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Grading, Academic Year and Language of Instruction in Portugal

Grading System

The middle schools in Portugal use a 5-point grading scale, wherein 5 stand for excellent and 1 is the lowest grade. 

 Scale Percentage  Grade Description
 5 90-100% Excellent
 4 70-89% Good
 3 50-69% Satisfactory
 2 20-49% Unsatisfactory
 1 0-19% Fail

Secondary & Higher Education

In Portugal, high schools and higher education institutions use a 20-point grading scale.

Score of 20 indicates Very good performance with distinction and honors (Muito bom con distincao e louvor). An US grade equivalent is A+.

Scores between 18.00-19.99 on a Portuguese scale indicates excellent (Excelente) and a US grade A+ is assigned.

Scores between 16.00-17.99 indicates very good (Muito Bom) with a few errors, and a US grade A is assigned.

Scores between 14.00-15.99 indicates good (Bom) with some errors and a US grade B is assigned.

Scores between 10.00-13.99 indicates sufficient (Suficiente) and a US grade C is assigned.

Scores between 7.00-9.99 indicates poor (Mediocre) performance and a US grade F is assigned.

Scores between 1.00-6.99 indicates very poor (Mau) and a US grade F is assigned.

ECTS Grading

The higher education institutions in Portugal grades are same as the US grades. 

A US grade A is equivalent to A grade in the Portugal higher education institutions and refers to "Excellent".
Grade B in the Portuguese universities is equivalent to US grade B+ and signifies "Very good". 
Grade C in the Portuguese universities is equivalent to US grade B and signifies "Good".
Grade D in the Portuguese universities is equivalent to US grade C+ and signifies "Satisfactory".
Grade E in the Portuguese universities is equivalent to US grade C and signifies "Sufficient".
Grade FX in the Portuguese universities is equivalent to US grade F and both the grades indicates a "Failed" status.

Language of Instruction

The language of instruction in Portugal is Portuguese. Many programmes in English are also offered. 

Academic Year

The school year in Portugal runs from September to June and is split up into 3 terms (In Portuguese: Periodos)-

First term: Commence from mid-September and ends in mid-December.

Second term: Starts in beginning of January and ends in March/April, i.e. until Easter. 

Third term: Starts in April after Easter and ends in June

There are breaks in between the school year:

Christmas break: Starts in the 3rd week of December and continue for 2 weeks. This break covers Christmas and New Year holidays. After this break starts the 2nd term on the first Monday of January.
Carnival break: This break is for 3 days. 
Easter break: This break is of 2 weeks and the time varies from year to year, but it is generally around late March or middle April.
Summer break: This break starts from late June and ends in mid-September. These are known as the “Big Holidays” (In Portuguese: Ferias Grandes)

The higher education institutions have a different academic calendar and comprise of 2 semesters. The academic year runs from September to June.
  • The first semester runs from September to December
  • The second semester runs from February to June
Contact the respective higher education institution as the start dates vary depending upon the institution.
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