Spanish Grading System

The number of international students in Spain has shown an increase in recent years. Both full-time degree students and students on mobility programs tend to find an interest in Spain as a study abroad destination. Some of the top countries of origin include Italy, France, Columbia, Ecuador, and China; but this does not exclude students from other parts of the world as well. Spain is highly welcoming to international students, which is why it keeps attracting thousands of curious minds every year. 

This article on the Spanish grading system targets all kinds of visitors, whether you’re an expat who has just moved to Spain with your family and children, an international student wishing to pursue a degree in Spain, or a mobility student wishing to spend some time abroad. Spain is packed with a good climate, fascinating culture, and world-class universities. Moreover, its grading system is also fairly straightforward and not difficult to follow. Learn more below.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Spanish grading system: 

Primary Education Grading System

Primary education in Spain is mandatory for each child aged 6 to 12 years old. During primary education, children go through three cycles of schooling, respectively, the first, second, and third cycle. Each of these cycles takes two years to complete. Students in primary education are graded ever since the first cycle.

The grading system during primary education in Spain looks like this: 

Decimal MarkGrade Description / SymbolGrade Translation
9-10Sobresaliente (SB)Outstanding
7-8Notable (NT)Very Good
6Bien (BI)Good
5Suficiente (SU)Sufficient
<5Insufficient (IN)Insufficient

Secondary Education Grading System 

Secondary education in Spain comes right after primary school. It includes students between the ages of 12 and 16 years old. Secondary education has two cycles, each lasting two years, respectively, the 12-14 and 14-16 age range. Grading in secondary education is an integral part of the evaluation. 

The grading system during secondary education in Spain looks like this: 

Decimal MarkGrade DescriptionGrade Translation
10Matricula de Honor Matriculation with Honours
9.00-9.99SobresalienteOutstanding
7.00-8.99NotableVery Good
6.00-6.99BienGood
5.00-5.99SuficienteSufficient
3.00-4.99InsuficienteInsufficient
0.00-2.99Muy deficiente Very Insufficient

University Education Grading System

University education in Spain is highly renowned for its quality. To enter university, students in Spain must have a Bachillerato certificate and a passing grade in the university entrance exam known as ‘Selectividad.’ There are around 76 universities in Spain, out of which 45 are funded by the state. Below, you will find the Spanish university education grading system as well as a conversion to the US grading system.

The university grading system in Spain has two grading scales, respectively: 

10-Point Grading Scale

Decimal MarkGrade Description Grade TranslationUS Grade
10Matricula de Honor Matriculation with HonoursA+
9.00-9.99SobresalienteOutstandingA
7.00-8.99Notable Very GoodB+
6.00-6.99AprobadoPassB
5.50-5.99AprobadoPassB-
5.00-5.49AprobadoPassC
0.00-4.99 SuspensoFailF

4-Point Grading Scale

Decimal MarkGrade DescriptionGrade TranslationUS Grade
4.00ExcelenteExcellentA+
3.00-3.99Muy BienVery GoodA
2.00-2.99BienGoodB
1.00-1.99SuficienteSufficientC
0.00-0.99SuspensoFailF

Additional: ECTS Grading Scale 

Spanish ScaleECTSGrade DescriptionGrade Meaning
4A+Matricula de HonorTop Qualification
3ASobresalienteHighest 10%
2BNotableNext 20%
1C-DAprobadoNext 65%
/FX-FSuspensoFail

Why Study in Spain?

There are one too many reasons why studying in Spain is an excellent idea. Find some of them listed below.

  1. Spain is affordable. Depending on which country you compare Spain with, you will soon figure out Spain can be relatively inexpensive when it comes to education and living costs. For example, if we compare Spain to the US, the cost of living and studying in Spain will be more convenient for those who are looking for budget-friendly options. However, if we compare Spain to Germany, where most public universities charge no tuition fees, the cost of studying in Germany happens to be more reasonable. Nevertheless, associated living and studying costs in Spain can be considered affordable for the average international student. 
  2. Spanish degrees are internationally valued. What’s better than having an extra edge in the job market simply because you earned your degree at one of the top universities in Spain? The higher education system in Spain is especially valued for its quality of education and academic expertise. Regardless of your chosen field of study, Spanish universities will have a comprehensive program where you will gain essential job market skills, both theoretical and practical.
  3. Spain is beautiful. Golden sand beaches, eye-catching architecture, incredible culture, picturesque landscapes, and impressive festivals – there are just so many things that make Spain attractive. A great part of the study abroad experience happens outside of university halls; which is why Spain is ideal for international students – it provides an environment where students are always learning, exploring, growing, and creating friendships. 

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