Sri Lanka Grading System

High School Grade Scale

Sri Lanka GradesComparable English TermsEquivalent Percentage RangeGPA (4.0 Scale)
AVery Good80-89%3.6-3.9
B+Above Average70-74%3.0-3.2
B-Slightly Below Average60-64%2.3-2.6
C-Minimum Passing45-49%1.0-1.6
D+Needs Improvement40-44%0.7-0.9
FFailBelow 35%0.0

Variations like ‘+’ and ‘-‘ are used within certain schools to provide a more nuanced assessment of student performance. Some schools and universities may use slightly different percentage ranges or GPA equivalents, so it’s essential to check with the specific institution for their grading policy.

College Grade Scale

Sri Lanka GradesComparable English TermsEquivalent Percentage RangeGPA (4.0 Scale)
A-Very Good70-74%3.3-3.6
BAbove Average60-64%2.7-2.9
C-Barely Passing40-44%1.3-1.6
DNeeds Improvement35-39%1.0-1.2
FFailBelow 35%0.0

At the college or university level, the grading scale is often more stringent, reflecting the higher expectations placed on students. The ‘+’ and ‘-‘ system continues to allow for a detailed assessment of students’ performance. Variations in the grading scale may occur between different universities, faculties, or departments, so it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the specific grading policy of your institution.

Understanding Grades in Sri Lanka

Excellent (A+, A, A-)

๐ŸŒŸ A+ signifies an exceptional understanding of the subject, showcasing a student’s ability to grasp complex concepts and apply them in various contexts. This grade indicates a near-perfect mastery of the course material.

๐ŸŒŸ A reflects a very good understanding of the subject matter, with the student demonstrating high levels of critical thinking, problem-solving, and application skills. It’s a sign of excellent performance, though slightly below the A+ standard.

๐ŸŒŸ A- represents good performance, where the student has a strong grasp of the material but might have minor gaps in understanding or application. It’s still a commendable grade, showing above-average competency.

Above Average to Average (B+, B, B-)

๐Ÿ“š B+ indicates an above-average understanding, where the student shows a good grasp of the material along with the ability to apply knowledge effectively, though there may be room for improvement in some areas.

๐Ÿ“š B signifies an average understanding and satisfactory performance. The student has a solid foundation in the subject but may not consistently demonstrate the higher-level critical thinking or application skills of those scoring in the A range.

๐Ÿ“š B- represents a slightly below-average performance. The student understands the basic concepts but struggles with more complex ideas and applications, indicating a need for further study and improvement.

Fair to Minimum Passing (C+, C, C-)

๐Ÿ“˜ C+ reflects a fair performance, where the student meets the minimum requirements. The understanding of the subject is adequate for passing, but there’s significant room for improvement.

๐Ÿ“˜ C denotes a satisfactory but unremarkable performance. The student has a basic understanding of the material, sufficient to pass, but may lack depth in their knowledge and application skills.

๐Ÿ“˜ C- is the minimum passing grade, indicating a marginal performance. The student shows a minimal understanding of the subject, barely meeting the necessary criteria to advance.

Needs Improvement to Fail (D+, D, F)

โœ๏ธ D+ and D signal a need for substantial improvement. These grades suggest the student has significant difficulties with the material, lacking a firm grasp of essential concepts and performing well below expectations.

โŒ F represents a failing grade, indicating the student has not met the minimum requirements of the course. This grade requires the student to retake the course or receive additional support to meet academic standards.

Understanding these grades helps students identify their strengths and areas for improvement, guiding their study strategies and academic focus. Each grade provides valuable feedback on the learning journey, encouraging ongoing effort and growth.

Sri Lanka Grade Comparison

The table below compares the grading systems of Sri Lanka with those of the US, UK, India, Australia, Canada, and China. This comparison aims to provide a rough equivalence between these diverse educational standards, keeping in mind that grading practices can vary significantly between institutions and countries.

Comparison Table

Sri Lanka GradesUS GradesUK GradesIndia GradesAustralia GradesCanada GradesChina Grades
A+A+First Class Honours90-100%High DistinctionA+A+
AAUpper Second Class75-89%DistinctionAA
A-A-Lower Second Class65-74%CreditA-A-
B+B+Third Class Honours55-64%PassB+B+
B-B-Marginal Pass45-49%Pass ConcededB-B-
FFFailBelow 35%FailFF

This table is intended as a general guide; actual conversions may vary based on specific university policies and course requirements. It’s crucial for students and educators to consult official conversion charts or guidance from educational institutions for accurate comparisons.

  • US Grades: Typically follow a letter grade system with pluses and minuses to provide additional granularity.
  • UK Grades: Utilize classifications for degrees, with distinctions between various levels of honors.
  • India Grades: Often expressed as percentage ranges, with specific cutoffs for distinctions and classes.
  • Australia Grades: Include distinctions between high distinction, distinction, credit, pass, and fail.
  • Canada Grades: Similar to the US system, with slight variations in the interpretation of letter grades.
  • China Grades: Use a combination of letter grades and percentages, with a focus on a scale that mirrors the US system in some institutions.

This comparison highlights the diversity in grading practices across the globe, underscoring the importance of understanding the context behind each grading system for international academic endeavors.

Special Grading Considerations

In Sri Lanka, as in many countries, variations in grading systems can occur across different states, school types (public vs. private), and educational levels. Understanding these nuances is crucial for accurately interpreting grades, especially for students transitioning between schools or those involved in international academic pursuits.

