Grades and Grade Points
STPM uses a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) system. There are 11 grades, which are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+ and D, with F as the failing grade. The grade points for each of these grades are between 4.0 and 1.0, A being 4.0 and D- being 1.0. The F grade gives a grade point of 0.
In order to pass a paper, candidate must at least score a C(2.00) or above. Having a grade between D to C- is a principal pass (lulus separa).
Each paper's grade appears on the result slip and the certificate. The subject's grade and grade point is determined by the weighted average results of all papers in that subject, where all papers must be passed, otherwise the grade and grade point would be, respectively, F and 0. The cumulative grade point average is the average of the top four subjects taken and usually rounded up to 2 decimal points. Therefore, if a student scores A in four subjects and fail in the fifth, his CGPA would be 4.0.
The actual range of scores within each grade is undisclosed and changes annually, depending on the performance of the candidates. Usually, the range of marks of science subjects is relatively higher than non-science subjects.
Cumulative and subject GPA at 2.0 and above is considered a pass with credit or principal pass. GPA below 2.0 is considered a sub-fail, and a 0 is considered a fail. Admissions to local public universities requires at least a GPA of 2.0 and above, though private universities, university colleges and colleges generally may accept student with CGPA less than 2.0.
The CGPA system in STPM poses some problems for admissions to American universities because the GPA range between 4.0 and 0 (unlike Advanced Placement range of 5.0 to 0) may understate the academic achievements of an applicant.