Talk:Academic grading in Germany

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"In converting German grades to the A-F scale, a 1 = A, ... 4 = D scale is often used (with 5 and 6 both converted to Fs) but this conversion is nearly never accurate, since, for example, a grade of '3' is usually more difficult to obtain in Germany than a 'B+' in the United States. In the U.S., students usually get an A if their score is greater than 90%. In Germany, students scoring more than 90% usually are in the 3 range. (The average grade in Germany is normally supposed to be around or a bit above 3, whereas in the U.S. average grades are often supposed to be between 91% and 89%.)"


I cannot agree with this. There is a mandatory grading standard for the last two years of the Gymnasium and the Abitur exam: a grade of 15 out of 15 grade points (=1+) is awarded if more than 95% of the credits in a test have been attained, 14 points require >90% credits, etc. Thus, to receive a grade of "1", a student only needs to attain more than 85% of the credits in a test while a "3" ranges from >55% to <=70%.

It *may* be possible that U.S. test requirements are somewhat lower than those in Germany, judging from my own, rather limited, experience with the SAT Mathematics test in comparison to German Mathematics Basics Class ("Grundkurs", as opposed to "Leistungskurs", lit. "power course"), and that thus the general idea of the paragraph may be correct, but the figures are entirely wrong. An Abitur grade of 3.0 is rather bad (averages are around 2.0-2.5), while an Abitur average of 90% (756 of 840 points, 1.1) must be considered excellent, especially when taking into account that students only have very limited control over the subjects that count into the Abitur total, usually causing them to lose points in subjects that require a very specific talent, such as music, art or literature interpretation.

"The average grade in Germany is normally supposed to be around or a bit above 3, whereas in the U.S. average grades are often supposed to be between 91% and 89%.)" --> There is no way that this is correct. At one American university where I taught undergraduate classes, the average grade given is 80-83% (2.66 to 3.0 on a US 4 pt. GPA scale), with approximately 25% of students scoring a 90 or higher (3.66-4.0). The quoted section is more representative of graduate school classes, where half of students tend to recieve above 90%. Cotixan 02:29, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree, the specific numbers mentioned don't seem to be realistic, but it is also true that a German sehr gut is worth more, or in any case a lot harder to obtain, than an American A. This might depend on the type of school though, I attended Gymnasium, the highest of the three types of secondary education schools, so that might make a big difference.
When I transfered to a US high school in 2007, the official transcription was 1 → A+ 2 → A 3 → B 4 → C 5 → D 6 → F.
This feels about right, the truth is that there really is no "perfect" translation of the grades. The official description might give the best idea of what the grades are like.
There are lots of factors that make a definite translation pretty much impossible:
Multiple choice tests are very rarely used, and only for what you call "quizzes", never used for anything important. This is, as far as I can tell, why even grades on the - one would think - fairly unambiguous percentage scale are skewed: While guessing and a little bit of common sense can get you in the 70's in the US, you actually have to work really hard to even get a 60% (resulting in a 3+, or 9/15 on the Abitur scale) - again that's my personal experience in a Gymnasium (12th grade).
...I think that's really what it comes down to: Most people assume that you are talking about a Gymnasium - it's the only (okay, not the only, let's call it the most straightforward) way to college, and in my opinion there is no doubt that the classes taught at a Gymnasium are a lot more demanding than high school, and an Abitur diploma means a lot more than a GED. (talk) 16:21, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Grade Conversion Chart[edit]

Since the grading chart is horrendously inaccurate and does not any way represent the conversions used as equivalencies by German universities, perhaps it would be better to replace the chart with an explanation of the Modified Bavarian Formula? Honestly, the nobody really thinks that a B- from an American school is equivalent to a 3.7 from a Gymnasium. Similarly, the extra weight given to British grades is senseless. Unless the chart has a source, I think it needs to go. Even if it does, I think explaining the Bavarian Formula would be useful. It converts an American "B" to a 2.5, which seems accurate. Thoughts? (talk) 13:00, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

I waited a few days and didn't hear anything back. I went ahead and made the changes. I am, of course, open to revisions but please no rollbacks. Thanks. (talk) 09:22, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Grades and IQ[edit]

I don't think that this "grades and IQ-section" makes much sense. I really don't think that the person, who earns a "eins" at a Sonderschule (special education school) has the same IQ as the persons who earns a "eins" at the Federal School of Saxony - Saint Afra (a school for the highly gifted).--Greatgreenwhale (talk) 21:46, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Final Grade[edit]

There should be some infos about the "final grade" both for university degree and gymnasium certificate, which are important for the ranking when applying for jobs, Internships ect, and which is considered if you want to study medicine or some other studies with "limited" number of participants.

