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What is A+ in Japan?


A+ in Japan is a grading system used to evaluate student performance. It is a common grading system used in schools across Japan, and it is equivalent to an A+ grade in the United States. The A+ grade is awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional understanding of the subject matter and perform well above average. In this article, we will explore the concept of A+ in Japan, its significance, and how it compares to other grading systems around the world.

The Grading System in Japan

The grading system in Japan is based on a 100-point scale, with 60 points considered the minimum passing grade. Grades are generally given as percentages, with an A+ grade requiring a score of at least 90%. The grading system is used throughout primary, secondary, and tertiary education in Japan, including universities and vocational schools.

Japanese Snack Box

Cultural Significance

In Japan, academic achievement is highly valued and respected. The A+ grade is seen as a symbol of excellence and serves as an indicator of future success. Japanese students are often under intense pressure to perform well academically, and many spend long hours studying and attending cram schools to achieve high grades.

Comparison to Other Grading Systems

The A+ grading system used in Japan is similar to grading systems used in other countries, such as the United States and Canada. However, the Japanese grading system places a greater emphasis on academic achievement and places more pressure on students to succeed. In contrast, other countries, such as Finland, have moved away from traditional grading systems altogether.

The Impact on Education

The emphasis placed on academic achievement in Japan has both positive and negative impacts on education. On the one hand, it encourages students to work hard and strive for excellence. On the other hand, it can lead to stress and burnout among students who feel overwhelmed by the pressure to succeed.

Grade Inflation

As with any grading system, there is a risk of grade inflation in the A+ grading system used in Japan. Some critics argue that the high value placed on academic achievement leads to inflated grades and does not accurately reflect student performance.

Alternative Grading Systems

Some educators advocate for alternative grading systems that focus on mastery rather than performance. These systems prioritize student learning over grades and provide more opportunities for feedback and self-reflection.

The Future of Grading

As education continues to evolve, so too will grading systems. It remains to be seen whether traditional grading systems like A+ will continue to hold sway or whether new approaches will emerge that better reflect the needs of modern students.


A+ in Japan is a symbol of academic excellence that carries significant cultural significance. While it places great emphasis on academic achievement, it also places significant pressure on students to succeed. As education continues to evolve, it is likely that new approaches to grading will emerge that better reflect the needs of modern students.



What does A+ grade mean?

The US Equivalence (IERF) score of 1.00 indicates excellent performance. A+ is equivalent to a 4.00 score.

What grade is A+ in America?

Letter grades are a way of measuring academic performance, and they can be converted into percentages. Examples of common grade conversions are: A+ (97-100%), A (93-96%), A- (90-92%), B+ (87-89%), B (83-86%), B- (80-82%), C+ (77-79%), C (73-76%), C- (70-72%), D+ (67-69%), D (65-66%), and D- (below 65%).

What are the grade levels in Japan?

In Japan, the education system is composed of six-year elementary schools, three-year junior high schools, and three-year high schools. After that, students can attend either a two or three-year junior college or a four-year college. Compulsory education lasts for 9 years through elementary and junior high school.

What does grade A mean in Japan?

In Japan, academic grading is based on a system of Kanji characters, with the top grade of “shū” representing exemplary or excellent performance and corresponding to a percentage range of 90-100%. The second-highest grade is “yū” for very good, followed by “ryō” for good, “ka” for average or passing, and “fuka” for failing. Each grade corresponds to a specific percentage range.

Is A+ above average?

Obtaining an A+ GPA is impressive as it is significantly higher than the national average of a B. Achieving an A+ GPA is the highest possible grade point average, so well done!

Is a 90 an A+?

An A+ grade is given to exceptional work that showcases an individual’s own thinking and reflective abilities. It also includes a well-formulated research question and well-organized and convincing answers to that question.

In addition to academic achievement, the A+ grading system in Japan also places a strong emphasis on punctuality, attendance, and participation in class. These factors are often included in a student’s overall grade and are considered important indicators of their commitment to their studies.

Another unique aspect of the Japanese grading system is the use of the “sogo-gakari” system, which takes into account a student’s overall performance and behavior, rather than just their academic performance. This system evaluates a student’s ability to work well with others, their leadership skills, and their overall contribution to the classroom community.

Despite its many strengths, the A+ grading system in Japan has faced criticism for being overly competitive and placing too much pressure on students. Some education experts argue that this pressure can lead to mental health issues and burnout among students.

To address these concerns, some schools in Japan have begun to experiment with alternative grading systems that focus on collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. These new systems aim to provide a more holistic view of student performance and encourage students to develop skills that will be useful in the 21st century workforce.

Ultimately, the future of grading in Japan will depend on ongoing efforts to balance the need for academic achievement with the need for student well-being. As educators continue to explore new approaches to grading and assessment, it is likely that we will see a continued evolution of the Japanese grading system and its role in education more broadly.

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