Study Abroad Mark Conversion. Conversion Narratives

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1 Study Abroad Mark Conversion Conversion Narratives

2 Table of Contents Introductory Comments 3 America 4 Bolivia & Brazil Canada & USA Chile Colombia Mexico Asia 9 China, Hong Kong & Singapore Japan Australasia 11 Australia & New Zealand Europe 12 Austria and Germany (also see Germany Law) Belgium & Portugal Czech Republic, Denmark & Finland France Germany Law Hungary & Norway Iceland & Spain Ireland Italy Netherlands Sweden Switzerland 2

3 Introductory comments These narratives detail how calculations were arrived at and should be read in conjunction with the mark conversion document. They are primarily intended for staff and help to explain why a particular mark is given. Mark conversion was prepared based on analysis of transcripts from Erasmus and Year Abroad programmes and was compared to Partner Universities marking schemes and mark descriptions. Mark Conversion Tables from other UK Universities and partner Universities to UK were also consulted where available. Graduate schools and employers requirements were also researched to ensure grades are aligned to 2.1 and 1 st Class Degree requirements in UK. The final table was prepared in consultation with Study Abroad Departmental Coordinators and it is believed to be the best achievable compromise that should ensure students marks from year abroad are converted fairly and uniformly across the University. It was decided top marks should be capped at the best marks realistically achievable by students staying in Bristol i.e. maximum marks from year abroad would not be 100% but rather 85±3%. Pass and 2.1/1 st border are aligned with grade descriptions provided by partner Universities, but to take into account the culture shock experienced by students, the marks are usually on the more generous side. A linear scale was used for simplicity when foreign marks are linear, but marks below certain threshold should not be converted and 0% UoB equivalent given instead. Exceptions for certain departments (Engineering, Law) were justified and informed by discrepancies in the marking scheme of the Partner Universities. The marks translation will be subject to annual review, via the University Undergraduate Studies Committee. 3

4 Bolivia and Brazil Bolivian universities use a linear scale (percentage) with 50% being a Pass, and 100% being achievable (transcripts). The linear formula is UoB = 0.85 x (BOL). Brazil uses a similar scale, but marks are out of 10 rather than 100 although the distribution of marks is the same. The formula is UoB = 0.85 x (10 x BRA). Bolivia Brazil UoB First Upper Second Lower Second Third Fail

5 Canada and USA There are certain variations within each country, with some universities awarding grades like A+ and D+, whereas others do not. Therefore using GPA in the mark conversion is advisable, as all transcripts will contain this. A GPA of 2 is required for a Pass, and GPA of about is commonly used as a requirement equivalent to First Class Degree in postgraduate applications and job adverts. Therefore a linear conversion of GPA to UoB grade should be UoB=20x (GPA). In Canada, the same GPA is more difficult to achieve and therefore the mark conversion needs to reflect this. The conversion for the Canadian GPA is UoB = 20.5x (GPA) The UoB equivalents are summarised in the table below. GPA USA Canada

6 Chile Chilean universities use a linear scale from 1-7 with one decimal point (4.3, 6.7 etc). 4 is a Pass while the average of 6.5+ is outstanding (Good First). The majority of grades are in the range of (therefore equivalent to a 2.1 range). The formula used is UoB = 15 x (Chile) 20 Chile UoB First Upper Second Lower Second Third Fail 6

7 Colombia Colombian universities utilise a 0-5 scale where 3 is a Pass. The grade distribution is effectively the same as in Switzerland and therefore the formula for conversion is UoB = 20 x (COL) - 15 Colombia UoB 5 85 First Upper 4 65 Second Lower Second 3 45 Third Fail

8 Mexico Mexico uses a linear scale with the Pass mark set at is achievable. The scale is linear and corresponds to UoB 40-85% range. Therefore the formula is UoB= (MEX)-15. Mexico UoB First Upper Second Lower Second Third Fail

