Grading System in Nigerian Universities (Student Guide)

The grading system in Nigerian universities is usually an invaluable measure of the academic performance of students who have completed a degree programme, especially a bachelor’s degree in any of the universities in Nigeria. 

Whilst it is also known as a degree classification system, the overall academic performances of students are not only ranked but, also this Grading system in Nigerian universities provides employers with useful information on the student’s proficiency in that particular course of study.

Even tertiary institutions aren’t left out. Sometimes, students would seek to pursue a higher competence in a particular field study in the shape of a master’s or doctoral programme. This Grading system in Nigerian universities then reveals whether such a student should be admitted for an advanced study.

To this end, in 2017, the body in charge of the regulation of the academic processes in every Nigerian university, the National Universities Commission, ratified the new Grading system in Nigerian universities that should be operational across all universities of the nation.

Formerly, it was a five-point grading system that was used across all boards, but in 2017, the NUC instructed every university to embrace the new four-point Grading system in Nigerian universities.

With this development, the rates of graduation have suffered a hit, since the Grade Point Average requirement for graduation has been raised. This also led to the eradication of passing classes of degrees.

In this new four-point system, scores are classified using the following letter grades:

70% and above would give you a 4.

60-69% would earn you a 3.

50-59% would earn you a 2.

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45-49% would give you a 1.

40-44% would earn you a zero point.

The four-point classification system of degrees ranks the points as:

A 3.5 – 4.0 cumulative grade point average would earn you a First Class Honours.

Within 3.0 – 3.49 cumulative grade point average, you would get a Second Class Honours (Upper Division). This is popularly known as Second Class Upper.

A 2.0 – 2.99 cumulative grade point average would land you a Second Class Honours (Lower Division) also known as Second Class Lower.

A 1.0 – 1.99 grade point average would give you a Third Class Honours.

And, those with a cumulative grade point of average less than 1.0 wouldn’t be awarded any degree.

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This is a sharp contrast to the five-point grading system in the past.

The scale is as follows:

A First Class is within a 4.5 – 5.0

A Second Class Honours (Upper Division) is within a 3.5 – 4.49

Second Class Honours (Lower Division) is within a 2.40 – 3.49

A Third Class Honours is within a 1.50 – 2.39

And, of course, a pass degree is within a 1.00 – 1.49

As it was earlier said, in 2017, the NUC demanded that every university in the country should opt in for the four-point grading system in Nigerian Universities.

However, owing to the difficulty that came with graduating more students with a first-class and the issue of uniformity amongst universities in the country, the decision was revoked, and an order was sent to return to the earlier five-point grading system effective from the 2018/2019 academic session.

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In this five-point grading system, the letter grades are as follows:

70 – 100 is awarded an A with a grade point of 5.

60 – 69 is awarded a B with a grade point of 4.

A score of 50 – 59 is awarded a C with a grade point of 3.

A score of 45 – 49 is awarded a D with a grade point of 2.

A score of 40 – 44 is awarded an E with a grade point of 1.

And, a score of 0 – 39 is awarded an F with a grade point of 0.

Difference Between four-point and five-point Grading systems in Nigerian Universities?

The four-point Grading system in Nigerian universities begins with a 4 and that of the five-point grading system begins with a 5.

Also, a pass degree is awarded between 1.00 – 1.49 in a five-point grading system whilst no pass degree is awarded in a four-point grading system.

Difference Between a Grade Point Average and a Cumulative Grade Point Average?

You might be wondering what the fuss is all about a GPA and a CGPA. Well, they are both terminologies employed in the Grading system in Nigerian universities. They are both averages.

A GPA is an average found by dividing the total grade points in a semester by the total number of course units. GPA is a reflection of the student’s academic performance over a short time like a semester.

Meanwhile, a CGPA is the average of your GPA over the duration of your study. A CGPA shows the overall academic performance of a student.

It is also important that any degree like the First Class Honours or Second Class Honours (Upper Divison) are all determined directly by the CGPA and not a GPA.

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