American Grading system

Academic grading in Denmark

In, the educational system has historically used a number of different systems of student performances, several of which are described below. The current grading system is the 7-trins-skala (7-step-scale) which replaced the 13-skala in 2006.

Current scale

Starting with the academic year 2005-06, a new scale was introduced, 7-trins-skalaen ("7-step-scale"; colloquially dubbed the 12-scale), designed to be compatible with the ECTS-scale:

Grade Description Equivalents

13-scale ECTS U.S. UK

12 excellent high level of command of all aspects – no or only a few minor weaknesses 11/13 A A+, A 1st

10 very good high level of command of most aspects – only minor weaknesses 10 B A- 2:1

07 good good command – some weaknesses 8/9 C B+, B 2:2

04 fair some command – some major weaknesses 7 D B- 3rd

02 adequate the minimum requirements for acceptance 6 E C Pass

00 inadequate does not meet the minimum requirements for acceptance 03/5 Fx D Fail

−3 unacceptable unacceptable in all respects 00 F F Fail

The leading 0 in 00 and 02 is used to prevent fraud with grades.

Furthermore, Undervisningsministeriet (the Ministry of Education) will adapt to a more international way of grading, by handing out a set number of grades per class. This is because in other countries, the grade A (12) is given twice as often as it is in Denmark (because of strict grading on absolute standards).

1788: Latin scale

  • Laudabilis præ ceteris
  • Laudabilis
  • Haud illaudabilis
  • Non contemnendus

was an outright failing grade - there was a limitation of the number of non contemendus there could be in a passing student's examination. The highest grade, laudabilis præ ceteris was explicitly named a grade for exceptional purposes only.

1805: Ørsted scale

The first version of the Ørsted scale had six steps:

  • Ug - udmærket godt - excellently good (numeral value: 8)
  • Mg - meget godt - very good (7)
  • - godt - good (5)
  • Tg - temmelig godt - pretty good (1)
  • Mdl - mådeligt - all right (−7)
  • Slet - bad (−23)

A student could not pass an exam if he/she had got mdl in Danish essay or Latin or slet in Latin essay.

In 1845 the numeral values were added in order to enable the calculation of an average grade - also the was named the minimum passing grade.

1871: Extended Ørsted scale

In 1871 the Ørsted scale was extended with plus and minus-steps, and numeral values were added accordingly.

  • Ug (8)
  • Ug− (7⅔)
  • Mg+ (7⅓)
  • Mg (7)
  • Mg− (6⅓)
  • G+ (5⅔)
  • (5)
  • G− (3⅔)
  • Tg+ (3⅓)
  • Tg (1)
  • Tg− (−1⅔)
  • Mdl+ (−4⅓)
  • Mdl (−7)
  • Mdl− (−12⅓)
  • Slet+ (−17⅔)
  • Slet (−23)

The was still the minimum passing grade.

1903: Numeral scale

In 1903 the Ørsted-scale was scrapped for a numeral one, with five steps:

and were – like laudabilis præ ceteris – exceptional grades. You would fail if you had two or more zeroes in your exam.

1911: New numeral scale

In 1911 another numeral scale was introduced: was the minimum passing grade.

1943: Modified extended Ørsted scale

This version, introduced in 1943, changed the numerals (essentially by adding 7 to the former numbers) and removed the mdl−- and slet+-grades:

  • Ug (15)
  • Ug− (14⅔)
  • Mg+ (14⅓)
  • Mg (14)
  • Mg− (13⅓)
  • G+ (12⅔)
  • (12)
  • G− (10⅔)
  • Tg+ (9⅓)
  • Tg (8)
  • Tg− (5⅓)
  • Mdl+ (2⅔)
  • Mdl (0)
  • Slet (−16)

1963: 13-scale

  • 13 - given for exceptionally independent and excellent performance.
  • 11 - given for independent and excellent performance
  • 10 - given for excellent but not particularly independent performance
  • - given for good performance, a little above average
  • - given for average performance
  • - given for mediocre performance, slightly below average
  • - given for just acceptable performance
  • - given for hesitant and not satisfactory performance
  • 03 - given for very hesitant, very insufficient and unsatisfactory performance
  • 00 - given for completely unacceptable performance

The gaps between 00 & 03, 03 & 5 and 11 & 13 are there to signify a larger difference between those grades. The leading 0 in 00 and 03 is used to prevent fraud with grades. The lowest passing grade is and 00, 03 and 5 are failing grades.

The highest grade 13 and the lowest grade 00 are the grades most rarely given.

00 is nearly impossible to achieve, presuming one knows even a single fact taught in that particular class. It is given for a truly incompetent performance. At exams, 00 is given to students attending, but who cannot answer a single question. Absentees get a "-" and aren't allowed to attend a second exam.

13 is a fairly rare grade outside of exams and requires a performance way beyond the expected. One of the reasons why the 13 scale was replaced with the 7 scale was because of the grade 13. 13s are only given to the students that have gone above and beyond the stated curriculum. To gain it you needed to know more than what was taught in class. It required truly independent study. As no other EU countries used grades above perfect understanding of the curriculum, 13 was untranslatable to other grading systems.

Definition EXCELLENT VERY GOOD GOOD SATISFACTORY PASSED FAILED

"13" scale 13 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 03 00

"7" scale 12 12 10 7 7 4 02 00 00 -3

ECTS scale A A B C C D E Fx Fx F

American scale(4.0) A A- B+ B B- C+ C D F F

American scale(4.3) A+ A A- B+ B B- C D F F

American scale(4.5) A+ A+ A B+ B+ B C+ D F F

This scale was replaced by the 7-step-scale in 2005; see .

  1. "12: For an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material, with no or only a few minor weaknesses."
  2. "10: For a very good performance displaying a high level of command of most aspects of the relevant material, with only minor weaknesses."
  3. "7: For a good performance displaying good command of the relevant material but also some weaknesses."
  4. "4: For a fair performance displaying some command of the relevant material but also some major weaknesses."
  5. "02: For a performance meeting only the minimum requirements for acceptance."
  6. "00: For a performance which does not meet the minimum requirements for acceptance."
  7. "-3: For a performance which is unacceptable in all respects."

24Man descalers
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