Do Universities Round Up Grades?

Do Universities Round Up Grades

Have you ever wondered if universities round up grades to give students a little boost? It’s a common belief among students that a grade of 89.5 will automatically be rounded up to an A- instead of a B+. But is this really the case?

Grading policies can vary among universities, and the decision to round upgrades may not be as straightforward as it seems.

Academic performance is a key factor in a student’s future prospects, so understanding how grades are calculated and rounded can be helpful.

In this article, we will examine the practice of rounding up grades in universities. We will look into the factors that influence this decision and the implications it can have on a student’s academic journey.

So if you’ve ever questioned whether universities round up grades, keep reading to find out the truth behind this common belief.

Do Universities Round Up Grades?

Yes, colleges round off final scores. Your score will be rounded up if it is less than 0.5% from the next full number (for instance, a score of 69.7). Your score won’t be rounded up if it’s more than 0.5% off from the following whole number (for instance, a score of 69.4).

Rounding rules are strictly enforced in universities. For instance, according to the University of York’s regulation, even a grade of XX.49% won’t be rounded up. Check out their guide for more information on this here.

However, the “3% rule” is a policy that some universities have. According to this regulation, your score won’t be rounded if it differs by more than 3% from the nearest 10%. This still holds even if your score is less than 0.5% off from the following whole number.

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How is your Cumulative University Grade Determined?

The method used to determine your university grade differs significantly from university to university and from course to course. However, most universities adhere to a few standard guidelines.

Below, I’ll go into greater detail on these. You can email your tutors or the university administration if you have serious concerns about how your institutions determine final grades.

Your first year of college won’t affect your final grade. Although universities frequently view the first year as a rookie year where you learn more than you do, you should still try to achieve well.

Exam expertise is not required of you in your first year, so it is not graded. To continue your degree, you must pass exams in your first year at most universities.

Some colleges use the average of your second and third-year grades to determine your overall grade.

Only grades earned in the third year (or final year of a three-year study) may be used by other colleges. Some colleges may even be more sophisticated and consider grades from final exams.

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Which Grades Matter the Most in College?

Of course, each grade you obtain is significant, but not all will appear on your diploma.

Your final grade is, nevertheless, the one that matters the most in college. Employers will observe this.

This does not imply that you should not work hard on your other exams. To be able to keep going to school, you must perform well throughout your degree. However, don’t get discouraged if you receive a lower grade for an essay than anticipated.

Can You Calculate Your own College Grade in Rounds?

You may not round up your academic performance on any official documentation. Your university would have rounded up your grade if it had been possible.

Lying to your pals about your university grade has no negative effects. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t round up your entire university grade on any required official documents.

You would not be permitted to round up your mark to 70%, for instance, if your final grade was 69.49%.

If so, you would have received a first-class honors degree rather than a 2:1 Second class upper grade. No matter how close you were to the next bracket, rounding up your university grade yourself is never a good idea.

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What are the Pros of Grade Rounding?

Here are the pros of rounding up your grade:

Boost to GPA

One of the primary benefits of grade rounding is its positive impact on a student’s GPA. GPA is crucial in academic achievements, scholarship eligibility, and job applications.

Rounding upgrades by a fraction can contribute to an incremental increase in a student’s overall GPA, potentially opening doors to various opportunities.

Motivation and Confidence

Knowing that university round upgrades can motivate students to put in their best effort, even when on the cusp of a higher grade.

This can foster a sense of confidence and determination, encouraging students to strive for excellence in their coursework. And it will make you work harder appreciating what you have received.

Fairness and Consistency

Grade rounding can promote fairness by ensuring minor discrepancies, like a few points, don’t disproportionately affect a student’s final grade.

It creates a standardized approach to handling borderline cases, maintaining consistency across courses and professors.

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What are the Cons of Grade Rounding?

Despite the pros or advantages, some disadvantages come with it. Some of the cons of rounding your grade include:

Grade Inflation Concerns

Critics argue that grade rounding contributes to grade inflation, where students receive higher grades than they might deserve.

This could dilute the value of academic achievements and make it challenging to assess students’ performance accurately.

Lack of Differentiation

Opponents of grade rounding contend that it erases the distinctions between students who put in extra effort and those who barely meet the requirements.

This could diminish the value of hard work and dedication in a competitive academic environment.

Yes, it trivialises the work and efforts of the hardworking students who put in the work to get excellent results in their studies.

Impact on Learning

Some educators worry that grade rounding might shift the focus away from learning and understanding the material, as students might prioritize the minimum effort required to reach the next grade.

This makes students to relax instead of working harder to meet the highest level of excellence, they just settle for less.

This ultimately reduces the general creativity and performance of students, because they know their grades will be upgraded for them.

Insights from Different Universities

The approach to grade rounding varies among universities. Some institutions have policies that dictate when and how grade rounding is applied. For instance, a university might round upgrades only if the fraction is 0.5 or higher.

Others might have a more lenient approach, rounding up any fraction. Students need to familiarize themselves with their university’s policies and communicate with professors to gain clarity on grading practices.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does grade rounding happen in all courses?

Grade rounding policies can differ across departments and courses. Some courses might have stricter policies, while others are more flexible.

Can grade rounding turn a failing grade into a passing one?

Grade rounding usually applies to borderline cases, so it’s unlikely to turn a significantly failing grade into a passing one.

Do professors have the final say in grade rounding?

While professors often have some discretion, they usually follow the university’s established policies for grade rounding.

Can grade rounding be appealed?

In some cases, students can appeal for a grade change, but the appeal’s success can depend on various factors.


The practice of grade rounding in universities is both a source of motivation and a topic of debate. As we’ve explored, grade rounding can boost a slight GPA and instill confidence in students.

However, concerns about grade inflation and its impact on differentiation and learning cannot be ignored.

Students must understand their university’s policies, communicate with professors, and strive for academic excellence. When used thoughtfully, grade rounding can be a tool to encourage and support students on their educational journeys.



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