German Grading System To Percentage

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Team College Learners

The German grading system is a bit different than how the US grading system works. It seems like one of those things that is just impossible to translate into another language. Alphabetical letters are used instead of numbers and it can be confusing at times. Lots of people out there want to learn more about the German grading system so this article explains the grading system in detail and includes an easy (perhaps even fun) German-to-English translation sheet.

Without much ado, the article below brings you the latest information on the German grading system to percentage. You don’t have to stress it, all you’ve got to do is read on to know more. You will also discover related posts on the German grading system to percentage, American university graduate grading scale, university grading scale, grading system in the USA, American university GPA calculator, American university grading system compared to UK, pass-fail American university, letter grade scale & grade calculator on Collegelearners.

Grading System In USA

The German grading system is both confusing and complicated. Unlike the US which uses a simple 4-point grading scale (A, B, C, D), Germany uses descriptors that dictate the class rank. This ranking is important because it helps students and universities to determine admission and scholarship opportunities. A German grading system is quite different from the 10 point modified Latin or 4-point grade systems that most learners are familiar with. The 3 most common grading systems used in German schools are the 10-point scale, the 5-point scale, and the 6-point scale.

When applying for a degree at a German university it is almost one hundred percent sure that you’re going to submit your academic scores taken during previous education. In that case, your grades will be compared to the German grading system and then after it will be assessed if you meet specific entry requirements.

Imagine another uncomfortable situation. You sit an exam in a particular subject and you get a 1.5 score. So you’re left wondering how well you did and did you pass it at all?

These are only two main reasons why it is so important to properly understand the German grading system. You would not like to see your excitement about studying in Germany diminish right away when you’re told that your grades leave much to desire.

To avoid any of these embarrassing results, we’re going to help you to understand the German grading system in order for you to know what to aim for in terms of your grades.

German Grading System To Percentage

German GPA Calculator - Indian Institute of Foreign Languages

Grading System in German Universities

Universities in Germany apply a 1 to 6 (or 5) point grading system to assess their students’ academic performance. 1 and 6 signify both extreme ends of your achievement. If you get 1 on your exam it means you successfully completed between 90 and 100% of your task. On the other hand, if you got 6 it means your performance has not satisfied the least minimum required to pass.

german grade to percentage

PercentageGerman Grade
German Grading System - Study in Germany for Free

Given below are marks in the German grading system and their translation in terms of your academic achievement

  • 1.0 – Excellent. You have successfully completed between 90 and 100% of the material required in the exam.
  • 2.0 – Overall very good. However, you need to work more in specific study areas.
  • 3.0 – Good. Your achievement is satisfying, but there is room for improvement.
  • 4.0 – Adequate.
  • 5.0 – Sufficient to pass the exam, but very poor otherwise.
  • 6.0 – Insufficient. You have shown insufficient knowledge to pass the exam you sat.

Note that there are some universities that use a 5 point grading scale to mark their students’ academic achievement. If that is the case with your chosen university in Germany, here’s what every grade means:

  • 1 to 1.5 – Very good. You have successfully completed a major part of your exam, but there are some minor areas you must improve.
  • 1.6 to 2.5 – Good. You have shown decent academic performance by correctly completing a considerable proportion of your exam.
  • 2.6 to 3.5 – Satisfactory. Your performance was a bit more than sufficient and you need to work in several areas.
  • 3.6 to 4.0 – Sufficient. You have reached the minimum score to pass the exam, but your performance leaves much to desire.
  • 4.1 to 5 – Fail. Your performance lies behind the minimum score.

german grading system to uK and USA

german grading system to uk

Indian Percentage/CGPA to German GPA Calculator

In order to be given a place at a German university the grades you have taken during previous education will play a significant role. Since the German grading system might be quite different from the grading system universities in your home country apply, your grades must be converted to the German grading system first. Only then the admission board at your favourite university in Germany can decide if you meet specific entry requirements set in place.

At this point, you must be aware of one important thing. The setting of the grading system is the responsibility of individual federal states in Germany, therefore you might encounter some differences. On some occasions, the grading system may also change according to the university of your choice. It is also common for some universities to apply Provided that, we highly recommend you reach your university well on time to get genuine information over this issue.

To give you a general idea as to what your current grades translate into the German grading system, we provide a handy conversion table. Taken into account the fact that the US and the UK grading systems are more popular, we’ve put the German grading system against their American and British equivalent.

german grading system calculator

German Grade Grade Definition US grade
1 -1.5 Sehr Gut (Very Good) A
1.6 – 2.5 Gut (Good) A/B
2.6 – 3.5 Befriedigend (Satisfying) C
3.6 – 4.9 Ausreichend (Sufficient) F
5.0 – 6.0 Nicht ausreichend (Insufficient)
As you can see there’s no equivalent of the “D” in the US grading system in the German grading system. In general, students with a mark of 3.0 or above in German universities are considered to be A or B students in the American grading system, whereas anything between 4.1 and 4.9 is good academic standing.

What is the ECTS Grade?

The acronym ECTS stands for European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System. ECTS is a common European grading framework designed on the purpose of facilitating the academic exchange among EU countries.

