Study in Holland

Grading system at universities in Holland

Universities in Holland perform the same level of teaching and research used at the leading universities worldwide. A 10 point grading system is used in Holland in both secondary and higher education. A grade of 10 is the highest and 6 is the minimum pass grade.

Grading practise in the Netherlands differs from that in the US and the UK. In the Netherlands the really high grades (10 and 9) are very rare, because of a 10 is awarded in the case of absolute perfection, which is almost inaccessible for many students. The mark 9 is a slightly less impossible goal to reach.

Marks 9 and 10 are still very rarely given in oral examinations or open question testing, such as essays, presentations, project reports or dissertations. That means that in Holland an 8 is a very good grade. Marks 8 and 6 remain the basic pass grades. Only excellent students achieve a grade higher than 8. In the US high grades are gained much more often. They are awarded to reward and encourage rather than to single out absolute perfection.

NL Description USA UK Description
10 Outstanding *  A+  A+ first
 9 Very good *  A+  A+  first
 8 Good  A+  A/A-  first
 7 More than satisfactory  B+  B upper 2nd
 6 Satisfactory B-/C   C/D lower 2nd
 5 Almost satisfactory  F  F  
 4 Unsatisfactory  F  F  
 3 Very unsatisfactory  F  F  
 2 Poor *  F  F  
 1 Very poor *  F  F  

* The grades 1-3  are hardly ever awarded and 9 and 10 are very rare

Several countries use grading systems that look similar to the one used in Holland. One example is the 1-100 system. However, it would be inaccurate to compare a 90-100 grade in such a system with a 10 in the Dutch system, or a 80-90 with a 9, and so on..

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