German Abitur Grade Equivalent

Last Updated on August 29, 2023

The Abitur is the final exam in Germany that is required for university entrance. Test results are divided into five or six grades. Our Abitur grade equivalent lists explain the US High School GPA you need to achieve in German high school in order to get a certain score on your German Abitur exam.

Without much ado, the article below brings you the latest information on German Abitur grade equivalent. You don’t have to stress it, all you’ve got to do is read on to know more.

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German Abitur For International Students

We operate a devolved admissions system and all admissions decisions are made within academic Schools. Admissions staff for individual courses reserve the right to judge the relevance and acceptability of any qualification or subject.

American to German Grade Conversion – Welcome to Germerica

Our admissions staff assess each application holistically and judge whether the content and demands of the qualifications presented have sufficiently prepared you to progress on to the course you are applying for. Entry requirements will vary from one course to another and compulsory subject requirements may apply. Please refer to the specific entry requirements for your chosen course.

How not to be overwhelmed by credentials in german

General requirements for undergraduate courses
Student studying the German Abitur/Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife, Zeugnis der Fachgebundenen Hochschulreife or Zeugnis der Fachhochschulreife with a good overall score between 1.5/6 (gut–sehr gut – very good) and subject grades of at least 11-13/15 will be considered for entry to the first year of our undergraduate degree programmes.

Please refer to the information below as guidance for grade comparisons to A-level entry requirements:

Grade Calculator

  • A*AA: 1.4-1.5 overall in the Abitur
  • AAA: 1.5 -1.6 overall in the Abitur
  • AAB: 1.6 -1.7 overall in the Abitur
  • ABB: 1.7-1.8 overall in the Abitur

General requirements for postgraduate/research courses

Students who have obtained a bachelor’s degree, a Magister Artium, a Diplom or an Erstes Staatsexamen from a recognised university would usually be considered for entry to master’s courses with a minimum overall grade of at least 2.3 or gut overall.

Education in Germany

Students who have obtained the Master would usually be considered for entry onto our PhD courses.

English language requirements

All applicants to the University (from the UK and overseas) are required to show evidence of English language proficiency.

For further information about our English language admissions policy, including a list of the most common English language qualifications we accept, please visit our English language requirements page.

Some Schools ask that the appropriate score has been met before you apply for a course, while other departments give conditional offers subject to applicants achieving our general entry requirement level of English Language proficiency before starting the course.

Other entry requirements

Please note that this is generic information only. Faculties and academic Schools have different entry requirements and some qualifications may not be acceptable for certain courses, so it is important to check with the School directly before you apply.

Some courses have additional entry requirements such as previous work experience, submission of written work with the application or previous study of a particular subject.

Applying for an academic study program in Germany involves, before all, satisfying Germany’s higher education entrance qualification requirement, known as “Hochschulzugangsberechtigung” (HZB).

HZB largely refers to a German “Abitur” and accompanying education certificates showing your earlier education.

What Is the German Abitur?

“The Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife” usually referred as “Abitur” or as “Abiturzeugnis” is an education certificate that leavers “Abiturientenexamen” of a recognized German school, in Germany or abroad, will receive by completing 12-13 consecutive schooling years and by successfully passing the final school-leaving exam “Abiturprüfung”.

Abitur is internationally accepted for its equivalence with almost all foreign school-leaving diplomas.

With an Abitur you can apply for academic studies in Germany or everyplace in the world.

The Abitur contains personalized information on your school-level studies completed so far, between (1) language, literature, arts, (2) social sciences and (3) math, natural sciences, technology.

The Abitur has arisen on December 23, 1788 from the “Abiturreglement”, a law that was put into force by the Prussian administration under Minister Karl Abraham Von Zedlids, with the intention to block the unrestricted access to university of that time financially capitalized school-leavers.

What’s The Structure of an Abitur?

The Abitur shows your grades and achievements you’ve reached over the 2 final years of upper secondary schooling, as well as by sitting the Abitur exam.

If you’ve an Abitur, you must have been studying in any of the 3 aforesaid subject areas. Minimum 2 subjects must have been as your main intensive courses “Leistungskurse”. One of these two courses must have been a language, math, or natural sciences subject. The other course must have been taken as basic course “Grundkurse”.

