Secondary education grading system

Schools in secondary education use a range of assessment systems. While the 1-100 scale is most common, schools also award marks on 1-10, 1-20 or percentage scales.

Schools decide autonomously about how they award points. For the French-language region, it is only important whether someone has obtained the leaving certificate, the Certificat d’enseignement secondaire supérieur. No final mark is indicated on the diploma.

Higher education grading system

Higher education institutions often use the grading system from 1 to 20:

Numerical grade Description Meaning
18-20 Excellent Excellent
16-18 Très bien Very good
14-16 Bien Good
12-14 Plus que suffisant Quite satisfactory
10-12 Suffisant Satisfactory
1-9 Insuffisant Unsatisfactory

In addition, students are awarded one of the following honours at the conclusion of their studies:

  • avec satisfaction (pass);
  • avec distinction (with honours);
  • avec grande distinction (with great honours);
  • avec la plus grande distinction (with maximum honours).

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)

All higher education institutions use the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) for their degree programmes. This system is based on 60 credits for each year of study. The default requirements are:

  • 180 credits for a bachelor’s degree programme;
  • 60 or 120 credits for a follow-up master’s degree programme.

More information about ECTS is available in the ECTS Users’ Guide, published by the European Commission.