What is a Passing Grade in College?

Passing Grade

In the United States, D is generally considered as the lowest but barely passing grade. Have you got some stress reduction for your mind?  Good, calm down, you passed it.

Let’s review some details about passing grades in USA colleges.

In this country, most establishments have five, six or seven letters as grading marks. Usually, they include:

  • A+;
  • A;
  • A;
  • B+;
  • B;
  • B-;
  • C+;
  • C;
  • C-;
  • D+;
  • D;
  • D-;
  • F.

Logically, A+ is generally the highest and F is the lowest, shorted from the word “failed”. Depending on a discipline and the university status, conversions from numeric to letter marks may be different. Some institutions use numeric ones from 0 to 4 where 0 is the lowest and 4 is the highest point.

Numerical and Letter Passing Grades is Schools and Colleges

A, B, C, D, E, and F are usually typical points earned by students after they participate in a certain studying course offered. Those “plus” and “minus” variations are used to reflect the level of a student’s knowledge more precisely.

If to talk about what the passing grade is, things are a bit tricky. First of all, primary and secondary educational establishments mostly acknowledge D as a passing grade. Still, some of them have a higher demand: their minimum level is C. Converting this to numerical scales, the level lower than 70 (for C) or 60 (for D) points means a failure. As a rule, students still get some credits for the classes after getting D. But in some cases, a C or higher level is necessary for a prerequisite requirement satisfaction.

You probably know all that, but what is a passing grade in college? Colleges generally use the same system, setting their minimum at D (mostly) or C (rare) levels. To make sure, you’ll need to check this information at the college’s website or dean’s office.

How Grades are Assigned to College Students

…and what percent is a passing grade in college?

If to take a system based on percentages, a percent score can be earned for each assignment, no matter what its difficulty, type, size, and overall length are. If eight test answers were correct out of ten questions, a score is 80%. This means that a student will need 6 right answers in this test to get 60% and to pass the class.

The final point is usually calculated as a stated proportional of all the points that a student gets during the class course. For instance, 40% go to homework, 20% can be earned with the regular presence on lectures, 30% count as the final exam, and the last 10% can be earned by the independent research project.

How to Get a Passing Grade in College

Now when you know what a passing grade in college is, here goes a short bullet list to get it:

  • Find out what is considered as a passing level in your college (mostly, D is barely enough: unsatisfactory, but still working);
  • Visit classes and lectures (professors are not rare to add some percent to your overall point for a regular presence);
  • Do not ignore homework tasks (or use some help if you really don’t have time);
  • Pass the final exam well (it usually matters the most);
  • Be confident, but avoid overestimating your abilities and knowledge.


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