Grading System, Academic Year and Language of Instruction in Switzerland

In Switzerland, a 6-point grading scale is generally used, where 6 indicates the highest grade and 1 the lowest grade.
  • 6 stand for “excellent”
  • 5.5 stand for “very good”
  • 5 stand for “good”
  • 4.5 stand for “satisfactory”
  • 4 stand for “sufficient”: This is the minimum passing grade.
  • 3 stand for “insufficient
  • 2 stand for “poor”
  • 1 stands for “very poor”
  • 0 refers to as cheating or paper non submitted/exam non attended without a valid reason
In certificates, grades are either rounded to integers or half-integers. A weighted mean is used to estimate the overall result. The weight of a grade is proportional to the number of hours the subject was taught per week. To pass a year, the overall result needs to be sufficient.

Since education is in the responsibility of the cantons except for the federal universities, grading representation may differ depending on the region. In some regions, and − are used to signify marks below or above an integer. At university level, in some cases, Latin expressions are used like "summa cum laude" refers to excellent, "magna cum laude" means very good, "cum laude" means good and "rite" refers to sufficient.

Academic Year

The academic year is split into two semesters: the winter semester starts in the last week of October and runs until mid-February while the summer semester runs from mid-March or mid-April through to mid-June or mid-July, depending on the university.

Language of Instruction

The language of instruction in Switzerland is German, French, Italian or Romansh, depending on the language region. During the compulsory education in most cantons, students learn at least two other languages, i.e. English and a second national language.
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