US College Grades

Hi everyone. The voice in my mind has been obsessively speaking about my average in the degree that I did 1997 and completed in 2001. He wants to know something about America so here I am asking…

In America, college grades seem to be A = 90% or above, B = 80 to 90, C = 70 to 80.

Now in New Zealand, our system is far more lenient. An “A” grade is 80 to 85, and 85 and above is an A+. Similarly, a “B” grade is actually 65% to 70%.

Me and the voice think the American system looks far too hard to get good grades. An “A” being 90% or more is a tough requirement.

QUESTION: How many people actually average an “A” or a “B” in America?

Is it HARD to AVERAGE a “B” in America?

What sort of proportion of people would be STRAIGHT A’s?

In New Zealand, a VERY small proportion of people actually AVERAGE 80% or MORE in their entire degree. These people are quite smart, yet in America they’d be scraping by as a B average. The average University student with a degree in New Zealand would have a “D” or “C” average by American standards.

I can’t see their being any real difference in difficulty between the two (unless in American colleges they make it easier to get “A”'s).

Appreciate your feedback

I don’t know about the rest of America, but I graduated from community college with a 3.79 GPA, which is about 95%. I got a C in calculus, mostly because my teacher was rotten. He didn’t even really teach, he just read from the book. The book was totally incomprehensible to me. And his tests weren’t like the homework, there were a lot of trick questions. Other than that I got all A’s, except for one B. I’m hoping to do well in the university I will be attending too.

Wow, well done. To get all A’s except for one B is excellent. How did you do it? lol. With the requirement for having 90% or more for an “A”, you must have had super precision and minimal errors. I hear a lot of stories of people in America getting similar sort of grades, and I just wonder how it’s done, given that in New Zealand the final grades of our students are much lower than in America (about 60 to 65% is average for a New Zealand graduate. They get a New Zealand B- for this). Something just doesn’t quite make sense.

Maybe New Zealand schools are harder?

I doubt anyone on here can give you the statistics you desire. We have thousands of colleges here in the U.S. How would one of us get hold of the grade averages for the thousands of current college students ? Not to mention that you would want us to look at the grades for how many years? This current year? The last 5 years? The last ten years? I attended community college. I have no idea what my fellow students grades were like. I doubt my college would tell me. It might take you a little recherche to find the answer. IDK. Maybe there’s a massive database with every grade, of every class, of every student, of every college. How could you find it? I don’t know.

Possibly. Thanks for your comments.

I guess so. I was mostly wanting general comments than hard and accurate numbers so I should have phrased it differently.

I’m in Canada. It’s been awhile but I think I graduated from high school with a C average… math and sciences were hard for me but accounting and literature good so it evened out. College probably a B average. Worked my butt off to get it :smile:

I didn’t understand my daughter’s grading system in school when she lived with me. No numbers just levels 1, 2 or 3.

1 Like

Hi Andypr,
My sis and I live in Seattle Washington and the sis is in college now. She says that most colleges here that are on the University System and have nation wide transferable classes use the “decimal grading system” you can look that up on the web and it gives the break down of the spread and what point equals what grade.

High schools will also use this along with a straight “pass/fail” option for students who are just not that good but working their butt off.

Some private schools use their own what ever and how ever they like.

1 Like

I graduated my Bachelors of Science in Nursing program with a 3.92 GPA. My university used 90+ as an A.

And honestly, it was VERY tough for me to get all A’s. Im a slow learner, and the classes are very fast-paced.




wow… I have a deep respect for people who can understand accounting. I can’t really fathom accounting. I’ve looked over my sister’s book from this last quarter and I am really puzzled. I love algebra and geometry. But accounting looks hard. My sis has had flash cards taped all over the house. It could also be that my sis cried nearly every single day there was a test in accounting. She said her accounting teacher was a really good person and tried to be patient and fair, but she just couldn’t get it to stick in her head. She had to take two quarters to meet the requirement. So it’s been 6 months of tears. I’m so glad she passed and that part is over.