9 China, Hong Kong and Singapore Different universities within these countries vary in the grades they award. Some give A+ and D+ while others do not (see US, Canada). Therefore the equivalent for every grade from D- to A+ is provided, and the conversion should not be adjusted if some grades are not used as there is no justification for the same letter grades having different UoB equivalents. The transcripts as well as research online suggest that Singapore marking is slightly harsher, and to reflect this, an extra 3% is added to the equivalent Chinese/HK conversion HK/China UoB Singapore UoB A+ 84 A+ 87 A 78 A 81 A- 70 A- 73 B+ 66 B+ 69 B 63 B 66 B- 60 B- 63 C+ 56 C+ 59 C 53 C 56 C- 50 C- 53 D+ 46 D+ 49 D 40 D 43 D- 30 D- 33 F 0 F 0 9

10 Japan Our partner universities in Japan use different letter scales (see below), but also provide the percentage mark. The linear scale is similar to Mexico (55 pass, 100 Good First ). Therefore the same formula is used for converting Japanese percentage mark to UoB: UoB = (Japan) 15. If the percentage grade is not given, the letter grades have the same distribution as grades in Hungary and Norway. Japan UoB UoB Class Niigata Nagoya Kyushu UoB AA A* A First A A B Upper Second B B C Lower Second C C D 45 Third Fail Fail Fail Fail

11 Australia and New Zealand There are three different descriptive grading systems used at our Australian partners. They share the same 4 levels of achievement which roughly correspond to the UK system. However, based on the information found online it is very hard to obtain the highest grades (2-5% students get a HD) and it is not unknown for 50% of students to achieve only a Pass. To reflect this, and to avoid disadvantaging UoB students, rather than using the descriptions provided the formula used for conversion is UoB = (AUS%) - 7 (and -5 for engineering). New Zealand marking is the same as Australia. 100 MQ, Adelaide, Sydney, UNSW UWA Melbourne HD HD H D H2A D H2B C H3 C P Pass (P) P < 50 F F F AUS/NZ Eng (-5) Hum (-7)

12 Austria and Germany Both of these countries use the same scales; from 1 (high) to 5 (Fail). The marks are further differentiated by either +/- or +/-0.3 (see table). The scale is largely linear with the linear formula being 85-(10x German/Austrian mark). 1 and 1+, or 0.7 marks are extremely rare, and the conversion reflects that by adding an extra 5% to the converted mark of between 1.4 and 1.1 converted using the formula, and an extra 10% to the 1 to 0.7 mark. A mark of 5, which is the lowest mark, indicates a clear fail therefore 0%. Note separate conversion for Germany in Law. AUS/ GER UoB 1+ / ( ) 1 85 ( ) 1- / ( ) 2+ / (85-17) / / (85-27) / / / / First Upper Second Lower Second Third Fail 12

13 Germany Law Law schools in Germany use a different marking scale to other departments. The scale is 0-18 with 4 being a pass and a 1 st /2.1 border around 13/14 points. The scale is not linear. Germany Law UoB First Upper Second Lower Second Third Fail

14 Belgium & Portugal Both countries use linear scales 0-20, with 10 a pass and 17 a 1 st /2.1 border. The formula used is UoB= 4.5 x (P/BE) 5. Marks 8 and below are clear fail and are not converted according to that linear formula. Portugal Belgium UoB First Upper Second Lower Second Third Fail

15 Czech Republic, Denmark & Finland These European countries aim to align their marking scales with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), but the marks given are not distributed on the curve. The ECTS equivalents (as provided by the host Universities) are sometimes included on the transcripts. The ECTS equivalents for each country are summarised in the table below. A is relatively rare, as is Good First in Bristol, whereas B and C are best comparable to high and low 2.1. E is a Pass and F is a Fail (sometimes a distinction between Fx (Fail) and F (Bad Fail) can also be seen on the transcripts. In the Czech Republic, 1-5 scale is used, where 3 is a Pass. In Denmark, a 7-point scale is used where a 2 is a Pass. In Finland, a 5-0 scale is used, with 1 being a Pass. Despite different scales, the equivalent UoB grade distribution should be the same for each country. ECTS equivalent Czech Republic Denmark Finland Bristol A First B C Upper Second D Lower Second E Third Fx Fail F Bad Fail 15

