Finnish comprehensive and upper secondary schools, vocational schools, universities and universities of applied sciences each have their own grading scales. This page focuses mainly on how your certificate is scored if you are applying to higher education.
Grading scales in different educational institutions
In Finland, the grading scale used is 4-10 in comprehensive and upper secondary schools and 0-5 in vocational and higher education institutions.
The grading scales used are not proportional scales and therefore do not fully correspond to the European ECTS grading scale. The Finnish grading scale is therefore not based on an expectation of a distribution of grades like the ECTS scale, rather the grades student receive are based on their individual performance.
Finnish comprehensive and upper secondary schools use the grading scale 4–10. The grading scale consists of the following grades:
- 10 and 9, closest corresponding ECTS grade A (excellent)
- 8, closest corresponding ECTS grade B (very good)
- 7, closest corresponding ECTS grade C (good)
- 6, closest corresponding ECTS grade D (satisfactory)
- 5, closest corresponding ECTS grade E (sufficient)
- 4, closest corresponding ECTS grade FX, F (fail)
In years 1-3 of comprehensive school, pupils may be given verbal or numerical grades in accordance with the decision of the education provider. In years 4-8, numerical marks are given in school report cards and any intermediate certificates, as well as in the basic education certificate. You can read more about assessment of learning in comprehensive school on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education.
In upper secondary school, assessment is given either as a numerical grade (4-10) or as a mark (S = completed, H = pass). If a student wishes to count courses taken at other institutions towards upper secondary school studies, the grades are converted to the upper secondary school grading scale. The correlation table and more information on the assessment of learning can be found on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education.
The Finnish matriculation examination is marked with the grades L, E, M, C, B, A and I, of which L-A are pass are I fail. You can find more information on how grades are calculated on the website of the Matriculation Examination Board.
Finnish vocational institutions, colleges and universities use a grading scale of 0-5. The grading scale consists of the following grades:
- 5, closest corresponding ECTS grade A (excellent)
- 4, closest corresponding ECTS grade B (very good)
- 3, closest corresponding ECTS grade C (good)
- 2, closest corresponding ECTS grade D (satisfactory)
- 1, closest corresponding ECTS grade E (sufficient)
- 0, closest corresponding ECTS grade FX, F (fail)
In vocational education and training, competences are assessed in a work-based, competency-based and criterion-based way. Marks may also be given as 'pass/fail'. Read more on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education.
In universities and higher education institutions, the coursework can also be assessed on a pass-fail scale if this is decided in the curriculum of the degree programme. For more information, contact the student services of higher education institutions.
Conversion of foreign grades into Finnish grades
If you have completed your upper secondary education abroad and do not have a European Baccalaureate (EB) or International Baccalaureate (IB), you cannot apply to a Finnish higher education institution based on certificate selection. In this case, the only way to apply is the selection test, and no grade conversion tables are needed. Read more on the page Higher education in Finland.
If you have a European Baccalaureate (EB) or International Baccalaureate (IB), you can find information on the scoring of qualifications when applying to a university on the Yliopistovalinnat.fi website and when applying to a university of applied sciences on the Ammattikorkeakouluun.fi website.
If you have completed part of your studies abroad and want to have them recognised as part of your Finnish degree, contact your study office.
If you are applying for upper secondary education with a foreign certificate, see the page Upper secondary school and vocational education and training in Finland.
Conversion of Finnish grades into foreign grades
If you apply to study in another Nordic country on the basis of a Finnish certificate, you do not have to convert your Finnish grades into foreign ones yourself.
Information on how grades are converted can be found here
- For Sweden on the website Antagning.se
- For Norway on the Samordna opptak website
- For Denmark in Eksamenshåndbogen. First select the country you want from the drop-down menu, then click on Karakterer in the grey menu bar below the drop-down menu.
- For Iceland, equivalence is decided by the higher education institution to which you are applying. Information on higher education can be found on the page University education in Iceland.
Find out more about higher education in each country on the pages listed below.
Please fill in our contact form if you have any questions or if you have encountered an obstacle in another Nordic country.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.