Variations Across Schools and States

  • Public vs. Private Schools: Private schools in Sri Lanka may adopt international curricula (such as the International Baccalaureate or Cambridge A Levels), which follow their grading scales. This can result in a grading system that looks quite different from the national Sri Lankan system.
  • International and National Schools: International schools often use grading scales aligned with their curriculum, which may include plus and minus grades or a numerical scale (1-7 for IB, A*-E for A Levels). National schools typically follow the Sri Lankan grading system outlined by the Ministry of Education.
  • Provincial Differences: While the national curriculum provides a framework, slight variations may occur in grading practices between provinces, depending on the regional education departments’ guidelines.

Teacher Discretion and Practices

  • Subjectivity in Grading: Teachers’ discretion can influence grading, especially in subjects requiring subjective assessment (such as literature or art). Grading criteria and rigor can vary, potentially affecting the final grades awarded.
  • Assessment Methods: The balance between coursework, examinations, and other forms of assessment can differ between schools, affecting how grades are determined. Schools emphasizing project-based learning may have different grading considerations compared to those focusing on traditional exams.

Handling of Failing Grades

  • Reassessment and Improvement Opportunities: Students receiving failing grades typically have options to retake exams or complete supplementary assignments. The specific policies around these opportunities can vary by school.
  • Academic Support: Schools may offer additional tutoring, remedial classes, or counseling to help students improve their understanding of the subject matter and enhance their performance in future assessments.

Special Cases

  • Grade Inflation: As with many education systems worldwide, discussions around grade inflationโ€”where grades gradually increase over time without a corresponding rise in achievement levelsโ€”may affect how grades are viewed by universities and employers.
  • Transcripts and Reports: The way grades are reported on transcripts can also vary. Some schools provide detailed comments and assessments beyond the basic letter grade, offering a more comprehensive view of the student’s performance and abilities.

Understanding these special considerations is vital for educators, students, and parents alike. It ensures a more informed approach to teaching, learning, and academic planning, recognizing the diversity and complexity within the Sri Lankan educational landscape.


What does an A+ grade signify in Sri Lanka’s grading system?
An A+ grade in Sri Lanka indicates exceptional performance, demonstrating a deep understanding and mastery of the subject matter, typically representing scores of 90-100%.

How is the GPA calculated in Sri Lanka?
GPA calculation in Sri Lanka may vary by institution, but it generally follows a 4.0 scale, with each grade (A+, A, etc.) assigned a specific point value. The GPA is calculated by averaging these points, weighted by credit hours for each course.

Can students improve a failing grade in Sri Lanka?
Yes, students who receive a failing grade (usually denoted as ‘F’) have opportunities to retake exams or complete additional assignments to improve their grades, depending on the policies of their educational institution.

Is there a difference between school and university grading systems in Sri Lanka?
Yes, there can be differences. While both may use A-F grading scales, universities often have stricter criteria for awarding higher grades, and the percentage ranges associated with each grade can vary.

How do international grades compare to Sri Lanka’s grading system?
International grades can be mapped to Sri Lanka’s system using conversion tables. However, due to variations in grading standards and practices, exact comparisons should be made cautiously and ideally with official guidance.

Do plus and minus grades affect GPA in Sri Lanka?
Yes, plus and minus grades (e.g., B+ or A-) can impact a student’s GPA, offering a more nuanced reflection of their academic performance. These variations slightly adjust the point value assigned to a grade within the GPA calculation.

What resources are available for students struggling academically in Sri Lanka?
Schools and universities often offer tutoring, remedial classes, counseling services, and other support mechanisms to help students facing academic challenges.

Are there special considerations for grading during remote learning or online courses?
Yes, during remote learning or for online courses, institutions may adapt their grading policies to accommodate the unique challenges of online education. This can include adjustments to assessment types, grading scales, or the weighting of different coursework components.

These FAQs aim to address common queries regarding the grading system in Sri Lanka, providing students, parents, and educators with a better understanding of academic performance assessment.

Additional Resources

For detailed information about the grading system in Sri Lanka, official resources from educational authorities and institutions are invaluable. Here are some recommended websites:

  1. Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka ( This official government website provides comprehensive details on the national education system, including policies, curricula, and grading standards across various educational stages.
  2. University Grants Commission (UGC) of Sri Lanka ( The UGC oversees higher education in Sri Lanka, setting academic standards and quality assurance. Their website offers insights into university grading policies, accreditation, and degree classifications.
  3. National Institute of Education (NIE) Sri Lanka ( NIE is responsible for curriculum development and teacher education in Sri Lanka. Their resources include guides on teaching methodologies, assessment strategies, and grade interpretations for primary and secondary education.
  4. Department of Examinations ( For information on national exams, including the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary Level (O/L) and Advanced Level (A/L), and their grading scales, this site is a go-to resource.
  5. Online Learning Platforms (e.g., e-Thaksalawa by the Ministry of Education): While not strictly about grading, e-Thaksalawa ( offers educational materials that align with the national curriculum, helping students and teachers gauge the level of understanding expected for various grades.

These websites can provide authoritative information on the grading system, educational policies, and resources for academic support. Whether you’re a student seeking clarification on grading criteria, a parent interested in understanding your child’s education, or an educator looking for official guidelines, these resources are a great starting point.