German Grading System

International students who want to study in Germany need to know about the German grading system for two reasons.

German Grading SystemFirst, one needs to translate the school certificate or report into the German grades for the application to the German university. Second, it is important to understand the grades one achieves during his or her studies for other applications and to pass the exams.

There are two different grading systems in Germany. The first one contains grades from one to six. One means very good, six means very poor. If one achieves only the grade four or worse he or she didn’t pass the exam. This system is mainly used in Germany. It is used in school from the first year till year ten and it is also used at advanced colleges and universities. Smaller steps in the grading system can be shown in decimal numbers.


The full translation of grades is:

1.0          Very Good

2.0          Good

3.0          Satisfactory

4.0          Adequate

5.0          Poor

6.0          Very Poor

In the last years of Gymnasium, which means year 11 to year 13 in the old way and year 10 to year 12 after the reform of G8 there is another grading system. This system gives points from 0 to 15 and is used because in the exams of the Abitur there are points to show the final grade. Because it is easier to calculate the final degree the system is introduced earlier. This grading system is also the basic system for the application for university. But the points can also be expressed in grades from the first system.

15           Better than very good

14          Very Good



11           Good



08           Satisfactory



05           Adequate



02           Poor


00           Very Poor

To get the average degree for the Abitur the points of all exams in the last years and the points from the final exams are summarized. The points from the final exams are worth more than the other ones. The solution can then be calculated as average grade.

To apply for a place at university it is necessary for German students to have the number of points. For international students who have a different grading system it is possible to “translate” their grades. The necessary documents can be found on the webpages of the German university.

Exams at German universities are evaluated after the first graduate degree (one to six). But thanks to the Bologna-reform and the changing to Bachelor and Master system there is a third characteristic. For every lecture or exercise with a passed exam at university the students get so called ECTS-points (European Credit Transfer System). These points are summarized at the end of the studies and put together with the final thesis and the average of all grades. Allocating these one gets his or her final degree.

This sounds really complicated at the beginning but as soon as one is in the system and gets own grades it isn’t that hard anymore.

Join 39,023 other students interested in studying in Germany and get regular emails sent to your inbox with helpful articles about studying in Germany, latest news and many scholarship and study abroad opportunities and offers...

Enter your personal email address below:

Your information is 100% safe and will not be shared with anyone else. You can unsubscribe with one click at any time.

Mawista Student

Read also

Studying for free in Germany as a refugee A very good news is there for you as regards of your higher education, as a recent refugee who got to Germany! Well, yes, you can study in Germany same as other international students, especially if you have received the asylum, granted refugee or “tolerated”-the application still processing status....
How to Get a Master’s Degree in Germany? There are great opportunities for anyone wishing to pursue postgraduate studies in Germany ‘the land of ideas’. To international students it offers the chance to contribute to the country’s historic academic records. The benefits of the most generous tuition fees make it ideal, as they are lower tha...
Study Medicine in Germany Studying medicine in Germany contains many barriers and challenges but also offers an outstanding opportunity for the future. The job doctor is a job which contains a lot of responsibility and in which one has to act responsible. Therefore, there are special barriers for the application and rules...
Enrolling at a German University Once you get admitted as a student in a German higher education institution, the next process is getting enrolled or “matriculated” in studies. This process involves applying to get your courses registered, in order to be able to enroll in the academic lectures and exercises as well as to underg...
Germany Will Lower Educational Standards For Benefit Of Migrants And E... LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images The German interior minister has announced his intention to drop educational standards in the country to help migrants get into school or find a training place. One of the greatest barriers to integration for new migrants is access to jobs, which in highly deve...
Health Insurance for Foreign Students in Germany An important aspect when studying in Germany is finding the suitable health insurance. One should think about this topic early because it is necessary for the application. It is said by law that every person that lives in Germany has to have a health insurance. There is a difference between the c...