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I emailed a professor in Australia for a PhD program. In the response, and as a part of that, he told me "For scholarships, you need to be at least 85% and over". What does it mean? Is this refer to GPA or something else?

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    Probably, but he's the one who has the ability to clarify, so why not ask him? Nov 9 '19 at 7:25
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It may be GPA. It may be rank in your class. It may be your percentile on the graduate exams. I agree with @GrotesqueSI: The answer is to email the professor again and request clarification.

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Typically Australian universities would use Honors 1 equivalence for allocating scholarships both to locals and international students. So the 85 would be that of an equivalent mark. I have found one document from QUT that explains this, you should search something similar for the university you are applying for.

https://cms.qut.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/275477/honours-equivalence-research-applications.pdf

In my experience that would be the minimum and without things adding to it, you would be less likely to be competitive for a scholarship.

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