Academic grading in Italy

There are several grading systems used in Italy:

Primary School

In Italian primary school, a 5-point grading scale is used:

  • Ottimo (excellent)
  • Distinto (good)
  • Buono (average)
  • Sufficiente (pass)
  • Non Sufficiente (non pass)

High School

In high school a 10-point scale is used, 6 being the minimum grade for passing.

Specifications such as +, −, "double minus" ("="), half grades ("double plus") and "between" grades, such as 6/7, are often used.

Note that the grades used in primary school are derived from this scale, with Non Sufficiente meaning "5 and under", and the other grades standing respectively for 7, 8, 9, and 10. A 10 is very rare to score, as well as a 1. The weakest grade a student can normally get is a 3 or a 4. An 8 is usually considered a very good grade, and a 9 is an excellent grade.

The average grade goes between 6 and 7.


For ordinary exams, Universities in Italy use a 30-point scale simply divided in two: non passing (0 to 17 points), and passing grades (18 to 30 points). For the final dissertation a 110-point scale is used, which is divided in two as well, with 66 being the minimum grade for passing. For outstanding results, the Lode "praise" is added to the maximum grade.

ECTS grading Scale
ECTS Grade Definition % of successful students Corresponding Italian grades
A Excellent 10% 30-30 Laude
B Very Good 25% 27-29
C Good 30% 24-26
D Satisfactory 25% 19-23
E Sufficient 10% 18
FX Fail 14-17
F Fail 0-13

To someone familiar with both the Italian and the U.S. college systems, Italian grades are best translated into American grades (and vice versa) according to the following table:

U.S. Grade Definition Corresponding Italian grades
A-, A, A+ Excellent 28-30 Lode
B-, B, B+ Good 25-27
C-, C, C+ Satisfactory 21-24
D-, D, D+ Barely passing 18-20
E or F Fail 0-17

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