grading system in ireland

Understand The College Grading System In Ireland For 2024

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Tickets? Check! Passport? Check! Suitcases? Check! Noise Cancelling Headphones? Double Checked!

Great! You have all the things ready to move to Ireland to continue your studies. We wish you all the best for this academic trip.

Hold on a minute, have you considered the grading system in Ireland as you embark on your educational journey?

No? Oh, good heavens! Did you not know how mind-boggling Irish grades can be, especially for international students?

Well, don’t think about changing your destination now silly! We are here as your guardian angel to tell you all about Ireland’s grading system that you need to know.

So, embark on a journey for your academic success and read this blog to make sure you can understand your grades as you continue to succeed in your school.

Without any ado, let us get started!

Ireland’s College Grading System: A Guide For Students

There are various stages in Ireland’s education system i.e. higher education, secondary education, primary education, etc. Students are graded at the end of each academic stage. As you might suspect, the grading system differs for every stage. Below, we have shed light on how it works for every academic milestone. So, read on!

Grading System in Compulsory Education (GCSE)

General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is taken by candidates who are aged between 15 to 17 years in Ireland. This is a vital part of the education system and mostly determines a candidate’s eligibility for employment opportunities for further education. If you want to improve your grades in GSCE but do not have enough time to cater to your assignments, then fret not. We are here with an amazing idea to shoo away all your worries regarding this matter. Really? What’s the idea?

Seek online assignment help from experts and get your work done on time. Overall, GSCEs are mandatory in a candidate’s academic journey as they lay a solid foundation for future success. Two grading systems are applied in Ireland, and both of them are discussed below:

  • Old Grading System: This system graded students from A to G. A is the highest attainable grade, while G is the lowest. D is considered as a merely passing grade.
  • New Grading System: Students in this system are graded from 1 to 9. Where 9 is the highest achievable grade and 4 is the passing grade.

After passing the GCSEs, students are promoted to higher education. Let us explore how grading happens in those institutes as well, shall we?

Grading System in Higher Education

After being promoted from GSCE, students reach their A-levels, which is often regarded as the school leaving qualification. It is an important part of the education system in Ireland and is mostly taken by students who are 18 years old. The poor souls!

A-levels are an ideal way to prepare university candidates. It helps them gain the knowledge and skills they will require to excel in their preferred careers. This is why, passing A-levels is a common requirement to get university admission. The students are graded in this education step from A* to E. Needless to say A is the highest, while E is the lowest. Now let us explore how the grading system in Ireland works for undergraduates.

Grading System For Undergraduates:

This education system is distinct and provides certain information regarding candidates’ academic accomplishments. This type of grading is very much appreciated due to the reason that it highlights a candidate’s skills and strengths. Thus, enabling the hiring managers to become aware of their potential better.

                               Percentage (%)   Grade Description
70 per cent or higherFirst Class
60 to 69 per centUpper Second Class
50 to 59 per centLower Second Class
40 to 49 per centThird Class
30-39 per centFail 1
0 to 29 per centFail 2
Representation of the Grading System For Undergraduates In Ireland

Now you know how things work in the education system in Ireland for international students. Let us discuss these grade descriptions in detail to help you understand them better, shall we?

  • First Class Degree: Getting a first-class degree means that you have achieved significant accomplishment. It means that you have scored 70 % or higher in your undergraduate degree. This grade is equivalent to an A grade. Yippee!
  • Upper Second Class Degree: If your score falls between 60% and 69%, it means that you have scored an upper second-class degree. While it is not as much of an accomplishment as the formerly mentioned grade, however, it does demonstrate that you have a brilliant understanding of your subject. This grade is a minimum requirement to pursue a master’s degree in Ireland. So, if you think you won’t be able to pass your exams with flying colors, it is better to start studying right now!
  • Lower Second-Class Degree: You get a lower second-class degree if you score between 50% and 59%. Although this degree is more respected than the below-discussed one, however, it demonstrates that you have a lot of room for improvement. Yikes!
  • Third Class Degree: You barely pass if you score anywhere between 40% and 49%. Although, there is nothing to be proud of in this grade, however, thank heavens! You didn’t fail! Regardless of passing your undergraduate, you will find it difficult to land your dream job if you get this grade. So, do yourself a favor and start studying right now!
  • Fail 1: If you score below the third class degree, between 30% and 39%, it means that you have failed and qualified for fail 1. A round of applause for you to score such an embarrassing grade! This grade determines that the candidate does not possess a proper understanding of the subject matter and its application. However, you can improve a little to pass on your next attempt. 
  • Fail 2: The lowest possible grade i.e. fail 2 also means failure. You get a fail 2 if you score 20% or a lower percentage. This grade determines that the candidate has a bare minimum knowledge of the subject matter, and needs a lot of improvement in order to get passing marks.

If you want to improve your grades but are unable to do so, then sweat not. We are here with a quick fix that will put an end to your worries. Is that so?

It sure is! Seek help from an online essay writing service and let these experts write your essays on your behalf. By doing so, you will ensure that your grades improve significantly. That is all. Now let us explore how the grading system works for postgraduates in Ireland, shall we?

Grading System For Postgraduates:

In Ireland, postgraduate academic degrees are graded on the basis of a grading system that ranges from a Borderline Pass (lowest grade) to getting a Distinction (highest grade). We have listed the grades for this education step below to help you get an idea.

                               Percentage (%)   Grade Description
70 per cent or aboveDistinction
60 to 69 per centMerit
50 to 59 per centPassed
40 to 49 per centPassed on Borderline

Representation of the Grading System for Postgraduates in Ireland

Usually, a thesis or dissertation, coursework, and of course exams help to determine the grades of a postgraduate candidate. So, pay attention to them and we assure you that no one can stop you from getting a Distinction yourself!

College Grading In Ireland In A Nutshell

So you see, how the Irish grading system differs from your country’s grading system. Count your blessings that you landed on this page at the right time, or else we cannot even imagine what would have happened otherwise. Now that you know how things work in Ireland, we urge you not to take your education lightly. Keep improving your grades, and the results will be worth your effort.

What does “ungraded” (U) mean in the Ireland grading system?

In Ireland’s grading system, ‘ungraded’, ‘unclassified’ or the letter ‘U’ in your report card means that the candidate has yet to achieve a passing grade in that particular examination or subject. In simpler words, it denotes that the candidate’s performance was lower than the minimum grade required to pass the examination.

What is GPA in Ireland’s Grading System?

To help you understand how the grading system in Ireland compares GPA with grade descriptions, we have listed them side by side. Read below to get familiar with it.

Percentage GradeGPA
70 per cent or above4.00 GPA
60 per cent or above3.33 GPA
50 per cent or above2.66 GPA
45 per cent or above2.33 GPA
40 per cent or above2.00 GPA
Less than 40 per centLess than 2.00 GPA

How do universities in Ireland use grades for admissions?

In Ireland, universities assign specific grade prerequisites for admission. These prerequisites are usually assigned for the most in-demand academic degrees. So, to maintain healthy competition and only select the best of the best candidates, these grade requirements are essential to surpass or meet to be considered for acceptance.

How are grades converted for international students applying to universities in Ireland?

If you are an international student interested in applying to any university in Ireland, then you must know that your grades will be converted by using an ‘equivalency assessment’. Similar to every country, Ireland has its own education system as well as grading scale. Thus, it can be quite challenging for direct comparisons. This is why, a lot of universities use agencies or organizations to evaluate international qualifications to cater to this issue. These agencies assess foreign academic credentials and transcribe them into their Irish grading scale equivalents.