Simplified system: The ECTS Grading Table
In order to simplify the procedure, while continuing to pursue the objective of making European grades more transparent, the ECTS Users' Guide proposes using an “ECTS Grading Table”, concentrating on the first step of the 5-point system. Thus institutions only need to provide in a standard table form the statistical distribution of their own grades. Therefore, the ECTS Grading Scale based on a predetermined percentage structure is to be replaced by a simple statistical table completed for each degree programme or group of homogeneous programmes. In other words, instead of trying to fit existing grading practices in a standard distribution scale, universities need only to determine the actual percentage of students that receive each ‘local’ grade. For example: National/institutional grade Total number awarded in the reference group Percentage of the total number 10 50 5 % 9 100 10% 8 350 35% 7 300 30% 6 200 20% 1000 100%
Total number awarded in the reference group
Percentage of the total number
National / institutional grade country /system A Grading percentage* National / institutional grade country / system B Grading percentage* 30 lode 5,6% 1 20% 30 15,7% 2 35% 29 0,5% 3 25% 28 12,3% 4 20% 27 11,8% 26 9% 25 8,2% 24 11,3% 23 2,7% 22 6% 21 2,3% 20 5,7% 19 1,9% 18 6,9% Total 100%
This ECTS Grading Table can be produced for national grading scales of any size, from data concerning a given reference group which are easily available in institutional records. When included in the Transcripts of Records and Diploma Supplements of the students, the table will facilitate the interpretation of each grade awarded to them and will not require any further calculation. The new ECTS Grading Table allows more straightforward comparison of two or more grading systems and cultures. This can be illustrated by another example:
National / institutional
grade country /system A
National / institutional
grade country / system B
* Based on the total number of grades awarded in the degree programme concerned during two preceding years.
To sum up, the ECTS Grading Table allows for simple, transparent interpretation and conversion of grades from one system or context to another, and therefore does justice to the level of academic performance of all learners. Used correctly, it bridges different grading systems as well as different cultures in the European Higher Education Area and beyond. To use the ECTS Grading Table the following steps should be taken: Identify the reference group 1. for which the grade distribution will be calculated (usually a degree programme, but in some cases a wider or different grouping of students such as a Faculty or sector -- e.g. Humanities). 2. Collect all grades awarded over a period of (at least) two academic years for the reference group identified. 3. Calculate the grade distribution in terms of percentages for the reference group. 4. Include the grading percentage table of your degree programme in every Transcript of Records/Diploma Supplement. 5. For transfer, compare the percentage table of the other institution’s degree programme with your own. On the basis of this comparison individual grades can be converted. The first four steps in the procedure concern all programmes and are purely administrative tasks. The academic responsible for credit transfer may get involved in step 5 when general guidelines for the conversion of grades are being established.