Grading, Language of Instruction and Academic Year in Finland

The grading system of the schools and universities in Finland vary. Following given details.

Comprehensive School

The Comprehensive schools in Finland use 10-point grading scale where 4 is considered as "Fail". The grades below 4 are discarded.

 Scale Grade Description (In Finnish) Grade Description (In English) US Grade
 10.00 Erinomainen Excellent A
 9.00-9.99 Kiitettava Very Good A
 8.00-8.99 Hyva Good B
 7.00-7.99 Tyydyttava Acceptable,Satisfactory B
 6.00-6.99 Kohtalainen Fair C
 5.00-5.99 Valttava Just  Adequate, Sufficient-Passable D
 4.00-4.99 Heikko, Hylatty  Weak, Fail F

Upper Secondary School

The Upper Secondary Schools in Finland use the same grading mechanism as the comprehensive schools, but the matriculation examination grades are in Latin. The grading system uses bell curve grading.

Matriculation Examination Grades

 Grade ScaleGrade Description  Grade Description (In English) Translation US Grade
 L 7.00 Laudatar Outstanding Praiseworthy A+
 E 6.00-6.99 Eximia cum laude approbatur  Excellent Approved with Exceptional Honors A
 M 5.00-5.99 Magna cum laude approbatur  Very Good Approved with Great Honors B+
 C 4.00-4.99 Cum laude approbatur  Good Approved with Honors B
 B 3.00-3.99 Lubenter approbatur  Satisfactory Approved with Satisfaction C
 A 2.00-2.99 Approbatur Pass Approved D
 I 1.00-1.99 Improbatur Fail Not Approved F

Higher Education Grading Scale

The Higher Education uses grading scale 0-5.Passing an examination requires obtaining 50 % of the maximum points in the examination.

 Grade ScaleGrade Description (In Finnish) Grade Description (In English) US Grade 
 ET 5.00 Erinomainen Tiedot  Excellent A
 KT 4.00-4.99 Kiitettava Very Good B+
 HT 3.00-3.99 Hyva  Good B
 TT 2.00-2.99 Tyydyttava  Satisfactory C
 VT 1.00-1.99 Valttava Sufficient D

Master's theses are typically graded with either the above scale from 0 to 5 or by the Latin system used in high school matriculation exams. PhD theses are usually evaluated by pass or fail, although some universities use the Latin system or the scale from 0 to 5.

Language of Instruction

Finland is a bi-lingual country. It has two official languages:
  • Finnish 
  • Swedish
In most of the educational institutions the language of instruction is Finnish. Swedish is used mainly along the coast and Abo Akademi. At some higher education institutions, studies are either in Swedish or in Finnish. Higher Education programs are also delivered in English.

Academic Year

The academic year is split into two semesters:

Autumn Semester:  Commences in late August or early September and ends in mid- December before Christmas. 

Spring Semester: Starts from early January and continues until May.
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