Nigerian Universities Grading System [Complete Guide] 2024

Last updated on May 1st, 2024 at 05:27 am

Grading systems play a vital role in assessing academic performance and determining the achievements of students. In Nigerian universities, the grading system is a topic of interest and discussion among students, educators, and employers. This article aims to provide an overview of the Nigerian universities grading system, its components, variations, implications, and ongoing debates surrounding it.

Overview of Nigerian Universities Grading System

The grading system in Nigerian universities serves as a quantitative measure of a student’s academic performance. It provides a structured framework for evaluating students’ understanding and mastery of course materials. Each university in Nigeria has its grading system, but they share common elements and principles.

Understanding the grading scale

Nigerian universities typically use a five-point grading scale. The grades and their corresponding grade points are as follows:

First Class (4.50 – 5.00)

First Class is the highest grade awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional mastery of the course material, exhibit critical thinking skills, and consistently achieve outstanding results.

Second Class Upper Division (3.50 – 4.49)

Second Class Upper Division is awarded to students who attain above-average academic performance, demonstrating a good understanding of the subject matter.

Second Class Lower Division (2.40 – 3.49)

Second Class Lower Division is awarded to students who meet the minimum requirements for graduation but display a relatively lower level of academic achievement.

Third Class (1.50 – 2.39)

Third Class is awarded to students who meet the minimum requirements for graduation but have performed below average academically.

Pass (1.00 – 1.49)

Pass is the minimum grade awarded to students who meet the requirements for graduation but have performed at a minimal level academically.

Factors influencing the grading system

Several factors influence the grading system in Nigerian Institutions. These factors may vary slightly among institutions but generally include:

Course difficulty and credit hours

The difficulty level and credit hours assigned to a course impact the grading system. Courses that require more extensive knowledge and effort may have higher expectations for students’ performance.

Examination performance

Examinations play a significant role in determining grades. Students’ performance in end-of-semester or end-of-year examinations contributes to their overall grade.

Continuous assessment

Continuous assessment, which includes assignments, projects, quizzes, and class participation, is taken into account when determining final grades. It allows for a comprehensive evaluation of students’ progress throughout the academic session.

Grading policies of individual universities

Each university has its own grading policies, which may further define specific criteria for each grade category. These policies ensure consistency within the institution.

Grading variations among Nigerian universities

While there are common elements in the grading system, variations exist among Nigerian universities. Some universities may have additional grade categories or use different grading scales. It is important for students to understand the specific grading system implemented by their respective institutions.

Implications of the grading system

The grading system in Nigerian universities has several implications for students and their future endeavors. Some of these include:

Career opportunities and employability

Employers often consider a candidate’s grade point average when evaluating job applications. Higher grades, particularly First Class and Second Class Upper Division, may enhance job prospects and career opportunities.

Graduate school admissions

Grades are an important criterion for admission to graduate programs. Universities and scholarship organizations often set minimum GPA requirements for applicants.

Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships and financial aid are often awarded based on academic performance. Higher grades may increase the chances of securing scholarships.

Criticisms and challenges of the grading system

Despite its benefits, the Nigerian universities grading system also faces criticisms and challenges. These include:

Grade inflation

Some argue that grade inflation, the tendency to award higher grades over time, undermines the credibility and accuracy of the grading system. It can make it difficult to differentiate between students’ actual abilities.

Lack of standardization

The lack of a standardized grading system across Nigerian universities creates inconsistencies and makes it challenging to compare academic performance among students from different institutions.

Pressure on students

The emphasis on grades can create intense pressure on students, leading to a focus on memorization rather than deep understanding and learning. This pressure may affect students’ overall well-being and mental health.

Proposed reforms and ongoing discussions

To address the challenges and criticisms, there have been ongoing discussions about reforming the grading system in Nigerian universities. Some proposals include implementing a standardized grading scale, introducing more detailed assessment methods, and emphasizing qualitative evaluation alongside quantitative measures.


The grading system in Nigerian universities serves as an important tool for evaluating students’ academic performance. It provides a benchmark for employers, graduate schools, and scholarship providers. While the system has its strengths and challenges, ongoing discussions and proposed reforms aim to improve its effectiveness and fairness.


Q. Do all Nigerian universities use the same grading system?

No, grading system varies depending on the university you want to study at or you’re currently studying at.

Q. What is the minimum GPA required for admission to Nigerian universities?

A GPA of 2.5 and above is accepted generally for admission into any course of your choice.

Q. Are there any plans to standardize the grading system across all Nigerian universities?

Nigerian Universities Grading System is already in it’s standard base, and plans are still going towards enhancing the standard of nigeria education system.

How do employers consider grades when hiring graduates?

A grade of second class upper is mostly what employers in Nigeria considers when offering job to graduates. Lower GPA will not qualify you to get job in Nigeria.

What role does continuous assessment play in determining final grades?

Continuous assessment has great impact in determining final grades because it shows how serious a student is and how well he has understand what he has been taught throughout the years of study.

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