Generally it's around about 3.4 - 3.7 / 4.0 - 4.3. The lower figures corresponding to each other. Universities make rough translations of them and more competitive universities can raise the equivalency slightly on occasion. That is a rough approximation but serves as a good guide.
(Original post by EierVonSatan)
I was under the impression that a GPA of 3.2 - 3.8 is equivalent to a 2.1...but i guess its only just a ball-park figure
It's all so approximate anyway. Especially since there is no stand in terms of marking. In Canada, for example in Nova Scotia they use a maximum grade of a 4.3 so a B works out as a 3.4. Now that would be a 2.1 (ball-park). Elsewhere - say Ontario, they have the standard 4.0 as a maximum grade. If we all used percentages it would be somewhat easier.
You can't make a simple translation. Degree classes and GPAs, due to the quality of different institutions and the structure of the courses, hold more or less weight across different schools in the same country. That's why US institutions place a large degree of emphasis on standardized tests to evaluate candidates for graduate places. They also look closely at class rank.
That said, the Cambridge summer school I worked at as a resident tutor offered a rough translation for the predominantly American clientele. Though it was two years ago, I remember the numbers as something like: 58-61=B, 62-64= B+; 65-67= A-; 68-70=A; 71+= Strong A.
I got a First on Part 1 of my tripos and a 2.1 on Part 2, scored 68.5 as an average mark over three years, and wrote GPA 3.7 (Approx) on my US PhD applications. I got into all schools I applied for.
(Original post by IlexAquifolium)
Precisely. So on that scale I would have thought a first would be a 3.8 or so?
Yes, which would seem to back up the scheme above which states anything over 67 is an A. Further, remember that lots of people who score a mean of 68 or more have a few exams under that mark--and therefore at A- standard--the US equivalent could perhaps be 3.8 or even 3.7. It's pointless really trying to convert it since there are so many logical ways of doing it, even with a scale like the Cambridge summer school gave.
There is no real standard. Different British universities ask for different GPAs and different universities, faculties/colleges even, translate different marks to be different things. In contrast to the
58-61=B, 62-64= B+; 65-67= A-; 68-70=A; 71+= Strong A.
that Bret mentioned above, when my UK marks were translated back home only a 70+ was an A. The conversion scale used was thus:
90-100 A 1st Class Honours
80-89 A 1st Class Honours
75-79 A 1st Class Honours
72-74 A 1st Class Honours
70-71 A 1st Class Honours
68-69 A- Upper 2nd Class Honours
65-67 A- Upper 2nd Class Honours
61-64 B+ Upper 2nd Class Honours
60 B+ Upper 2nd Class Honours
59 B Lower 2nd Class Honours
55-58 B Lower 2nd Class Honours
51-54 B- Lower 2nd Class Honours
50 B- Lower 2nd Class Honours
49 C+ 3rd Class Honours
46-48 C+ 3rd Class Honours
44-45 C 3rd Class Honours
41-43 C- 3rd Class Honours
40 C- 3rd Class Honours
39 D+ Pass (i.e. without Honours)
38 D+ Pass (i.e. without Honours)
37 D Pass (i.e. without Honours)
36 D Pass (i.e. without Honours)
35 D- Pass (i.e. without Honours)
34 F Fail
1-33 F Fail
0 F Fail
It isn't a real science though, and there certainly is not a set standard. When this issue has come up on here before it's been more or less agreed (with good reason for once) that it is far easier to get an A than a 1st, and quite a bit easier to get a 2:1 than a B-.
I also agree it really depends from uni. I would say that a 2.1 is between 3.0 and 3.7, as I have come across unis who ask for GPA of 3.0 and other unis like St. Andrews who ask for 3.6, if I'm not mistaken.