So I have a 2 page unofficial transcripts I would like to send to Universities. One page describes marks, while the other provides the grading system. Now, since I have studied in an Indian University, I have secured 6.4/10 GPA. While this looks bad on paper, I graduated in the top 20% within my batch. My grading system has D as an average.Here

As you can see, due to stringent evaluation, its ridiculously impossible to score S+ in everything. Now what do I mean by supplement? This image that you see above is from my semester marks card. However, if you have noticed the 'levels' column, this is crucial to providing context to my grading system. Problem here is that this is missing from my unofficial transcripts.

So, I am looking to attach the scale page from my marks card to my 2 page unofficial transcript because I don't think Adcom is going to extensively look up my University to understand the grading scale. Is this move recommended? Am I going to get into trouble for doping my transcripts with additional information? As far as I know, my official transcripts in a sealed envelope will only consist of the first 2 pages without the scale. How should I proceed with this?

2 Answers 2


I don't think there is any rule that would suggest it's bad practice to add the scorecard to your unofficial transcript. However, I would say that it is unlikely to change much. If you think it is important to address the grades, I'd rather find a way to weave this into the letter or any other free text that will accompany your application. This is likely a much better way to put your grades into context. Consider that even the percentages tells you next to nothing. In the US system see here a D generally ranges between 60-70%, so in comparison to your table it should be considered better than average? But nevertheless, if you apply will all Ds or even all Cs in the US system you will likely be dismissed out of hand. So in my eyes, a personalized note would be needed to convey the nuances about your grading system.

Of course, I am not sure if your applications offer up space for such a section.

  • Consider that even the percentages tells you next to nothing. --- I'm pretty sure the OP meant the percentages to be in the sense of class rank and not in the sense of exam/homework/classwork accuracy. Thus, "top 20%" is likely well above the average, since 50% would represent the median. Jan 4, 2021 at 13:53
  • @DaveLRenfro, I was going by the table VolkoPat referred to here. It lists a D as 'Average' with a Score Range from 45-50%. Just putting up this table is not enough to put the 6.4 GPA into context. Since comparing your score to the 'median' of the scoring system would mean that in the US a D is well above the median? Jan 4, 2021 at 14:33
  • ... would mean that in the US a D is well above the median? --- In my 2nd sentence I was following-up on my 1st sentence by assuming the OP's use of "top 20% meant that 80% of those taking the test scored/ranked lower than the OP (note I began the 2nd sentence with "Thus, ..."). With rampant grade inflation in the U.S., I would imagine a D would be in the LOWER 15-20% (and for some fields, maybe even below 10%). The table you referred to is probably mostly useless for someone not familiar with the OP's situation, as "Out-standing", "Excellent", etc. could mean most anything. Jan 4, 2021 at 15:10
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    (+1) Incidentally, I also think putting additional information in the applicant's letter (and letters of recommendation) is the way to handle this. Jan 4, 2021 at 15:12
  • @DaveLRenfro I don't have any control over the Letters of Recommendation so I might have to adjust it somewhere in my statement. Regardless, I am trying to do whatever is within my control. Thanks for that.
    – Volko
    Jan 4, 2021 at 19:43

Adding additional information to your transcripts is unlikely to help you. Follow the application instructions. You want to be remembered for the quality of your application, not your failure to follow instructions.

  • Looking at that 6.4, nothing is going to make my application look like quality without any explaining. The rank holder's GPA is 8.0, which is nothing compared to the inflated 9.9s and 10s in private universities.
    – Volko
    Jan 4, 2021 at 10:11
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    Providing additional, relevant information is not a failure to follow instructions, unless the instructions said that it's not allowed to add more stuff. Jan 4, 2021 at 10:57
  • Application instructions will say where to put explanations. It's not in the transcript. Jan 4, 2021 at 12:40
  • Most applications don't say much about the transcripts apart from cutoff. Anyway, I have decided to explain this in my personal statement.
    – Volko
    Jan 4, 2021 at 19:48

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