The number of EU students who choose to study abroad elsewhere in the continent is high, and the interpretation of the national grading system oftentimes changes depending on the university. Thus, the need for such a mutual grading system has been inevitable.

ECTS enables higher education institutions throughout EU countries to easily assess and compare the academic scores of their EU students. That being said, keep in mind that ECTS is not developed to replace the corresponding grades at the German university you want to enrol, but to further ease the assessment of your actual academic credits.

German Grading System - Study in Germany for Free

Therefore, ECTSs are optional and universities are allowed to use them in full compliance with their own grading policies. Usually, when applied, ECTS grades are given in a particular column in your grade transcript alongside national grades.

The table below shows grades in German higher education and their equivalents in the ECTS system.

German Grade Grade Definition ECTS grade:

  • 1 – 1.5 Sehr Gut (Very Good) A
  • 1.6 – 2.5 Gut (Good) B
  • 2.6 – 3.5 Befriedigend (Satisfying) C
  • 3.6 – 4.9 Ausreichend (Sufficient) D
  • 5.0 – 6.0 Nicht ausreichend (Insufficient) E

german grading system for non eU students

There are different grades’ conversion formulas applied from German universities. For that we highly recommend you contact your university in person to check which method they use. One of the most commonly applied is the so-known “Modified Bavarian formula”.

German GPA Calculator - Indian Institute of Foreign Languages

1.0–1.5 = “sehr gut” (very good: an outstanding achievement)
1.6–2.5 = “gut” (good: an achievement which lies substantially above average requirements)
2.6–3.5 = “befriedigend” (satisfactory: an achievement which corresponds to average requirements)
3.6–4.0 = “ausreichend” (sufficient: an achievement which barely meets the requirements)
5.0 and above “nicht ausreichend” / “nicht bestanden” (not sufficient / failed: an achievement which does not meet the requirements)

Converting Letter Grades

You can convert your native Letter Grade to German Grade by assigning a number to each letter by following this chart below:

  • A+ equals 1
  • A equals 2
  • B equals 3
  • C equals 4
  • D equals 5
  • E equals 6
  • (When the minimum required grade for passing is D)

Convert your credits to European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Regarding German Grading System

  1. What is the Modified Bavarian Formula?
    A number of systems exist for the conversion of grades from other countries into German grades. For instance, one such system, used by most universities, is called the “Modified Bavarian Formula”.

The formula is as follows:

german grade calculator modified bavarian formula for german grading system

x = German Grade equivalent to your score
Nmax = Maximum score that can be attained in your degree
Nmin = Minimum score that can be attained in your degree
and, Nd = Score obtained by you

  1. Do grades matter in Germany?
    Yes, they do, and they don’t bother looking on the mark of your thesis, if your overall grade is not considered good enough. However, your grades are not the only factor, your SOPs, Recommendations, Essays, are also considered.
  2. How are grades calculated in German Grading System?
    Germany uses a grade system that ranges from 4.0 to 1.0 using the Modified Bavarian Formula
  3. Can we get job after MS in Germany?
    You can seek work after graduating easily. The law allows international graduates to stay in Germany for additional 18 months, specifically for finding work.
  4. How can we calculate our grade in German Grade System?
    Use our German grade calculator to calculate the German grade equivalent to your grade. (Click here)
  5. How to convert Credit to ECTS?

All the three types of Higher Education Institutions (Universitäten, Fachhochschulen and Kunst- und Musikhochschulen) in Germany offer Bachelor’s and Master’s study courses and Diploma program which can be compared to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in other countries. The German grading system differs quite a lot from the Indian system of grading as well as the UK/ US CGPA system. This system is also known as the TUM grading system.


German schools use a 6 point grading scale (GPA) from 1 to 6, where 1 is the best possible grade and 6 is the lowest, failing grade. The German grade conversion formula is used to find the grade that your local percentage equals to.

Germany’s gymnasiums (higher secondary school) convert these grades into “points” in the last 3 years.

On the other hand, German universities (universitat) and universities of applied sciences (fachhochschule), a scale of 1 to 5 is used.

What German grades mean
Average range of German grades

What grades mean

  • 1.0 – 1.3: sehr gut (very good): an outstanding achievement
  • 1.7 – 2.3: gut (good): a substantially above average achievement
  • 2.7 – 3.3: befriedigend (satisfactory): an average achievement
  • 3.7 – 4.0: ausreichend (sufficient): an achievement which barely meets the requirements
  • 5.0 – 6.0: mangelhaft/ ungenügend/ nicht bestanden (insufficient / failed): does not meet the requirements

It’s easier to understand the conversion of German grades into the international standards if we compare them with the US grading system and the UK grading system along with the percentage of marks.


Average Grade Calculator German - OnlineMacha

Conversion table for German grades

The German grading system for non-EU students can be confusing, we’ve made it simple by creating a conversion table. This table can help you to find the German grad equivalent of your percentage. This table can be also used to determine the equivalent of German grading system to UK grading.


German grades at various levels

Primary & lower secondary school

(1st-10th grade)

Upper secondary school

(Gymnasium’s 11, 12 & 13 grades)


(Fachhochschule & Universität)

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