Tertiary Admissions/ Updates

German Grading System 2023/2024

German Grading System

The German grading system for schools and universities typically uses a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest grade and 5 being the lowest passing grade. The grading system can vary slightly between different states (Bundesländer) in Germany, but the following is a general overview:

1.0 – Sehr gut (Very good) 1.3 – Sehr gut 1.7 – Gut (Good) 2.0 – Gut 2.3 – Gut 2.7 – Befriedigend (Satisfactory) 3.0 – Befriedigend 3.3 – Befriedigend 3.7 – Ausreichend (Sufficient) 4.0 – Ausreichend 4.3 – Ausreichend 4.7 – Mangelhaft (Deficient) 5.0 – Ungenügend (Fail)

In some universities, a different grading scale may be used, which is based on a system of points (ECTS). In this system, grades are assigned points as follows:

  • A (1.0 – 1.5) – 15 points
  • B (1.6 – 2.5) – 12 points
  • C (2.6 – 3.5) – 10 points
  • D (3.6 – 4.0) – 7 points
  • F (5.0) – 0 points (fail)

Grades in Germany are commonly given in written form using the numerical grade followed by the corresponding description. For example, “2.0 Gut” means “2.0 Good.”

It’s important to note that grading systems may vary for different types of educational institutions, and there can be slight variations within different states of Germany. Additionally, universities and schools may have specific grading criteria for individual courses and programs.

According to the www.uni-passau.de

The grades awarded in the German school system range from 1 to 6. The lower the grade, the better it is: a 1 is an excellent grade, whereas 5 and 6 are fail grades. Universities use a slightly modified version, which only goes from 1 to 5. It should also be noted that, in the German notation, the decimal separator is not the period but the comma: the grades are written 1,0; 1,3; 2,5 etc.

Grades awarded in the German education system

Grade/mark Description Pass/fail
1 ‘sehr gut’ – very good; an outstanding piece of work pass
2 ‘gut’ – good; all expectations have been met in full pass
3 ‘befriedigend’ – satisfactory; an average work pass
4 ‘ausreichend’ – sufficient; an average work with some minor deficiencies pass
5 ‘mangelhaft’ – deficient; minimum expectations have not been met, although the candidate has demonstrated a basic grasp of the main concepts fail
6 ‘ungenügend’ – inadequate; the candidate has failed to demonstrate coherent knowledge of even the basic main points fail

The grading scale used at the University of Passau (for all subjects except Law)

Grade/mark Description Pass/fail
1.0–1.3 ‘sehr gut’ – very good pass
1.7–2.3 ‘gut’ – good pass
2.7–3.3 ‘befriedigend’ – satisfactory pass
3.7–4.0 ‘ausreichend’ – sufficient pass
4.3–5.0 ‘mangelhaft’ – deficient fail

Grading scale for Law Programmes

Mark Description
16–18 points sehr gut – very good (particularly outstanding)
13–15 points gut – good (well above average)
10–12 points vollbefriedigend – fully satisfactory (above average, but with some minor errors)
7–9 points befriedigend – satisfactory (meets requirements)
4–6 points ausreichend – sufficient (meets requirements, but with notable weaknesses)
1–3 points mangelhaft – deficient (considerable weaknesses, some additional work required for a pass)
0 points ungenügend – inadequate (a poor performance overall)

Doctoral Grades ( thesis, and viva voce )

Grade Description
up to 1.5 summa cum laude
1.5–2.5 magna cum laude
2.5–3.5 cum laude
3.5–4.0 rite


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