanada GradeChina Grade
AAFirst-class60-100%High DistinctionAA (90-100%)
BBUpper Second50-59%DistinctionBA- (85-89%)
CCLower Second40-49%CreditCB+ (80-84%)
DDThird-class33-39%PassDB (75-79%)
E/FFFailBelow 33%FailFC/Fail

Notes on the Comparison:

  • United States (US): The US grading system typically uses letters A-F, with pluses and minuses for nuance. The PNG grades align closely with the US system, translating directly from A to F.
  • United Kingdom (UK): UK degrees classify honours degrees into several classes. The PNG “A” grade corresponds to a First-class honours, which is the highest academic achievement in UK universities.
  • India: In India, the grading system can vary significantly between institutions, but percentages are widely used. The table shows a general comparison based on percentage ranges.
  • Australia: Australian grades are divided into several categories, including High Distinction, Distinction, Credit, Pass, and Fail, similar to the distinctions made in PNG grades.
  • Canada: Like the US, Canada uses letter grades, and the comparison is quite direct. Canadian institutions might use a slightly different scale for percentage to letter grade conversion.
  • China: China’s grading system uses a percentage scale with letter grades also applied in higher education. The conversion aligns PNG grades with both percentage and letter grades used in China.

This comparison table provides a general guide for translating grades between PNG and other countries. However, it’s important to note that grading practices can vary significantly between institutions within the same country, and this table should be used as a starting point for understanding rather than an exact conversion chart.

Special Grading Considerations

The grading system in Papua New Guinea (PNG) can vary across different states and school types, reflecting diverse educational practices and assessment standards. Understanding these variations is crucial for educators, students, and parents to navigate the educational landscape effectively.

Variations Across States and School Types

  • State Differences: In PNG, educational standards and curricula can differ from one state to another, leading to variations in grading practices. For instance, some states may adopt a more rigorous assessment criterion, which could influence the distribution of grades.
  • School Types: The type of school—whether it’s a public, private, or international institution—can also affect grading scales. Private and international schools might implement their grading systems, possibly aligning more closely with international standards.

Grading Practices and Teacher Discretion

Teachers play a significant role in how grades are assigned, with their discretion impacting the final grades students receive. Factors influencing teacher discretion include:

  • Assessment Methods: The mix of exams, coursework, and participation can vary, influencing overall grades.
  • Subjective Elements: Particularly in subjects requiring subjective assessment (e.g., art, literature), teachers’ interpretations of quality and standards can lead to grade variations.

Handling of Failing Grades

The approach to failing grades in PNG can be quite compassionate and aimed at student improvement, including:

  • Remedial Support: Schools often provide additional support or tutoring to help students understand the material better and improve their grades.
  • Reassessment Opportunities: Students may be given a chance to retake exams or submit additional work to improve their scores.

Encouraging a Growth Mindset

PNG’s educational system emphasizes growth and improvement, encouraging students to see grades as feedback rather than final judgments. This approach helps students focus on learning and development, rather than merely achieving high grades.

Understanding these special considerations is key to navigating the PNG grading system effectively. By recognizing the variations and nuances of grading practices, students, parents, and educators can better align their expectations and efforts towards achieving educational success.


Q: What is the passing grade in Papua New Guinea’s high schools?
A: The passing grade in Papua New Guinea’s high schools is typically considered to be a “D”, which signifies a satisfactory level of performance. However, aiming for higher grades is encouraged for better academic and future career opportunities.

Q: Can grades in PNG be appealed?
A: Yes, grades in PNG can often be appealed, especially if a student believes there has been an error in grading or assessment. The process for appealing grades varies by school and level of education but generally involves submitting a formal request for review.

Q: How are grades calculated in PNG?
A: Grades in PNG are calculated based on a combination of coursework, assignments, tests, and final examinations. The specific weight of each component can vary by subject and level of education, and teachers may also consider class participation and improvement over time.

Q: Do all schools in PNG use the same grading scale?
A: While there is a general grading framework that most schools in PNG follow, there can be variations between schools, especially private and international schools. It’s always best to check with the specific institution for their grading scale.

Q: How does the grading system in PNG affect university admission?
A: University admissions in PNG take into account a student’s grades, particularly in their final years of high school. High grades, especially in relevant subjects, can significantly enhance a student’s chances of admission into competitive programs and scholarships.

Q: Are there any considerations for students with special needs?
A: Yes, schools in PNG are increasingly accommodating students with special needs, including adjustments to grading and assessment methods where appropriate. These accommodations are intended to provide a fair assessment of the student’s abilities and performance.

Q: How can international grades be converted to PNG grades?
A: Converting international grades to PNG grades requires understanding both the original grading system and the PNG system. It’s advisable to consult with educational institutions or evaluation services that specialize in grade conversion for accurate assessments.

These FAQs aim to address common queries about the grading system in Papua New Guinea, providing students, parents, and educators with a clearer understanding of academic evaluation in the country.

Additional Resources

For those looking to delve deeper into the grading system of Papua New Guinea or seeking official documentation and guidelines, several resources can be invaluable. Below is a list of recommended .edu and .gov websites that offer a wealth of information regarding academic standards, grading practices, and educational policies in Papua New Guinea. These resources can provide students, educators, and parents with the insights needed to navigate the educational landscape of PNG more effectively.

  • Department of Education, Papua New Guinea ( This official government website provides comprehensive information on educational policies, curriculum standards, and grading practices across various educational levels in Papua New Guinea. It’s an essential resource for understanding the national educational framework.
  • Papua New Guinea University of Technology ( As one of the leading higher education institutions in PNG, Unitech’s website offers insights into university-level grading systems, academic regulations, and program requirements, useful for both prospective and current university students.
  • University of Papua New Guinea ( This university’s website contains detailed information on courses, grading scales used at the tertiary level, and admission criteria, providing a glimpse into higher education standards in PNG.
  • Papua New Guinea Education Advocacy Network (PEAN): While not a .gov or .edu website, PEAN focuses on educational improvement and policy advocacy in PNG. It can offer valuable perspectives on educational reforms, including grading systems.
  • Papua New Guinea National Research Institute ( This site, although more research-focused, occasionally publishes studies and reports on the state of education in PNG, including assessments of educational outcomes and grading efficacy.

When seeking information or guidance on the PNG grading system, these official and authoritative sources are excellent starting points. They can provide up-to-date, reliable information directly from the institutions shaping the educational landscape in Papua New Guinea.