If you are planning to pursue your higher studies in Germany, the first thing you need to understand is the grading system because you have to translate your grades of your past studies according to the German grading system, so that you are able to apply for the courses you intend to study and to be able to understand your score according to the German grading system. Basically there are two grading patterns used in German education grading system, the first one consists of grades from one to six, which means, if you score grade one, it implies that you are doing ‘very good’ and grade six means that your score is ‘very bad’ or at the bottom of grading system. If you score less than grade four, it means you have not passed the exam. This system of grading starts from the very beginning of schooling and lasts up to the tenth year. Most of the universities and colleges follow this grading system to evaluate the performance of the students.
If you translate the grading pattern from grade one to six they stand for:
Grade 1 - Very Good
Grade 2 - Good
Grade 3 - Satisfactory
Grade 4 - Adequate
Grade 5 - Poor
Grade 6 - Very Poor
Another system of grading is used after the tenth year of schooling, for the exam of Abitur which is the landmark year for the German students, with the grades of Abitur they can apply for the higher studies in universities and colleges. This system follows from points 0 to 15 which is more comprehensive than the last one. These grading points are as follows:
Points 15 - Better than very good
From point 12 to 14 - Very good
From point 9 to 11 - Good
From points 6 to 8 - Satisfactory
Point 5 - Adequate
From points 2 to 4 - Poor
From points 0 to - Very poor
To obtain a degree of Abitur, the points scored in the previous year’s exams are also considered, apart from the points secured in the final exam. To be able to apply for higher studies you need to obtain a certain grade which could be translated for foreign students. Only after all these grades are accumulated, will your final degree be considered complete.
European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a standard method to compare and evaluate the "volume of learning based on the defined learning outcomes and their associated workload" for pursuing higher education all across the countries of the European Union and the other collaborating European nations. After the successful completion of studies, ECTS credit points are awarded to a student. One academic year includes 60 ECTS credits which generally correspond to 1500–1800 hours of the total workload, irrespective of the standard or the qualification type.