Academic Grading in Vietnam

The Vietnamese grading system is an academic grading system utilized in Vietnam. It is based on a 1-10 point scale, similar to the US 1.0-4.0 scale.

Typically when an American educational institution requests a grade-point average (GPA) calculated on the 4 point scale, the student will be expected to do a direct mathematical conversion, so 10 becomes 4.0, 7.5 becomes 3.0, etc. This makes sense from a practical standpoint. In reality, however, it is completely inaccurate.

In the Vietnamese system, a score of ten is rarely given. In contrast, a 4.0 in a U.S. classroom is not unusual, nor is someone with a 4.0 GPA overall. According to the Research Center for Vocational, Technical and Higher Education under the Vietnamese Ministry of Education, someone with a 7.5 GPA will probably be in the top 10-15% of his or her class.

The practice of most Vietnamese colleges is not to provide official transcripts to other universities on behalf of their students. Students can request a signed and stamped original transcript from their school, and then have copies certified with a red stamp at a government office. Translation services are also available at such offices.

Grade conversion table

Vietnam's Grading System
Vietnamese Description
English Description
% of students receiving this score
9-10 A+ 4.0 Xuất sắc Outstanding Less than 5% of students
8-9 A 3.5 Giỏi Excellent / Very Good 5-10%
7-8 B+ 3.0 Khá Good About 20-25%
6-7 B 2.5 Trung Bình Average About 40-50%
5-6 C 2.0 Đạt Pass About 5-10%
<5 D/F =<1.0 Không đạt/Trượt Fail For fail courses

In practice, most U.S. universities used a standardized acceptance of A, B, C, D's only. Thus any A+'s, B+, C+ will be down-convert to A, B, C respectively.

Standardized Table to Convert University GPAs

Vietnam's Grading System
Vietnamese Description
English Description
8.0-10.0 A 4.0 Xuất Sắc Excellent / Outstanding
6.5-7.9 B 3.0 Giỏi Good
5.0-6.4 C 2.0 Trung Bình Average
4.0-4.9 D 1.0 Không Đạt Marginal
<4.0 F 0.0 Trượt Fail

Credit Hours
Some universities in Vietnam notes standardized credit hours, which can translate directly over to the U.S. system. Some instead notes class hours of 15, 30, 45, 60...etc. which needs to be converted into credit hours by dividing class hours by 15. Thus a 15-hour class is equivalent to 1 credit hours, a 45-hour class is equivalent to 3 credit hours.

Method of Calculating GPAs
Most universities convert GPAs class by class. Each class is evaluated for credit hours equivalent. Each class grade point is evaluated in its native grade point, then converted to A, B, C, D, F. Then convert the individual class grade to the 4.0 system. Next, multiply each class grade point by the number of credit hours for the respective class. Finally, total up the points, and divide by the total number credit hours to arrive at the final GPA.

High School Credit System
High schools seem to use a slightly modified GPA system, with higher criteria to receive the equivalent grading letter scale. High school classes are standardized in most Vietnamese public schools, with the respective classes and Grade Point tables listed below.

Vietnamese Standardized High School Classes

Vietnamese names English names
Toán Mathematics
Vật Lí Physics
Hóa Học Chemistry
Sinh Học Biology
Tin Học Informatics
Văn / Tiếng Việt Literature / Vietnamese
Lịch Sử History
Địa Lí Geography
Ngoại Ngữ Tiếng Anh English
Kĩ Thuật (Công Nghệ) Technology
Giáo Dục Quốc Phòng National Defense Education
Thể Dục Physical Education / Gymnastics
Giáo Dục Công Dân Civics
Điểm Trung Bình Các Môn Học (ĐTBCM) Subjects’ average mark / GPA