Academic grading in Denmark

Academic grading in Denmark

In Denmark, the educational system has historically used a number of different systems of grading student performances, several of which are described below. The current grading system is the "7-trins-skala" (7-step-scale) which replaced the "13-skala" in 2006.

Current scale

Starting with the academic year 2005-06, a new scale was introduced, "7-trins-skalaen" ("7-step-scale"; colloquially dubbed the "12-scale"), designed to be compatible with the ECTS-scale:

The leading 0 in 00 and 02 is used to prevent fraud with grades.

Furthermore, undervisningsministeriet (the Ministry of Education) will adapt to a more international way of grading, by handing out a set amount of grades per class, this is because in foreign countries, the grade A (12) is handed out two times as often as in Denmark (because of the strict, absolute grading in Denmark).

Previous scales

1788: Latin scale

The Latin scale had five steps:
*"Laudabilis præ ceteris"
*"Haud illaudabilis"
*"Non contemnendus"
*"0""0" was an outright failing grade - there was a limitation of the number of "non contemendus" there could be in a passing student's examination. The highest grade, "laudabilis præ ceteris" was explicitly named a grade for exceptional purposes only.

1805: Ørsted scale

The first version of the Ørsted scale had six steps:
*"Ug" - "udmærket godt" - excellently good (numeral value: 8)
*"Mg" - "meget godt" - very good (7)
*"G" - "godt" - good (5)
*"Tg" - "temmelig godt" - pretty good (1)
*"Mdl" - "mådeligt" - all right (−7)
*"Slet" - bad (−23)A student could not pass an exam if he/she had got "mdl" in Danish essay or Latin or "slet" in Latin essay.

In 1845 the numeral values were added in order to enable the calculation of an average grade - also the "g" was named the minimum passing grade.

1871: Extended Ørsted scale

In 1871 the Ørsted scale was extended with plus and minus-steps, and numeral values were added accordingly.
*"Ug" (8)
*"Ug−" (7⅔)
*"Mg+" (7⅓)
*"Mg" (7)
*"Mg−" (6⅓)
*"G+" (5⅔)
*"G" (5)
*"G−" (3⅔)
*"Tg+" (3⅓)
*"Tg" (1)
*"Tg−" (−1⅔)
*"Mdl+" (−4⅓)
*"Mdl" (−7)
*"Mdl−" (−12⅓)
*"Slet+" (−17⅔)
*"Slet" (−23)

The "g" was still the minimum passing grade.

1903: Numeral scale

In 1903 the Ørsted-scale was scrapped for a numeral one, with five steps:
*"0""8" and "0" were – like "laudabilis præ ceteris" – exceptional grades. You would fail if you had two or more zeroes in your exam.

1911: New numeral scale

In 1911 another numeral scale was introduced:
*"0""4" was the minimum passing grade.

1919: Extended Ørsted scale

In 1919 the extended Ørsted scale returned, with numerals.

1943: Modified extended Ørsted scale

This version, introduced in 1943, changed the numerals (essentially by adding 7 to the former numbers) and removed the "mdl−"- and "slet+"-grades:
*"Ug" (15)
*"Ug−" (14⅔)
*"Mg+" (14⅓)
*"Mg" (14)
*"Mg−" (13⅓)
*"G+" (12⅔)
*"G" (12)
*"G−" (10⅔)
*"Tg+" (9⅓)
*"Tg" (8)
*"Tg−" (5⅓)
*"Mdl+" (2⅔)
*"Mdl" (0)
*"Slet" (−16)

1963: 13-scale

The 13-scale was introduced in 1963 and used until 2006 (2007 in universities). The scale started out as a relative scale but has since its introduction in 1963 changed to an absolute scale at all levels of education.
*"13" - given for the exceptionally independent and excellent performance.
*"11" - given for the independent and excellent performance
*"10" - given for the excellent but not particularly independent performance
*"9" - given for the good performance, a little above average
*"8" - given for the average performance
*"7" - given for the mediocre performance, slightly below average
*"6" - given for the just acceptable performance
*"5" - given for the hesitant and not satisfactory performance
*"03" - given for the very hesitant, very insufficient and unsatisfactory performance
*"00" - given for the completely unacceptable performance

The gaps between 00 & 03, 03 & 5 and 11 & 13 are there to signify a larger difference between those grades. The leading 0 in 00 and 03 is used to prevent fraud with grades. The lowest passing grade is 6 and 00, 03 and 5 are failing grades.

The highest grade 13 and the lowest grade 00 are the grades most rarely given.

00 is nearly impossible to achieve, presuming one knows even a single fact taught in that particular class, it is given for the truly incompetent performance. At exams, 00 is given to absentees.

13 is a fairly rare grade outside of exams and requires a performance way beyond the expected.

The average of grades given in Danish secondary schools in 2003 was 8.22.

This scale was replaced by the 7-step-scale in 2005; see above.


External links

*" [ Oversigt over karakterskalaernes historie i Danmark] " from the Danish Ministry of Education.

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