Secondary education study results

Secondary education institutions often use a grading system from 1 to 6. Grades 5 and 6 are failing grades.

Grade Description Meaning
1 Sehr gut Very good
2 Gut Good
3 Befriedigend Satisfactory
4 Ausreichend Sufficient
5 Mangelhaft Almost sufficient
6 Ungenügend Fail

Study results at the upper secondary education at a Gymnasium

Gymnasiums assess upper secondary education (gymnasiale Oberstufe) study results by using different grades:

Grades Description Meaning
13, 14, 15 Sehr gut Very good
10, 11, 12 Gut Good
7, 8, 9 Befriedigend Satisfactory
4, 5, 6 Ausreichend Sufficient
1, 2, 3 Mangelhaft Almost sufficient
0 Ungenügend Fail

Secondary education documents

Students receive a diploma and a transcript from the school. This is often 1 document consisting of multiple pages. The federal state is also mentioned on the diploma.

On the diploma, you can often find information about the as well. In other words, whether the student can continue on to higher professional education and/or research-oriented higher education with the diploma.

Higher education study results

Most German higher education institutions assess study results in the following way:

Grades Description Meaning
1.0 - 1.5 Sehr gut Very good
1.6 - 2.5 Gut Good
2.6 - 3.5 Befriedigend Satisfactory
3.6 - 4.0 Ausreichend Sufficient
4.1 - 5.0 Mangelhaft Almost sufficient/fail

Higher education documents

After completing a study programme, students usually receive the following documents:

  • a diploma; and
  • a diploma supplement.


There are different diplomas in research-oriented higher education and higher professional education. Some diploma names are found in both types of education, such as the Diplom, bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. If you want to know the level of those diplomas, you will have to check at which type of educational institution the diploma was obtained.

Diploma supplement

German higher education institutions often use the Diploma Supplement (DS). You can find more information on the Europass website, including examples of diploma supplements.