Pass mark (AmE or BrE)?

sb70012

Senior Member
Azerbaijani/Persian
Hi,
I have read the previous threads about the differences between a score and a mark and I know that "mark" is British and "score" is American when used at schools.

As you know "pass mark" in the UK is a minimum grade required in order to successfully complete a course.

This is my question => Is the term "pass mark" both British and American? or it's just British? If it's British, then what do Americans call it?

Thank you.
 
  • sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Thank you.

    I just checked Cambridge dictionary. It also suggests "passing mark" to be used in the US. Do you agree with it?

    pass mark Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

    I mean the dictionary says:

    1. Pass mark => BrE
    2. Passing mark => AmE
    3. Passing grade => AmE


    If you agree with the dictionary, then which is more common? #2 or #3?

    Thank you.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Let me Ngram that for you:) Whenever someone asks "which is more common" you will often find that it varies from individual to individual. The Ngram database can often make it easy if there ois one that is actually a lot more common than another. Interestingly, in "American English" books, "grade and mark" were reasonably similar as they started to be used in 1900 but since 1920 or so, mark has really gone down in AE.
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think there are some parts of the US where "mark" is used, and I think it was more common 70 years ago or so. I would not use it myself.

    Edit: More than 70 years ago, apparently. :)
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    I think there are some parts of the US where "mark" is used, and I think it was more common 70 years ago or so. I would not use it myself.

    Edit: More than 70 years ago, apparently. :)
    Thank you. What's your opinion about "the passing score"? Have you ever heard it? Is it also OK in the US schools?

    Thank you.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    In AmE, #3 is more common. #2 is used sometimes.

    BUT there are different situations, and different words are common in each:
    - your mark/score on a quiz
    - your mark/grade on an essay
    - your mark/grade on an exam
    - your final grade for a year-long course

    I don't think "mark" is used for the final year-long course result. Your dictionary (linked above) says "pass mark" is used for the score in an exam (a single test), not for the year-long course grade.

    English makes distinctions like this.

    (cross-posted)
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Thank you.

    And for the final semester result in the UK instead of the "pass mark" we should say "pass grade". Right?
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Hello again,
    What about "pass score" in the US? Is "pass score" the same as "passing grade" in the US?

    Thank you.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Just a comment. See post 3 and the question being about using "pass" or "passing". The BE answer to that question is "pass" is what we use, not "passing". Naturally I can't answer for AE.
     
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