16 France French universities use a 0-20 scale, and similar to Italy, the cut-offs for top marks, as well as Pass marks vary between departments. For Engineering, the Pass mark is 8 while a Good First is 17. Marks above 17 are difficult to achieve. Therefore the linear conversion of UoB=5x (France) is used for Engineering. Some Universities may use marking scale (such is the case in eg. Maths at Université Pierre et Marie CURIE in Paris). In those cases, the marks are translated as 1 to 1 equivalent to UoB marks. In other departments, the Pass mark is 10 and the linear formula is 4.5x (France)-3. Law at Poitiers University uses different scales for oral and written exams, with the same numerical values mapping equivalent to different ECTS marks (from transcripts). Therefore a separate scale is used for this exception (written exam at Poitiers) (Law*). ENG UoB Other departments UoB Law* UoB

17 Hungary and Norway Those countries use a 5-point A to E scale, with A being a Good First and D a Pass. E is a fail (unlike the ECTS system where E is a Pass ). B and C marks therefore correspond to 2.1 and 2.2 respectively. Hungary Norway Bristol A A 83 First B B 68 Upper Second C C 58 Lower Second D D 45 Third E E 30 Fail 17

18 Iceland and Spain Both countries use linear scales 0-10, with 5 a Pass and 8 a 1 st /2.1 border. The formula used is UoB= 8 x (ICE/S) + 5. In addition, at Spanish Universities a special distinction MDH (Matricula de Honor) can be very rarely achieved. MDH equals an extra 5% on top of conversion, so 90%. Marks 3 and below are clear fail and therefore convert to 0%. Iceland Spain UoB MDH First Upper Second Lower Second Third Fail 18

19 Ireland Ireland uses the same marking scales as the UK and therefore a 1-1 conversion applies. 19

20 Italy Italian Universities use a 0-30* scale where 18 represents a Pass. The scale is not linear and grades aggregate at the bottom of the scale meaning that the grade ranges for First and 2.1 are only single marks. There are separate grade descriptions and point cut-off values for specific grades across different departments within one institution (i.e. Law & Engineering versus Humanities, Science & Economics). The table below reflects these differences. Italy Hums, Science & Econ 30* Law & Eng 20

21 Netherlands Dutch Universities use a 0-10 linear scale. 10 is relatively rare ( Good First ) and a Pass is 5.5. The scale is linear with the formula UoB=10x (NL)-15. Failing marks (5 and below) are not linear and reflect near-fail and clear fail. Netherlands UoB First Upper Second 7 55 Lower Second Third Fail 21

22 Sweden Sweden uses a 4-point system: 5, 4, 3, F, but a number of universities are currently in the process of transitioning to an ECTS based scale, with an A to F grading (see CZ, FIN, and DK), pursuant to the Bologna process. If ECTS equivalents are provided, the scale from CZ, FIN, DK should be used. The table below shows a mark conversion if only the 4-point scale is present on the transcript. Sweden Bristol 5 83 First 4 68 Upper Second 3 55 Lower Second F 30 Fail 22

23 Switzerland Switzerland uses a 6-point linear scale, with 6 being the highest grade, 4 a Pass and a Fail. The average of is very rare, reflecting a Good First. The approximate comparison to ECTS is as follows, but the Swiss grades are not distributed on the curve. The linear conversion is UoB=20 x (Swiss) - 35 and maps to the Bristol scale as follows: Switzerland UoB First 5 65 Upper Second Lower Second 4 45 Third Fail

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