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Grading System and Language of Instruction in Sweden

Sweden has in recent times, since fall of 2011 to be precise, introduced a fresh academic grading system to unravel the dilemma of high grade inflation. In the former grading system, grades in junior and senior high school comprised:
  • a failing grade (Icke godkant, IG)
  • acceptable/OK (Godkant, G)
  • very good (Val godkant, VG) 
  • the highest grade: very well done (Mycket val godkant, MVG).
According to the 2010 Education Act, Swedish grades are awarded on a scale from A to F. Pass grades are designated A, B, C, D, E, with A as the highest of all and E as the lowest of all. The Grade ‘F is designated to students who fail in the examination.

Grade Requirements

There are a set of requirements that are needed to be fulfilled for each grade:
  • Grade A means that the student has attained the expertise in the subject. 
  • Grade B means that the student has attained all the knowledge requirements for Grade C and the greater part of the requirements for Grade A.
  • Grade C means that the student has attained all the knowledge requirements scoring for Grade C.
  • Grade D means that the student has attained all the knowledge requirements for Grade E and the greater part of the requirements for Grade C.
  • Grade E means that the student has attained all the knowledge requirements for Grade E.
  • Grade F means that the student has failed to achieve all or any of the knowledge requirements for Grade E.

Comparison with Previous Grading System

Grading Scale According to 2010 Education Act

Previous Grading Scale

Numerical Value

Description

A

(MVG) Pass with Special Distinction

20

Highest Pass

B

 

 

17,5

 

C

(VG) Pass with Distinction

15

 

D

 

12,5

 

E

(G) Pass

10

Lowest Pass

F

(IG) Fail

0

Fail

University Level Grading System in Sweden

Individual universities may decide on to use any other scale. For instance, in the disciplines of engineering and technology, the passing grades of VG and G are replaced with 5, 4 and 3; while law schools consistently take up a scale of AB, Ba and B as passing grades. Further, several universities are presently in the process of transitioning to an ECTS based scale, with an A to F grading, pursuant to the Bologna process. A lot of universities (e.g. KTH and Stockholm University) ended the transition process in 2007 or 2008.

Academic Language of Instruction in Sweden

All candidates before being accepted to a higher education programme, must demonstrate a minimum proficiency in English and Swedish by either taking two years of English and Swedish or passing English A and Swedish B. For all international applicants, the Test in Swedish for University Studies (TISUS) is an international exam that can be taken to demonstrate proficiency in Swedish. For those candidates whose innate language is not English, international applicants can exhibit proficiency in English by achieving a minimum score of 173 points in TOEFL or a minimum grade of B on the Cambridge First Certificate in English exam.
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