A student’s workload is measured in ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits. According to Dutch law, 1 credit represents 28 hours of work and 60 credits represents one year of full-time study.
Ten point grading system
The assessment system in the Netherlands consists of marks from 1 (very bad) to 10 (outstanding). The marks 1 to 3, 9 and 10 are seldom given. A minimum score of 6 is required to pass a course. For marks with one decimal point, 5.5 is the minimum pass mark. For the programme as a whole, an average mark of 8.25 or higher entitles the student to a pass cum laude (with distinction).
|9||Very good *|
|7||More than satisfactory|
|3||Very unsatisfactory *|
|1||Very poor *|
* The grades 1-3 are hardly ever awarded and 9 and 10 are very rare.
Comparing your marks
Several countries use grading systems that appear similar to the one used in the Netherlands. One example is the 1-100 system. However, it would be inaccurate to compare a 90-100 grade in such a system with a 10 in the Dutch system, or an 80-90 with a 9, and so on.
An 80 in China, for example, is not considered a good grade since most grades in higher education in China are between 80 and 100. In the Netherlands, however, an 8 is a very good grade, since most grades are between 6 and 8; only excellent students achieve a grade higher than 8.