I debated for a bit going to school to be an accountant until I worked in payroll… Realized what a hassle our company was to our accounting firm and decided no way lol Plus I think I may have a bit of dyslexia when it comes to numbers so probably not a good career choice. It’s not an easy course. Debit, credit, balance sheet, ledger. It is confusing :smile:

1 Like

It’s not that hard to get a B in america. A’s take some serious mastery of the material. I made a 3.96 this last semester, which is all A’s and an A-. If you make all A’s, it means you only miss a few questions, like less than 8% on every test or paper


Well, ADHD can play a roll positively or negatively. Positive when you can turn your active mind into a super multi tasker and thrive on the need to have multiple tasks required at the same time for you to function, or your simply bored out of your mind and you day dream and get nothing accomplished. I would also factor into that someone who is also OCD. I worked as a headhunter for several years and staffed primarily Insurance companies. Each does a personality profile on every applicant and an aptitude test. Top management positions required a type A personality. Highly competitive, excellent multi tasker and quick thinker, also someone who has an excellent perspective on subjects and can persuade their view easily. An ADHD person can do so because they can see several opinion points at one time and carry the thought process through on all of them quickly. ( one who has trained themselves to use it in a positive direction.) OCD types want every t crossed and every i dotted. They cant leave their desk until everything has been accomplished or the stress of that is overwhelming. So as students they can, if they train themselves to do so, learn all the facts so that no matter what the question they have the answer. I have 2 children who are both. My oldest was appointed to 3 military academies before mid December when he applied, and was a 3.99 student, top 10 in his graduating class from an extremely difficult school. Entrance test scores were close to perfect. The youngest has to have the test given to him verbally, he scores in the bottom 15 all the time. Yet on a verbal he will repeat for the teacher every sentence she said in class on the subject matter. He cant choose an objective answer it has to be literal. So they have to adjust his grading on his capability and understanding of the matter.

I don’t hear voices, but I see pages non stop. Generated from several sources. Its like my mind will immediately call up the page and then I can touch the screen and pull up any and all docs related to it. ( It does this with menues when we pass a resturant!) This is very over whelming. At work a phone number would pop up on my phone, I could immediately see their SS number, their entire resume, and any and all grammatical errors in it. I hate that! The oldest tested completely out of Math, Physics, and Chemistry. Not my area, so when he is working on a document, he will have me read sites so I can give him an assessment of all of the ideas. He can ask a basic question and I can give him a sentence word for word. I see it, I can tell him which web site and how to access it. Its the OCD. His, OCD querks are math formulas. His soccer coach yelled out his name once and said" turn that calculator brain of yours off and just kick the freaking ball!!!" because he sees angles, height, distance, and speed.
Our top schools use the SAT and ACT tests for academic assessment then they add in the personality assessments. All of the students in my classes were very similar to me in that they had photographic memories and at the Military academies they certainly choose cadets with the above similar tendencies. Especially the Air Force, due to the programs they are involved in. So you choose a school that matches your academic abilities and to what depth they will take it. Doing so would allow my youngest to also perform at an above average GPA when my 2 boys are worlds apart in their abilities.

I would say if you get B’s or better in an American uni, you are doing ok. Why? All you need for most graduate school programs is a B or better undergraduate GPA. And, that’s what matters, right. Grad school/professional school. It is taken for granted you must have a certain level of competence in Grad school. That being said, my grad school failed out one in 3 people they accepted, and this was a library science program. hehe… that’s funny. I can imagine myself saying years later, “I am a library school dropout.” ahahha. No, but seriously… that must have totally sucked for those people who didn’t make the cut. And, let me tell any of you who might be considering becoming a librarian today to think twice. There are more than 60 applicants for every job that becomes available now. It’s ridiculous. There is a reason Forbes made Lib Sci the WORST career choice of today. Sad, but true. I still feel that societies can be judged on the strength of their libraries and liberal education. Library budgets are drying up around the US. Anyways, I digress. I think anybody who does B or better as an undergrad is doing ok because they can continue their education to a higher level if they so choose.

1 Like