I am a Master’s student in Italy, and I’m applying for a thesis internship in a lab in the US. To this end, I’m required to send my Master’s transcript as well as my Bachelor’s; however, in the case of the latter i have a problem with grade conversion.

My institute offers a supplement that is meant to convert grades to their ECTS equivalent (A to E scale, similar to the American one with one additional step); however, they do so by grading on a curve even when the original courses weren’t. As I followed a program with an unusual concentration of high-achievers, my (not distinguished, but acceptable) grades average is strongly shifted downwards according to this system (think a hard C instead of B+), yet in Italian grades it’s higher than the institute-wise average for Bachelor’s degrees (26.0/30 vs 24.3/30).

The absurdity of this system is evidenced by the fact that, for the same exact course and exam , the ECTS grade calculated with this system widely varies according to the different program overall averages, resulting in Italian grades lower than mine translating for other programs in ECTS grades higher than mine.

Regarding my application, I believe this leaves me with a few options:

  • Not doing anything, and expecting the person in charge of scrutinizing the transcripts to understand that a system translating a 30/30 score as a B is far from perfect

  • Attaching a note to the transcript explaining what i explained here

  • Supplying my own transcript with only Italian grades and letting them figure that out; maybe also attach a reasonable suggestion for conversion, like the ones evidenced in the answers to this question

Does anyone have suggestions on the best course of action?

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