Grading system

© Maria Salaru

The grading system in the Netherlands might differ significantly from the grading system you are used to. Our university uses a 10 point grading system: 1 is the lowest grade and 10 the highest. In the Netherlands, grades 1-3 and 9-10 are rarely awarded. The lowest passing grade is a 6. 

In a few specific programmes, Utrecht University also uses the Anglo-American letter grading system (A to D, F = Fail).

Grading policy at Utrecht University

Grades are given on an absolute basis, which means that teachers test the extent to which students have sufficiently achieved the learning objectives, and do not grade on a curve. It is not possible to compensate a low grade on one course with a high grade on another course. You will need to receive a passing grade for all courses that are part of your degree programme in order to graduate.

International diploma supplement

At Utrecht University a weighted average grade is calculated by multiplying all numerical grades on the International Diploma Supplement with the credits obtained for that course, and by dividing this sum by the sum of credits. The average is built up gradually, and only the final average will be recorded on the International Diploma Supplement. Utrecht University includes grades obtained in the first year of studies in the calculation of the weighted average.

Substitute test

If you fail a course but score at least a 4, you are given one opportunity to take an additional or substitute test in order to pass the course. If you fail this as well, you must do the course again. You can retake a course as often as you need to achieve a passing grade. Only the passing grade is recorded on the International Diploma Supplement.

Grade distribution

The Grading Tables below provide information on the grading culture at Utrecht University by showing the statistical distribution of passing grades awarded in all Bachelor’s and Master’s courses of Utrecht University. This (unweighted) distribution is based on all passing numerical grades for courses offered by Utrecht University in the three most recent academic years, obtained by students enrolled at Utrecht University. The grades are rounded off to whole and half numbers. The Grading Table is updated annually.

Grading Table Bachelor’s courses (September 2014 – August 2017);
Grade

Percentage

6.0

20.89%

6.5

18.08%

7.0

20.71%

7.5

18.08%

8.0

12.67%

8.5

6.15%

9.0

2.56%

9.5

0.72%

10.0

0.21%

Grading Table Master’s courses (September 2014 – August 2017)
Grade

Percentage

6.0

9.38%

6.5

10.69%

7.0

19.31%

7.5

22.46%

8.0

22.30%

8.5

10.17%

9.0

4.54%

9.5

0.82%

10.0

0.33%