Note: Such differentiation between courses importance doesn’t apply in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria.

Which Are the Minimum Points for Passing an Abitur?

The Abitur has an overall final grade out of 6. The minimum points for passing a German Abitur test is 300.

What is a German International Abitur Diploma (DIAP)?

Deutsche Internationale Abiturprüfung (DIAP) or a German International Abitur Diploma is an education certificate that you may receive by passing a final exam as a “leaver” of a German school in a foreign country. DIAP it is equal to the classical German Abitur.

DIAP has applied since 2009, and can be obtained by passing a written and oral exam in a foreign language, as well as a colloquium.

What Are the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the Bilingual International Baccalaureate (BIB)?

IB and BIB are internationally recognized school-leaving qualifications that you can obtained by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). This organization has a study curriculum that is identical around the world and their school-leaving diplomas, therefore, are accepted as university entrance qualifications in many world countries, including Germany.

To be eligible for academic studies in Germany with a BIB or IB you’ve to also meet the requirements of the Conference of Culture Ministers (KMK) (except if you’ve mainly studied in German language).

When applying for a degree at a German university it is almost one hundred percent sure that you’re going to submit your academic scores taken during previous education. In that case, your grades will be compared to the German grading system and then after it will be assessed if you meet specific entry requirements.

Imagine another uncomfortable situation. You sit an exam in a particular subject and you get a 1.5 score. So you’re left wondering how well you did and did you pass it at all?

These are only two main reasons why it is so important to properly understand the German grading system. You would not like to see your excitement about studying in Germany diminish right away when you’re told that your grades leave much to desire.

To avoid any of these embarrassing results, we’re going to help you to understand the German grading system in order for you to know what to aim for in terms of your grades.

Grading System in German Universities

Universities in Germany apply a 1 to 6 (or 5) point grading system to assess their students’ academic performance. 1 and 6 signify both extreme ends of your achievement. If you get 1 on your exam it means you successfully completed between 90 and 100% of your task. On the other hand, if you got 6 it means your performance has not satisfied the least minimum required to pass.

Given below are marks in the German grading system and their translation in terms of your academic achievement

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Abitur Equivalent In USA

  • 1.0 – Excellent. You have successfully completed between 90 and 100% of the material required in the exam.
  • 2.0 – Overall very good. However, you need to work more in specific study areas.
  • 3.0 – Good. Your achievement is satisfying, but there is room for improvement.
  • 4.0 – Adequate.
  • 5.0 – Sufficient to pass the exam, but very poor otherwise.
  • 6.0 – Insufficient. You have shown insufficient knowledge to pass the exam you sat.

Note that there are some universities which use a 5 point grading scale to mark their students’ academic achievement. If that is the case with your chosen university in Germany, here’s what every grade means:

  • 1 to 1.5 – Very good. You have successfully completed a major part of your exam, but there are some minor areas you must improve.
  • 1.6 to 2.5 – Good. You have shown decent academic performance by correctly completing a considerable proportion of your exam.
  • 2.6 to 3.5 – Satisfactory. Your performance was a bit more than sufficient and you need to work in several areas.
  • 3.6 to 4.0 – Sufficient. You have reached the minimum score to pass the exam, but your performance leaves much to desire.
  • 4.1 to 5 – Fail. Your performance lies behind the minimum score.

German Grades compared to British and American Grades

In order to be given a place at a German university your grades you have taken during previous education will play a significant role. Since the German grading system might be quite different from the grading system universities in your home country apply, your grades must be converted to the German grading system first. Only then the admission board at your favorite university in Germany can decide if you meet specific entry requirements set in place.

At this point, you must be aware of one important thing. The setting of grading system is a responsibility of individual federal states in Germany, therefore you might encounter some differences. On some occasions, the grading system may also change according to the university of your choice. It is also common for some universities to apply Provided that, we highly recommend you reach your university well on time to get genuine information over this issue.

To give you a general idea as per what your current grades translate into the German grading system, we provide a handy conversion table. Taken into account the fact that the US and the UK grading systems are more popular, we’ve put the German grading system against their American and British equivalent.

