University grades – most people think of them as the grades that determine the rest of your life! After all, they’ll be the grades that all your future employers see, so you want them to be good ones. In some cases, you might be hoping that your university rounds up your grade so you can just get that next classification.
Universities do not round up any grades except for your final grade. Your final grade will only be rounded up if you are less than 3% away from the nearest 10%, and less than 0.5% away from the next whole percentage. Grades that don’t meet these criteria may not be rounded up.
University grading systems are complicated, and lots of policies can be filled with jargon that makes them difficult to understand. This article will take you through how grades are calculated at university, whether they are rounded, and more.
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Do universities round up final grades?
Yes, universities round up final grades. If your overall grade is less than 0.5% away from the next whole number (for example, a score of 69.7), your score will be rounded up. However, if your score is more than 0.5% away from the next whole number (for example, a score of 69.4), your score will not be rounded up.
Universities are very strict with rounding. For example, the University of York states in their policy that even a grade of XX.49% will not be rounded up. For more on this, check out their guide here.
However, some universities have what is called the “3% rule”. This rule means that if your mark is more than 3% away from the nearest 10%, your score will not be rounded at all. This applies even if your score is less than 0.5% away from the next whole number.
For example, the University of Plymouth states in their guidelines that scores of 47.5% or 57.5% (as general examples) will not be rounded. For more on this, check out their guide here.
If you’d like to read more about degree classifications and percentages, you can do so by reading this Think Student article.
Do universities round up assessment grades?
Your final university assessments are the only assessments that will be rounded up. For general assignments such as essays or problem sheets, your grades that you get given won’t be rounded. This is because it isn’t relevant.
Grades for assessments other than finals don’t count towards your final grade, so universities won’t edit the mark you’re given.
However, some universities may not even give you grades, and you will just receive the raw marks for your work.
How does your overall university grade get calculated?
How your university grade is calculated varies widely from university to university and from course to course. Although, there are some general rules that most universities follow.
I’ll go into more detail about these below. If you are really worried about how your universities calculates final grades, you can email your tutors or university admin.
Generally, your first year at university will not impact your overall grade. You should still try to do well, but universities often see first year as a novice year where you learn more than you do.
You aren’t expected to be an expert at exams in first year, which is why it isn’t included in grading. For most universities however, you will have to pass exams in first year to continue your degree.
Some universities calculate your overall grade from an average of your grades in second and third year. Other universities may only use grades achieved in third year (or last year of 3+ year courses). Some universities may be even more refined and only use grades achieved in final exams.
As grading systems are so unique to each university, I would recommend searching on your university website. There will usually be a page of information about the grading system.
For more information on undergraduate, masters, and PhD grading systems, check out this Think Student article.
What grades are important at university?
Of course, every grade you receive matters, but not all of them will be on your degree certificate. To find out what degree information appears on your degree certificate, you can check out this Think Student article.
However, the most important grade at university is your final grade. This is what employers will see.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in the effort for your other assessments. You need to perform well across your degree to be able to continue studying. However, if you achieve a grade lower than what you expected for an essay, don’t get yourself down about it.
Can you round up your own university grade?
No, you are not allowed to round up your own university grade on any official documents. If your grade could have been rounded up, your university would have done it for you.
There are no repercussions of lying about your university grade to your friends. However, you should not round up your overall university grade on any official documents that require it.
For example, if you achieved a final grade of 69.49%, you would not be allowed to round up your grade to 70%. This would mean you achieved a first-class honours instead of a 2:1. It’s never a good idea to round up your university grade yourself, no matter how close you were to the next bracket.
If you lie about your overall university grade on your CV, your employer can still check. Obviously, if you are caught lying about your grade, you’ll be turned away from a job or fired. For more on the consequences of lying on your CV, check out this article by StandOut CV.