Use of articles - I passed with a/the percentage of 80?

If I want to write I got 80 percent, which of these two is the correct way to do so?

1. I passed with a percentage of 80.

2. I passed with the percentage of 80.

• Those are both wrong. – tchrist Dec 31 '17 at 22:41
• Just say you got eighty percent. – Lawrence Dec 31 '17 at 23:50
• @tchrist You might want to explain what is wrong with both alternatives, and what would be a viable answer instead. Not just for the OP, but for other non-native English speakers as well. For example, I was fully prepared to post an answer saying 1) was correct. – Mr Lister Dec 31 '17 at 23:51
• @MrLister Done. But I now see that this is a probable duplicate of this. – tchrist Jan 1 '18 at 1:11

Percent, Percentage, Percentile

You seem to want to say your percentage was eighty, or that you had an 80 percentage. That really isn't something we say, even to the point of being ungrammatical — so, “wrong” to our ears.

If you got 80%, then you simply write

• I got 80%.

If you want to spell that out using words not symbols, the correct way is:

• I got eighty percent.

That’s because “80” is read as eighty and “%” is read as percent. Some style guides say never to write out the number as a word, even if you do spell out the symbol:

• I got 80 percent.

You seem to want to say more than just that you got 80%, but also that you passed. This would be fine:

• I passed with 80%.

But so would this:

• I passed with an 80% score.
• I assed with a score of 80%.

I suppose you could skip the word score and reduce that to this, while preserving the indefinite article:

• I passed with an 80%.

That’s a bit casual; it takes more context to be understood.

Percentage

The word percentage should not be used with a number preceding it. It’s a noun not a rate the way percent is, and so it likes adjectives or non-numeric determiners in front of it, not cardinal numbers. These are all correct:

• a higher percentage
• some percentage
• a lower percentage
• the minimum percentage

Those would all be wrong if they read percent instead of percentage.

Percentile

It is vaguely possible that you are trying to say that you were in the 80ᵗʰ percentile. Percentile is a bit different. If you need to hit the 80ᵗʰ (eightieth) percentile to pass, then any score that’s 80% or better passes.

In other words, only the top quintile would be considered passing.