Grading system(s) in Sweden

Some students in Sweden are having exams these days. I am so not jealous of them! 🙂
Jokes aside (good luck, exam-taking people), I think it’s the perfect time to talk about the grading system(s) here in Sweden.

As you might know, Sweden has been part of the Bologna system since 2007. The purpose of the system is to harmonise educational systems in Europe and make it easier for students to go study abroad. One of the tools of harmonisation that this system uses is the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) – meaning your grades are most likely given in the form of A, B, C, D, E, F. 

Where I come from it’s done this way as well, and I thought it has become quite usual for universities to grade that way these days.

And then I came to Sweden. 🙂
Some Swedish programmes/ study areas use the ECTS grade distribution* system, but not law.

In law schools across Sweden, you will stumble upon a different kind of grading, as you can see above from the photo showing my results from the first year of my LL.M.

So, there are four grades (in order highest to lowest):

AB = Pass with Distinction

BA = Pass with Credit

B = Pass

U = Fail

This took a little getting used to, and it is definitely a challenge when people who don’t know this ask you about your grade. Whenever I say I got an AB people think it’s a grade between B and A (ECTS). Wrong! 

Lund University, for example, has five grading scales. Students of Medicine have Pass-Fail grades only, Engineers have a Five-Four-Three-Fail system, to name a few. Curious, isn’t it? 🙂 Head out to your (preferred) university’s website and check what would be the grading system for your field of study.

*edited 4.11.2015.

Dena avatar


  • Rohin • 28 Apr 2016 at 8.40 pm Reply

    Hi Dear Sir/Madam
    My name is Rohin, form Afghanistan andI have studied Education and Science in Sweden Karalstad University, I have reciceved the grade Pass (G) in all my courses, my question is that how to change G in other grade like A, B?

    • Dena
      Dena • 2 May 2016 at 9.25 am Reply

      Hej Rohin,

      This could be very programme-specific, so I’d suggest asking the course administration on how to proceed.

      Good luck!
      / Dena

  • Patty • 1 Jan 2016 at 5.39 pm Reply

    I would like to come to study in Sweden new year. Since English is not my first language I am afraid that I might fail a class due to language difficulties. What happens if you fail?
    Than you for your answer! Happy New year!

    • Dena
      Dena • 5 Jan 2016 at 12.15 pm Reply

      Hi Patty,

      Firstly, in order to apply to a Swedish university, you have to prove that your English is on a sufficient level by sending in your IELTS/TOEFL results.
      Secondly, in most cases in Sweden one can re-take the exam.
      Happy new year!

  • Vito Adi Nugroho • 26 Oct 2015 at 8.16 am Reply

    Hello, Dena!

    Let me introduce myself. My name is Vito Adi Nugroho. I come from Indonesia, Riau Province. I am really interested in studying Gender Studies or Child Studies in Linkoping University or other Universities in Sweden and I really don’t know how to register it. First of all, what should I do to register as a postgraduate student in Sweden? Shall I register the scholarship first or postgraduate first?
    Thank you very much.

    Best Regards,
    Vito Adi Nugroho

  • Muhammad Qasim • 16 Oct 2015 at 5.15 am Reply

    Hi what is the legal process that we can apply for study visa

    • Dena
      Dena • 16 Oct 2015 at 2.35 pm Reply

      Hi Muhammad,

      I think you need to be accepted to a Swedish school first. Check here in order to see how the application process works:


  • Dena
    Dena • 29 Sep 2015 at 2.41 pm Reply

    I don’t see any ‘distinction’ there, Raghu! 🙂

  • Raghuraman
    Raghuraman • 29 Sep 2015 at 2.27 pm Reply

    I know only one grade and its called A. hahahah 😛

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