Academic Grading System in Estonia

All Estonian universities end their courses with annual examinations or preliminary examinations. Apart from these, there are also few other examinations that are independent and subject wise. The written and the oral examinations are generally held after each semester. The students get either one or two specific questions in the oral examination and other than these the examiner may also ask few other questions which are also obligatory for the students to answer for passing the examination. The duration for the oral examinations is 30 mins to 1 hour and sometimes it is organized together for a small group of students who mat answer questions at the same time.

In the written exams the students are required to write comprehensive answers to either one or several (depending upon the marks distribution) questions that are related to the subject that the student has chosen. Sometimes the questions come with multiple answers, and the students need to select the right answers from those given options. The duration for written exams is 1 to 2 hours.

The student’s results are either evaluated as a pass (arvestatud) or a fail (mitte arvestatud) or put in the form of marks.
The grading system in Estonia may vary according to the level of education.

All institutes of higher education in Estonian use a unified scale for grading that is formed of grading letters and points that are equivalent are shown in the table given below:
  • International scale: Excellent or A
    Estonian Description: Suureparane
    Estonian scale (grade letter or Grade point): A / 5
    Completion of work: 91% – 100%

  • International scale: Very good with just few errors or B
    Estonian Description: Vaga hea
    Estonian scale (grade letter or Grade point): B / 4
    Completion of work: 81% – 90%

  • International scale: Good but with some errors or C
    Estonian Description: Hea
    Estonian scale (grade letter or Grade point): C / 3
    Completion of work: 71% - 80%

  • International scale: Satisfactory and is with many errors or D
    Estonian Description: Rahuldav
    Estonian scale (grade letter or Grade point): D / 2
    Completion of work: 61% – 70%

  • International scale: Sufficient or E
    Estonian Description: Kasin
    Estonian scale (grade letter or Grade point): E / 1
    Completion of work: 51% - 60%
When the grade point is 0 and the grade letter is F that means the student has failed. It is seen that some Estonian institutes use grade letter scale while others prefer accessing them on the scale of grade point.

Given below is the grade scale that is used to evaluate the upper secondary school students:

  • Grade point: 5
    Estonian Description: Vaga hea
    English Description: Very good

  • Grade point: 4
    Estonian Description: Hea
    English Description: Good

  • Grade point: 3
    Estonian Description: Rahuldav
    English Description: Satisfactory
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