  • Nowadays the ranking of the gymnasium certificate is used on the local level of a university, e.g. if you have a final grade of 2.3, you can pass the application to become electric engineering student, but you might need a final grade of 2.0 to study business. The local level can change from semester to semester and from university to university.
  • The ranking of the "final grade" of a Bachelor or Diploma certificate is used for deciding about access to Master studies.

hemmerling (talk) 13:56, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Pedagogic Grading[edit]

There was some other Pedagogic Grading at the Gymnasium in the 1970th and early 1980th ( and maybe it still goes on until today ?!), to support bright students:

  • Sports is a mandatory course from class 1 to 13.
  • In the classes 12 and 13, you can replace sports in the calculation for the "final grade" by the marks for an additional course. So you have to participate in the sports course and in an extra course like religion - the extra course must fit with your timetable, so not all courses were selectable, in practice. This was officially.
  • Starting with class 11, you have to decide for a team sport ( soccer, basketball, volley ball,..) and an individual sport ( swimming, athletic sports, dancing ).
  • Now there is subliminal pedagogic grading: For team sports and dancing, measurable results are not really relevant for the mark. Therefore, the teachers are willing to give pupils a "4" as worst mark, if the pupil is making an effort.
  • For athletic sports and swimmming, just the measurable results count, so weak pupils can get a "5" there.
  • Thats why the sports teachers suggest to take dancing, if offered at the school, as "individual sport", to avoid a mark "5".

In my case, I got german Abitur in 1981, I was supported by the system, had no "5" on my certificates and was able to replace sports by another course with a good mark for the final certificate and the "final mark". hemmerling (talk) 13:56, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Note that by German constitution, religion is not an extra course. (There are exceptions for some few länder, but that's the general normative case.)--2001:A60:1585:5901:BD75:A878:AE3B:E625 (talk) 23:30, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Mark 0.7 at Gymnasium[edit]

At the Gymnasium, not at the university, it was possible in the 1970th and 1980th to get a mark ( or even a "final mark" ?!) "0.7" wich is better than a "1.0". hemmerling (talk) 14:34, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

I recall that, too. "1.0" was for 14 points average; if you managed to score 15 points throughout, that was a 0.7. -- DevSolar (talk) 15:41, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
This is not correct. Even though you can get 840 points of the 784 required for a 1.0, the grade can never be better. The formula is 5⅔-(your points)/168, right next to it it says that it can only be between 4.0 and 1.0. --Beliar (talk) 15:23, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Those who talk about a "0.7"-Abitur mean that they extend the usual points/grade-conversion below the 1.0 threshold. If you do so, you get indeed a grade of something about 0.7 for an 840/840 Abitur. Which, however, appears as a 1.0 Abitur officially.--2001:A60:1585:5901:BD75:A878:AE3B:E625 (talk) 23:36, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

North vs. South[edit]

The article says ""This is especially true for Gymnasien in the south of Germany, which tend to have harder curricula and thus grade tougher than those in the north.""

This line should be dropped as this assumption is not backed up by anything. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:53, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Proposed merge from Academic grading in East Germany[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Following this discussion, pages were merged. Cnilep (talk) 15:17, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Proposed. — information should be kept in one place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zhernovoi (talkcontribs) 21:51, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Go ahead, no need to separate it. Reywas92Talk 18:35, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

"ausgezeichnet" is missing[edit]

There is/was the grade "ausgezeichnet" (excellent? - Mr. Burns of the Simpsons is saying that in german dubbing) for any (?) overall achievement of 1.0 in Schools, Gymnasia (EOS in the GDR) and Academia (summa cum laude, as mentioned "mit höchstem Lob"). Maybe it is not in use nowadays, except for the PhDs-- (talk) 05:50, 4 October 2014 (UTC)?

Latin Grades[edit]

I propose that this section should have a citation or better be deleted because is not supported by anything. Expressions like "Sometimes" and "rough guide" clearly indicate that this not meet the Wikipedia standard.

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Academic grading in Germany/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

The article certainly includes a meaningful amount of material. It is somewhat repetitive and could use structure to make distinctions between the types of grading used. The different grading system lists are not parallel, one has the German and English text names presented side-by-side in the bullet list, the other uses two separate lists with yet another using something in between.imars (talk) 10:35, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Last edited at 10:35, 9 September 2008 (UTC). Substituted at 06:33, 29 April 2016 (UTC)