Comparing the American, Uk & Nigerian Grading Systems

I used to be amazed by Americans that get straight A’s = 90% in all subjects until I learned about the conversion. Over here we use the UK grading system where A’s start from 70% and the best students struggle soooo hard to get them. In the UK they don’t use letters for grades.

The grading equivalents are:

UK                 US                      Nigeria

70-100           A                           A

65-69             A-                          B

60-64             B+                      (still B)

50-59             B                            C

45-49             C+                          D

40-44             C                             F

0-39                F                            F

I was already worried about how I was possibly going to score 90% and above in all courses in case I moved to the US for my master’s degree.

Someone on the thread posted:

“70% in us gets you nothing, might even lose your scholarship

70% in the uk gets you first class honors and a ticket into oxford”

So basically if you graduate with first class honors over here, it means your average grade throughout your period of study was an A by US standards (AKA their 90% and above).

First class – A

Second Class Upper – B+ to A-

Second Class Lower – B

Third Class – C+

Pass – C

Also, in the UK most students that get A’s score between 70 – 80%, especially at undergraduate/masters level. Someone mentioned that her professor (in the UK) had never had any student score above 80% before.

I also learned that in the US there’s more emphasis on “breadth” than depth, that is, taking a variety of subjects/course that are completely unrelated to your field. How you could probably have no idea what degree you’re going to graduate with until maybe you’re done with your first year. Like, you just keep taking courses from different places all over the universities and then later on you define your ‘major’ based on the courses you’ve done and where your interests lie. You could start Universities wanting to be an Engineer and end up graduating with a degree in Gender Studies��.

Over here, as we all know, when you apply to a university you also apply to a college within the university. (College of Engineering, College of Medical Sciences, etc) and you mainly take specialized courses only with maybe a few general courses in your first year..

There’s also the thing about how a lot of different

daily or weekly activities contribute to your grade as opposed to one test and one exam in a whole semester over here. (The exam at the end of the semester accounting for 70% of your overall grade, sometimes its the only exam and accounts for everything).

If anyone has anything else to add please share,


About Obasi Chinedu

Obasi Chinedu Is an Author at He is a member of the Nigerian Union of Campus Journalist (NUCJ). You can reach out to Him On Twitter via @Obasi_Chinedu

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