One of the most common questions from students about studying abroad is whether they need good grades to study abroad. The answer depends on where you need to study.

Language courses abroad

If you want to take a language course at a language school abroad, you usually don’t have to worry about your grades.

Language schools exist to help international students learn a language, regardless of their educational background.

Therefore, when you apply to a language school abroad, you do not have to submit any qualifications.

The only exception is if you need to study on a student visa in some countries. At this point, you generally need to show that you completed high school. If you are taking a language course at a university, you may also need to provide a high school certificate.

But if your main goal is to improve your practical language skills, you should take language courses at private language schools, where classes are smaller and there is more focus on the conversation.

Community college

Community colleges work on an open admissions strategy, which means that anyone with a high school diploma can be admitted. In some countries, you don’t even need to have completed secondary school, as long as you can show that you will benefit from the course.


If you need to study at a university abroad, you will need to submit your high school transcript with the application and also transcripts from university studies in your home country.

However, do you need good grades to be accepted? This depends on the university and the program you are applying to. To get accepted to the best universities abroad, you need to have above-average grades.

The same can be true if you want to be a doctor or study in other well-known or demanding programs. But if you don’t apply to the best colleges, it’s usually not hard to get accepted, as long as you have decent grades.

What grades are most important when I want to study abroad?

In case you study in an English-speaking country, it is clearly essential that you speak English well. However, you don’t really need decent English qualifications as you can prove your English skills by taking a TOEFL or IELTS test.

If your English is not good enough, you can start by taking a preliminary English course.

Generally, the most important subjects are those related to what you need to study. Core subjects like Mathematics are usually essential as they are important for some courses like Programming, Engineering Economics, etc.

Some schools even give students a math test upon arrival to find out what courses they can take.

Schools don’t just look at grades

However, your grades are not the only thing that matters. Even if you have A grades, you won’t get admitted to a prestigious design school if you can’t pass a good portfolio.

Meanwhile, a student with average grades but a great portfolio may well be admitted. For design-related subjects, many schools require students to submit a portfolio with their application.

Schools often ask for a personal letter and letters of reference which will also affect whether or not you will be recognized.

Different schools ask for admission tests like SAT. Be sure to put effort into your application and submit what the school requests.

The surest approach to not being accepted, regardless of your qualifications, is to submit an incomplete application.

Selection criteria:

The only selection criteria for all overseas universities are not impressive grades, but other things play into this as well: The University of Oregon requires students to show and prove their involvement in cultural activities with a minimum CGPA requirement of 3, many universities have employment criteria as the main criteria, others want the student who has excelled in extracurricular activities.

Scores from prestigious universities:

The scores required for prestigious universities:

  • Oxford University – Requires a CGPA of 3 for admission.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology-No CGPA
  • Harvard University-4.1 GPA
  • University of Cambridge -3.7 GPA

Among the prestigious universities, some require a high CGPA, but this is not only the only criterion to gain admission to the above-mentioned universities.

However, the importance of a good grade in gaining admission to a university cannot be overlooked, as most admissions and scholarships have certain CGPA criteria required to be eligible.