Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Exams and grading


The examination system at Danish universities is unlike most other systems in Europe. Your final grade reflects only the official exams you complete during the semester – you are for the most part not graded for oral presentations in class, papers submitted for class, attendance and participation*, or other smaller projects (individual or group-based). Most courses will have a single final examination (the various examination forms are introduced below).

* Some courses may require you to attend 75 % of all course lessons and participate actively in class.

There are two different types of examinations:

1. When you sign up for a course, the lecturer will distribute a list of the books and articles you are expected to read during the semester. This material will be the basis for the exam at the end of the semester.

2. You are expected to make your own examination syllabus and find books and articles relating to the academic subject of your course.


The exams are either written or oral. There are five frequently used examination methods at Aarhus University. The frequency of each examination form varies from faculty to faculty:

  • Oral examination on the examination syllabus
  • Oral examination on a set subject plus the examination syllabus
  • Written examination on a topic from the examination syllabus
  • Assignment on a fixed subject (take-home exams)
  • Assignment on an optional subject (take-home exams)

Examinations may be offered in English and sometimes in German or French, upon student request and subject to the consent of the examiners.


The examination registration procedure varies from department to department.

At some departments you are automatically registered for exam when you register for a course.

At other (most) departments, you have to register separately for each exam, approximately a month after the start of the semester.  Registration takes place via the Self-service system.

We encourage you to ask your coordinator, mentor or student counsellor about this as soon as the semester starts.

It is very important to register for exams on time, as you may not be allowed to take your exams if you miss the registration deadline. Check with your department for your examination registration deadline!


While some courses are graded with a pass/fail grade, most courses are graded according to the 7-point ECTS grading scale.

The ECTS Grading Scale
Danish Grade Definition ECTS Grade
12 For an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material, with no or only a few minor weaknesses. A
10 For a very good performance displaying a high level of command of most aspects of the relevant material, with only minor weaknesses. B
7 For a good performance displaying good command of the relevant material but also some weaknesses. C
4 For a fair performance displaying some command of the relevant material but also some major weaknesses. D
02 For a performance meeting only the minimum requirements for acceptance. E
00 For a performance which does not meet the minimum requirements for acceptance. Fx
-3 For a performance which is unacceptable in all respects. F