Skip to main content
European Commission logo
EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Assessment in general upper secondary education


6.Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary Education

6.3Assessment in general upper secondary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Pupil/students assessment

Internal evaluation

In the General Upper Secondary Education, there is a continuous evaluation of the teaching and the students’ work. The purpose of the evaluations is to guide the teacher and the students. Based on the evaluation the individual teacher has the possibility of adjusting the teaching so it is compatible with the students’ needs. In addition to this, the evaluation also provides a basis for a detailed guidance of the students with regard to their progress and academic level in the subject concerned.

The method of evaluation is determined by the students and the teacher together and pays regard to the form and content of the instruction. The teacher keeps an eye on the outcomes, the individual student gains from the instruction. At suitable intervals, this is discussed collectively and individually with the students. The whole course of instruction is evaluated by means of tests, special assignments/reports or conversations.

General proficiency marks are given at least once every school year as a part of the continuous evaluation of the students.

External evaluation

An evaluation of the individual student’s achievements in the subjects is made for external purposes. This is done in the following four forms of evaluation (a) marks for the year’s work, (b) term marks, (c) testimonials and (d) examination marks.

Marks are based on the seven-point marking scale indicating the performance of the student. The grading scale is compatible with the European Transfer Control System grading scale (ETCS).

Apart from the seven-point grading scale, pass/fail assessment may also be used. An overview of the grading scale and its conversion to ECTS and to the former Danish grading system can be found on the Ministry of Children and Education's homepage (in English).

(a) Marks for the year’s work, which appear on the student’s examination certificate are given at the end of the school year, in which instruction in the subject concerned is conducted. Marks for the year’s work are given by the subject-teacher and reflect the subject-teacher’s appraisal of the student’s level of attainment at the end of the year.

(b) Term marks are typically given twice during the school year in subjects where end of year marks are given.

(c) Testimonials. Marks may be accompanied by a written testimonial as to the student’s aptitude for, and work with, the subject concerned. If the mark given is below 02, which is the minimum for passing an exam, it must be accompanied with a testimonial and the same applies if the mark is two points or lower than the one given in the previous evaluation.

(d) Examination marks. A total of ten written and oral examinations must be taken in order to pass the complete examination, of which up to three may be taken after the first and second year. The examinations can be written, oral, case, project tests or take mixed forms.

During most examinations, the students may utilise all types of aids, including IT, but are usually not allowed to communicate with each other. After the final year, all students take a written examination in Danish and in the other subjects at A-level, which is the most comprehensive level in terms of scope and depth. The number of oral examinations varies for the individual student in accordance with the number of subjects chosen at A-level.

In addition to the compulsory exams taken each year, the Ministry of Children and Education decides which subjects are to form part of the examination for the individual student. Towards the end of the programme, all students must also submit a specialised study project in two or three subjects which form part of the examination.

The Ministry of Children and Education produces written examination questions. For each subject, there is an examination committee consisting of teachers and the ministry's advisers for the subject in question. The subjects in which the oral examinations are held are selected at random by the Ministry of Children and Education for each individual school. The actual oral examination takes place at the school and are facilitated by the teacher and an external examiner.

Written examination papers are marked by two external examiners. Oral examinations are marked by the teacher and one external examiner, who has the ultimate saying in the assessment. The Ministry of Children and Education chooses external examiners on the basis of recommendations from the schools.

An examination certificate is given when the student has achieved a minimum mark of 02 in weighted average of the concluding term marks and examination marks. If the weighted average is below 02 the student has failed the General Upper Secondary Education. When the examination average is being calculated, the marks are weighted differently depending on the level of the subject. The examination average forms part of the basis for admission in higher education.

Progression of pupils/students

Progression of students from one form to another is automatic in upper secondary education. However, if the student’s average mark do not meet the requirements for passing and the student’s learning outcome is assessed to be insufficient the school can decide that the student repeats a form.


An examination certificate is issued when the student has achieved a minimum of 02 in weighted average of the concluding term marks and examination marks. 02 is the minimum for passing the examination. The certificate is issued by 5 July.

The responsible authority for the content and examinations is the Ministry of Children and Education. The certificate usually contains:

  • All marks for the years’ work
  • Examination marks
  • Marks for the specialized study project/major written assignment
  • The examination result that reflects the different weights of the marks
  • The average mark

The headmaster of the school where the examination has taken place signs the certificate. The Ministry of Children and Education draws up certificates. Only one original certificate must be issued. The student can request a copy of the certificate translated into English.



Danish Ministry of Children and Education, 2019. Certificates. (Beviser). (Accessed: 19.10.2020).

Danish Ministry of Children and Education, 2019. Questions and answers on General Upper Secondary Education (Spørgsmål og svar om gymnasiale uddannelser). (Accessed: 19.10.2020).

Danish Ministry of Children and Education, 2020. About the four Upper Secondary Education Programmes. (Accessed: 19.10.2020).

Danish Ministry of Children and Education, 2020. Laws and legislation for upper secondary education programmes (Love og regler for de gymnasiale uddannelser). (Accessed: 19.10.2020).

Danish Ministry of Children and Education, 2020. 7-Point grading scale. (Accessed: 19.10.2020).

Legislation and Official Policy documents

Legal Information (Retsinformation), 2016. Ministerial Order on tests and exams in the general and academic preparatory upper secondary and adult education. (Bekendtgørelse om prøver og eksamen i de almene og studieforberedende ungdoms- og voksenuddannelser). (Accessed: 19.10.2020).

Legal Information (Retsinformation), 2017. Consolidation act on the General Upper Secondary Education Programmes. (Bekendtgørelse om de gymnasiale uddannelser). (Accessed: 19.10.2020).