The Spanish Grading System

Hi Everyone!

As the semester comes to an end, and it is finals season I wanted to talk about the differences between UMD’s and the Spanish’s grading system. I go to Universidad Carlos III and this school bases their grading on a 1-10 point scale. At UMD, we use letter grading based on a 1-100 percentage scale. As for exams, here in Spain I only had 2 midterms and 4 finals. However, about 60% of my grade is based on the final, which is very stressful. If you do not get higher than a 4 on the final, you do not pass the class.

As for homework, I can’t remember the last time I had any. At most, I had 1 assignment a week between all of my classes. This part of the school system I did love. At UMD, we are flooded with assignments and spend hours everyday doing homework. Additionally, when it comes to exams, here in Spain it works like the old SAT. If you answer right, you get plus a certain amount of points. If you answer wrong, they subtract x amount of points, and if you do not answer then you don’t gain or lose anything.

It is very hard to get the perfect score of 10. When we receive our grades, we get a spreadsheet with everyones ID’s and their grades. I see at most one 10, if not less. When you think on the conversion of scales between both systems, you might think that a 5/10 is the same thing as a 50% at UMD, which sounds so low and bad. However a 5 here is equivalent to a C, which is around a 73%. This part of the grading system I do love (haha).

So far, I have been doing pretty well on my finals. I have two left and then I go home in 6 days. It’s a bittersweet moment.


Mariana Avila


Hi! My name is Mariana Avila and I am a junior majoring in finance and marketing. I am studying in Madrid, Spain this spring semester.

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