I've been through this for a while, searched official sites and so on, and I came to the conclusion that Italian grades are underestimated in the UK. I explain you why.
Note: for simplicity I will speak about exam grades since the graduation score in Italy is given by the average converted in 110th plus a variable score (depending both on the university and the course).
Both in USA and UK, scores are in percentage.
- First class (1st): 70-100%
- Upper second (2.1): 60-69%
- Lower second (2.2): 50-59%
- Third (3rd): 40-49%
- A (4.0): 93-100%
- A− (3.67): 90-92%
- B+ (3.33): 87-89%
- B (3.0): 83-86%
- B− (2.67): 80-82%
- C+ (2.33): 77-79%
- C (2.0): 70-76%
- D (1.0): 60-69%
- F (0.0): 0-59%
Now to Italy. Italy has exams votes in 30th, the minimum is 18/30 and the maximum is 30/30 plus honors. So it is:
- A-, A, A+ (Excellent): 27-30/30 and 30/30 plus honors
- B-, B, B+ (Good): 24-26/30
- C-, C, C+ (Satisfactory): 21-23/30
- D-, D, D+ (Barely passing): 18-20/30
Now, if you convert in percentages like the US system (as both have minimum at 60%) you get:
- A (Excellent): 90%-100%
- B (Good): 80%-89%
- C (Satisfactory): 70%-79%
- D (Barely passing): 60%-69%
That makes sense, right? In fact, if you convert between IT and US, you get the percentages above. But what happens if you convert IT to UK?
Well, it's kinda funny. As I said before, final score is made from the conversion in 110th PLUS a variable score. Now, let's pretend for a moment that you just have to convert the vote in 110th, according to math you have:
- A (Excellent): 99-110/110
- B (Good): 88-98/110
- C (Satisfactory): 77-87/110
- D (Barely passing): 60-76/110
I want to remark again that the score is lower than it should, because you should add points for your graduation. For my university, the points added were between 1 and 3, but other universities gives more or less points.
If you check requirements to enroll to an university, for example Manchester, you are required a score of 100/110 (link below).
If you are from USA, you are required a GPA of 3.0.
Too bad that if you convert from IT to US, you get that a GPA of 3.0 you need 25/30 or 89/110.
If you are from UK you need a 2:1, which is the correct translation for the US score but not for the IT.
Nice job UK.
Requirements for Italian students: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/international/country-specific-information/italy.htm
Requirements for USA students: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/international/country-specific-information/usa.htm?page=2
Requirements for UK students: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/international/english-education-system/