German Grade Grade Definition US grade

  • 1 -1.5 Sehr Gut (Very Good) A
  • 1.6 – 2.5 Gut (Good) A/B
  • 2.6 – 3.5 Befriedigend (Satisfying) C
  • 3.6 – 4.9 Ausreichend (Sufficient) F
  • 5.0 – 6.0 Nicht ausreichend (Insufficient)

As you can see there’s no equivalent of the “D” in the US grading system in the German grading system. In general, students with a mark of 3.0 or above in German universities are considered to be A or B students in the American grading system, whereas anything between 4.1 and 4.9 is a good academic standing.

What is the ECTS Grade?

The acronym ECTS stands for European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System. ECTS is a common European grading framework designed on the purpose of facilitating the academic exchange among EU countries.

The number of EU students who choose to study abroad elsewhere in the continent is high, and the interpretation of the national grading system often times changes depending on the university. Thus, the need for such a mutual grading system has been inevitable.

ECTS enables higher education institutions throughout EU countries to easily assess and compare the academic scores of their EU students. That being said, keep in mind that ECTS is not developed to replace the corresponding grades at the German university you want to enroll, but to further ease the assessment of your actual academic credits.

Therefore, ECTSs are optional and universities are allowed to use them in full compliance with their own grading policies. Usually, when applied, ECTS grades are given in a particular column in your grade transcript alongside national grades.

The table below shows grades in German higher education and their equivalents in the ECTS system.

German Grade Grade Definition ECTS grade

1 – 1.5 Sehr Gut (Very Good) A
1.6 – 2.5 Gut (Good) B
2.6 – 3.5 Befriedigend (Satisfying) C
3.6 – 4.9 Ausreichend (Sufficient) D
5.0 – 6.0 Nicht ausreichend (Insufficient) E

How to Convert Your Grades Into The German Grading System?

There are different grades’ conversion formulas applied from German universities. For that we highly recommend you contact your university in person to check which method they use. One of the most commonly applied is the so-known “Modified Bavarian formula”.

Germany: academic equivalencies

The University of Brighton requires all students to have met course specific entry requirements. Details of what your qualification is equivalent to in the UK is listed below.

Advice for EU students

If you’re a student from the EU, read our advice about how the result of the UK’s EU Referendum will affect you.


We require a Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife / Abitur or a Fachgebundene Hochschulreife / Fachhochschulreife.

A Level To German Abitur

A-level Comparable offer Corresponding subject grades

  • AAA 1.3 A = 14
  • AAB 1.5 A = 14
  • ABB 1.8 A = 14
  • BBB 2.0 B = 12
  • BBC 2.2 B = 12
  • BCC 2.4 B = 12
  • CCC 2.6 C = 10


We require a five year Magister Artium/Diplom/Erstes Staatsexamen (First State Examination) or a bachelor’s degree (post-1998). Pre-2002 Magister Artium/Diplom/Erstes Staatsexamen are all considered comparable to a British bachelor’s (honours) degree standard, post-2002 are considered comparable to a British master’s degree standard. The grading scale ranges from 1-5, with 1 being the highest and 5 being the lowest. The scale is as follows:


German degree classification Alternative name English translation or equivalent

  • 1 Sehr gut Very good = 1st
  • 2 Gut Good = 2:1
  • 3 Befriedigend Satisfactory = 2:2

English language requirements
Find out more about our English language requirements.

Improve your academic and English language ability
If you don’t have the correct grades or qualifications to meet our entry requirements, we can help you improve them.

Degree preparation courses at the International College

If you complete your pathway course at the International College at the required level, you are guaranteed entry to a degree at the University of Brighton. Available degree subject areas include accounting and finance, art and design, business management, international hospitality management, law with business, international event management, and many more.

Find out more about the pathway courses on offer at the University of Brighton International College.

English language preparation courses at our Language Centre

The University of Brighton Centre for Academic English Language Development provides a comprehensive range of academic English language preparation courses for students who need to improve their English before starting a UK university degree.

Successful completion of one of our English courses guarantees your progression to a degree course at the University of Brighton.

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