I am studying at a university that provides with a CGPA (as mentioned on mark sheets) but they are not a curve.

The thing is, although my cgpa is 7, I am fourth in the class from a total of 40 students. I am worried that it might be taken negatively when I apply for Graduate Studies. How can share this information across the admissions committee?

I am studying in a not so top university from India. I am studying computer sciences and will be applying for the same.

  • 2
    Just... Tell them, I guess. Generally these things are country-specific, not university specific (not sure in your case) and admissions people are aware of that. E.g. I am from Spain, where a 7/10 is considered a great achievement in my field. In Italy if you have less than 10/10 is because you have done something very wrong. Admissions knew this when I applied to my PhD – Ander Biguri Jun 19 '17 at 11:56
  • @Ander Biguri In India, this is not the case usually. Here different universities have different CGPA systems. The is no standardisation. What do you mean by telling them? Could you please elaborate – spunkpike Jun 19 '17 at 12:15
  • 2
    When you apply to graduate studies, you need to often write a cover letter or some sort of document talking about yourself. In that document you generally highlight why you think you are a good fit for entering graduate school. Basically add the information you want in that paper! Tell them that you feel very proud of your CGPA because you where top 20% of your class, or phrase it however you think will make your CV shine. Just make sure they get the information you want them to get. – Ander Biguri Jun 19 '17 at 13:09

In different countries, the score or grade award systems are different. Moreover, it does vary with the universities as well. As far as I know, in India, the universities follow two different grading schemes:

  1. Absolute grading
  2. Relative grading

In the absolute grading scheme, the papers are graded as per a predefined range allotted to each grade. For example, A+ grade would follow the range 90-100, A- would follow 80-90, and so on.

In the relative grading scheme, the papers are graded as per the university rules or the faculty in-charge of the course. Usually, they follow a scheme mark distribution where each score is checked against a cut-off, not like the absolute grading scheme. Here the A+ might follow the cut-off as 77 out of 100, if the top score is 82 (example).

In the grade or score card, the CGPA system is mentioned (usually at the back side of the card). So, there would not be any issue with this.

Further, you have not mentioned in your question, which grading scheme your university follows. So, assuming any of the two above, a CGPA of 7 is not that bad to be ashamed of.

Moreover, as mentioned in Scott Seidman's answer, it would be wise to mention explicitly in the application itself.

Good luck!


If you believe the CGPA data your university provides does not make your performance clearin your application package, it is your responsibility to clarify in your personal statement or try to achieve this through reference letters.

"My academic performance places me in the top 10% of my class."

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