3

I just graduated in aeronautical engineering (master of science) at the Polytechnic of Milan. In the Italian university system, students who finish their major get a final grade that that goes from 66 to 110 (plus honors). In my particular case, I got a 103/110.

Since I am writing my resume/CV in English, I would like to convert my Italian final grade to the American (GPA?) and U.K system.

Can anyone suggest me what conversion I should follow?

  • 2
    possible duplicate of How to interpret Italian grades for a grad school application – jakebeal May 1 '15 at 13:39
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    @jakebeal: I do not think it’s a duplicate. The other question is about interpreting Italian grades and so do the answers. This question is about converting grades. – Wrzlprmft May 1 '15 at 13:43
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    Can you tell us who you are aiming your résumé at? – Wrzlprmft May 1 '15 at 13:44
  • @Wrzlprmft I am thinking to send my resumè to Boeing, Embraer, Bombardier and Airbus – Federico Gentile May 1 '15 at 21:36
  • Why are you writing your CV in English? – Walter White Oct 4 at 12:49
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Don't even try.

There is no "American grading system". There is a fairly common 0.0-4.0 scale for "grade-point averages", but the meanings of those GPA differ significantly among different US universities, among different departments at the same university, and in some cases, even between different instructors of the same course.

The only reasonable way to judge what Italian grades say about your potential for graduate study is to compare them against other Italian grades.

  • mmm... I see your point but you can understand that people in the US or UK might not know what grading system there is in italy... therefore if they see 103/110 they may have no clue of what I am talking about... would you raccomend not to send anything then? – Federico Gentile May 2 '15 at 12:17
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    +1 @FedericoGentile: Do not try explain grading systems in a CV; it is not the place. You could easily include a rank-statistic though. While only saying GPA: x/100 needs quite a bit of contextualizing adding: z-th out 230 students in class of 2007 is more understandable to someone with no knowledge of different academic systems. – user8458 May 3 '15 at 5:41
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I would not do a conversion, I would just give your score and the total possible score, as you did in your question.

2

For the UK system, a first class degree is generally awarded to those who achieve over 70% of the maximum mark. I think having got 103/110 you can safely conclude your degree is equivalent to a UK first. On the other hand, I think you could probably just explain how the grading works (perhaps in your cover letter) and anyone would understand that this is an excellent mark.

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    -1. I think you fail to contextualize things and therefore your suggestion is mislead. Check the accepted answer in this thread and in particular the links to 2013 graduates. It seems that in Italy for Engineering 38% of the graduates get 105/110 or more. As such 103/110 is probably not a first-class. (unless you believe that around 40-45% of the graduates in UK get a first-class degree to begin with - according to BBC around 20% do). – user8458 May 3 '15 at 5:37
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To be most accurate, you'd need to convert grades at the course level, weighting by credit hours, where, e.g., a strong grade in a longer course is worth more than it is in a shorter course. You could also ignore credit hours, or assume they're roughly the same across courses.

Either way, one approach is to convert the course grade or final grade on the Italian scale to a simple proportion of points earned over points available. You can convert to GPA based on the proportions for each score in the four-point scale. Wikipedia shows this conversion table for percentage to letter grade and grade point:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_grading_in_the_United_States

Once you convert your Italian points to a proportion or percentage you should then be able to convert to any other grading system. There are apps online that will run the conversions for you. Here's one to try:

http://www.foreigncredits.com/Resources/GPA-Calculator/

0

What most people fail to understand is that a 70% in the UK scale does not mean you only got 70% of the exam correct. A score above 70% is something outstanding that very few people manage to achieve, that's why it's considered equivalent to much higher percentages in other countries. If you get everything correct on an exam you will get a 69% (happened to me). To get a score higher than 70, you have to not only answer the questions perfectly correctly but also insert new knowledge into your answers that you obtained from reading outside the course material. I have experience in both the portuguese and British system and I can tell you that a 70 on the UK scale is not your typical 70%. I would say it is equivalent to a 90% in the portuguese scale. Therefore, I don't think it's unfair that they ask for higher requirements for students from other countries.

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    I don't think this is universal. Suspect it varies within the UK – Flyto Oct 4 at 17:05
  • @Flyto absolutely, and even within each university/department/course. – fqq Oct 7 at 12:58
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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.

UK:

  • First class (1st): 70-100%
  • Upper second (2.1): 60-69%
  • Lower second (2.2): 50-59%
  • Third (3rd): 40-49%

US:

  • 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:

Italy

  • 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/

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    Downvoted. The US scales are nowhere near universal. In particular, in the required classes I teach, B definitely does not mean "83-86%", but rather "between 1/3 and 2/3 standard deviations above the mean". – JeffE Oct 23 '15 at 3:59
  • I don't get it. Speaking of percentage, in the UK if you take above 40% you pass, if you take above 70% you have an outstanding grade. In USA and IT you pass with 60%. This means that you need to know less to pass an exam and you are considered with great results with much less than IT. Basically, a 70+% in the UK is considered equal to a 90+% from IT – user3574984 Oct 23 '15 at 16:55
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    In USA...you pass with 60%No, this is just not true. In principle, every instructor in the US has the freedom to set grade boundaries wherever they like (although in practice, some departments and some universities impose restrictions). – JeffE Oct 23 '15 at 20:19

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