Study in France

French Grading System: The Simplified G…

French Grading System: The Simplified Guide

International Students France

France is one of the top study destinations in the world. With 39 schools ranked among the greatest universities, it boasts the seventh-best education system in the world. In addition, France consistently ranks as the fifth-most student-friendly nation in Europe. It also has different regulations to protect residents, world-class educational institutions, and a friendly student community.

In 2022, 370,000 international students were enrolled in French institutions. The most popular fields of study among international students in France are the sciences, economics, engineering, business administration, and literature.

The French education system awards grades as follows:

In France, grades are awarded on a scale of 0 to 20, with 20 representing the highest grade and 0 the lowest. Grades between 10 and 20 are considered passing grades. For every subject, a student must score at least 10/20 to receive credit. Grades higher than 16 are rarely awarded. When a student's overall weighted average for that year is at least 10, it means that they have successfully completed the year.

Students are unlikely to receive grades as high as they did in secondary school because French universities grade more strictly.

French Grade Definition English Term
16 - 20 Très bien Very good
14 - 15.9 Bien Good
12 - 13.9 Assez bien Amply Sufficient
10 - 11.9 Passable Almost Sufficient
0 - 9.9 Ajourné Insufficient

The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is used by higher education institutions in France. Each credit consists of 25 to 30 hours of academic work (lectures plus assignments).

ECTS Grading Scale in France

The European Higher Education Area uses the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) as a way to increase the transparency of studies and courses.

University-level studies are divided into three fundamental levels in France and the European Union, each of which is equivalent to a specific number of ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits.

Up to 30 ECTS credits, which can be transferred to other countries, are awarded for each semester. 180 ECTS credits, or six semesters, are needed to earn a bachelor's degree.

Grade Grade Description
A Excellent
B Very Good
C Good
D Satisfactory
E Sufficient
Z Requirements Fulfilled
FX Fail
F Fail

French Grading System Compared to British Grading System

The British grading system evaluates students numerically, just like the French grading system does. Although the UK grading scale uses the numbers 0-100, it also tends to fully express students' academic accomplishments. This is beneficial because it allows you to identify your strengths and areas that need improvement.

French Grade UK Grade
18 - 20 75 - 100
15 - 18 70 - 74
14.5 - 14.99 64 - 69
14.0 - 14.49 60 - 63
13.5 - 13.99 55 - 59
13.0 - 13.49 50 - 54
12.0 - 12.99 46 - 49
11.5 - 11.99 43 - 45
11.0 - 11.49 38 - 42
10.0 - 10.49 35 - 37
Lower than 10 0 - 34

French Grading System Compared to US Grading System

To compensate for the difficulty of classes, several American universities use weighted grades, which add grades for advanced classes to the official transcripts. Because they are not used in French educational institutions, students who receive scores of 12 or higher are often in the top 10–20% of their class, grades of 14 or higher are highly uncommon, and perfect 20s are nearly never awarded.

The advantage of French education is that it is far less expensive than American education, despite the fact that the American grading system may be more tolerant than the French one.

French Grade American Grade
15 - 20 A
14.5 - 14.99 A-
14.0 - 14.49 B+
13.5 - 13.99 B
13.0 - 13.49 B-
12.0 - 12.99 C+
11.5 - 11.99 C
11.0 - 11.49 C-
10.5 - 10.99 D+
10.0 - 10.49 D
Lower than 10 F

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Study in France Without IELTS?

Yes, you can enroll in public and private universities in France without taking the IELTS test.

Is Education Free in France for International Students?

No, but due to French government funding for higher education, tuition is low in public universities.

Are Schools Strict in France?

The strict French educational system promotes rote learning, precise grading, and the requirement of high academic standards in reading, writing, and mathematics. It also offers a rigid approach to teaching. The French don't believe that school should be fun.

How to Calculate The Final Grade in the France?

To calculate your final grade in France you can use Erudera's Final Grade Calculator.

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