Secondary education study results

A 10-point system is used in secondary education (and higher education), with 6 being the minimum pass mark. In secondary education, a 5.5 is rounded off to a 6. In higher education, a 5.5 is sometimes also sufficient. Grades 1 through 3 are almost never issued.

Grades Description
10 Excellent
9 Very good
8 Good
7 Very satisfactory
6 Satisfactory
5 Almost satisfactory
4 Unsatisfactory
3 Very unsatisfactory
2 Poor
1 Very poor

Secondary education documents

After completing Dutch secondary education, pupils must be able to provide the following documents:

  • a diploma; and
  • a list of marks.

Higher education study results

To assess study results, higher education institutions use the same system as secondary education institutions. See Secondary education study results for more information.

Binding recommendations (BSA)

Students of a higher education programme will receive a binding recommendation on continuation of studies (bindend studieadvies, BSA) at the end of their 1st year of study. This means that students will have to gain a certain minimum of ECTS during their 1st year in order to be allowed to proceed to the second year. Most HBO and academic programmes apply a minimum of 30 or 45 ECTS. A small number of programmes apply a minimum of 60 ECTS. If a student fails to meet this standard, in most cases his or her enrolment will be automatically terminated. These students are then generally barred from enrolling in the same study programme for several years.

Students are issued a first-year certificate when they have obtained 60 ECTS. Students enrolled in a programme where the binding recommendation is set at 45 ECTS per year do not necessarily have to obtain this certificate within the 1st year.

Higher education documents

After completing a Dutch higher education programme, students must be able to provide the following documents:

  • a diploma; and
  • a diplomasupplement.

Diploma Supplement

The introduction of the Diploma Supplement (DS) was enshrined in Dutch law in 2005. In principle, all students now receive the European version of the Diploma Supplement along with their final diploma. You can find more information about the Diploma Supplement on the Europass website.