Hungary Grading System

In Hungary, the grading system used in secondary education and higher education institutions such as colleges and universities is quite standardized and plays a crucial role in assessing students’ academic performance. Here, we’ll explore the main grade scales, including variations within certain schools and the application of additional markers like ‘+’ and ‘-‘ to grades in some instances.

High School Grade Scale

Hungary GradesTerms in HungarianComparable English TermsEquivalent Percentage RangeEquivalent GPA

College / University Grade Scale

Hungary GradesTerms in HungarianComparable English TermsEquivalent Percentage RangeEquivalent GPA

In Hungary, the use of ‘+’ and ‘-‘ with grades is not as common as in some other educational systems. However, certain schools and professors may choose to use this system to provide a more nuanced evaluation of students’ work. For instance, a ‘4+’ might indicate a grade slightly better than ‘Good’ but not quite reaching ‘Excellent.’

It’s important to note that there may be variations in how these grades are interpreted and applied across different educational institutions. Some schools might adopt a more detailed grading scale or use additional criteria for assessment, particularly at the university level where courses might be graded more rigorously or differently depending on the faculty.

Stay tuned as we delve deeper into the meaning of each grade and how they are applied in the Hungarian education system.

Understanding Grades in Hungary

In the Hungarian education system, grades serve as a crucial indicator of a student’s academic performance, proficiency, and understanding of the subject matter. Each grade, from 1 to 5, has a specific meaning and implications for the student’s progress. Let’s explore what each grade represents:

5 – Jeles (Excellent) 🌟

A grade of ‘5’ or ‘Jeles’ indicates an exceptional level of understanding and mastery of the subject. Students who achieve this grade have demonstrated a comprehensive grasp of the material, excelling in both theoretical knowledge and practical application. This grade is equivalent to an 80-100% score range and reflects a GPA of 4.0, signaling outstanding performance.

4 – Jó (Good) 👍

Receiving a ‘4’ or ‘Jó’ signifies a good performance, with a strong understanding of the subject but possibly minor gaps in knowledge or application. This grade shows that the student has a solid grasp of the material but may not have achieved the level of excellence denoted by a ‘5’. The percentage range for this grade is 60-79%, translating to a GPA of 3.0.

3 – Közepes (Satisfactory) ✔️

A ‘3’ or ‘Közepes’ grade means the student has achieved a satisfactory level of understanding. This indicates a basic comprehension and ability to apply the subject matter, with room for improvement. Students with this grade have met the minimum requirements but need to deepen their knowledge to achieve higher grades. The equivalent percentage range is 40-59%, with a GPA of 2.0.

2 – Elégséges (Pass) ✅

Scoring a ‘2’ or ‘Elégséges’ reflects a passing understanding of the subject. It suggests that while the student has grasped the fundamental concepts, there is a significant need for improvement in understanding and application. This grade is often seen as a call to action for students to seek additional help or dedicate more time to study. It corresponds to a 20-39% score range and a GPA of 1.0.

1 – Elégtelen (Fail) ❌

A grade of ‘1’ or ‘Elégtelen’ is indicative of inadequate understanding and failure to meet the basic requirements of the course. This grade suggests a lack of comprehension of the core concepts and an inability to apply the material. It corresponds to a 0-19% score range and a GPA of 0.0, requiring the student to retake the examination or course.

Understanding the significance of each grade can help students and parents gauge academic performance and identify areas where additional effort or support might be needed. Stay tuned for more insights into the Hungarian grading system, including comparisons with other countries’ grading scales.

Hungary Grade Comparison

Comparing grading systems across countries helps students, educators, and academic institutions understand how academic performance translates internationally. Below is a table that offers a comparative overview of how Hungarian grades align with those of the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), India, Australia, Canada, and China. This comparison can be particularly useful for international academic applications and understanding global academic standards.

Grade Comparison Table

Hungary GradesUS GradesUK Grades (Approximate)India GradesAustralia GradesCanada GradesChina Grades
5 (Jeles)AFirst-Class Honours60-100%High DistinctionAA (90-100%)
4 (Jó)BUpper Second-Class Honours (2:1)50-59%DistinctionBB (80-89%)
3 (Közepes)CLower Second-Class Honours (2:2)40-49%CreditCC (70-79%)
2 (Elégséges)DThird-Class HonoursPass ClassPassDD (60-69%)
1 (Elégtelen)FFailFailFailFF (Below 60%)

Key Observations:

  • High Achievers: A ‘5’ or ‘Jeles’ in Hungary corresponds to top grades in other countries, such as an ‘A’ in the US and Canada, and a First-Class Honours in the UK, reflecting excellent performance.
  • Satisfactory Performance: A ‘3’ or ‘Közepes’ in Hungary aligns with a ‘C’ in the US and Canada, indicating satisfactory or average performance. In the UK, this might equate to a Lower Second-Class Honours.
  • Passing Threshold: The ‘2’ or ‘Elégséges’ grade in Hungary is equivalent to a ‘D’ in the US and Canada, representing the minimum passing grade. In Australia, this would be a simple ‘Pass’.
  • Failure to Meet Standards: A ‘1’ or ‘Elégtelen’ in Hungary mirrors an ‘F’ in the US, Canada, and Australia, indicating a failure to meet the required academic standards.

This comparison underscores the differences and similarities in academic evaluation and standards across several educational systems. It provides a framework for interpreting Hungarian grades in a global academic context and aids in the international recognition of academic achievements.

Special Grading Considerations

In Hungary, like in many countries, there are special considerations and variations in the grading system across different states, schools, and types of educational institutions. These variations can affect how grades are interpreted and applied, impacting students’ academic trajectories. Let’s explore some of these special considerations.

Variations Across States and School Types

  • Curriculum Differences: The curriculum can vary significantly between different types of schools (e.g., vocational vs. general education schools), leading to variations in grading practices to accommodate specific course requirements or educational focuses.
  • Teacher Discretion: Teachers in Hungary, as elsewhere, have a degree of discretion in grading. This means that two teachers may assess similar work differently based on their interpretations of the grading criteria, potentially leading to variations in grades even within the same school.
  • Advanced Placement and Specialized Classes: Schools offering advanced placement or specialized classes often adopt a more rigorous grading scale to reflect the increased difficulty and expectations of these courses. This might mean that a ‘good’ grade in a specialized class reflects a higher level of achievement than the same grade in a standard class.

Handling of Failing Grades

  • Improvement Opportunities: Students receiving failing grades (‘1’ or ‘Elégtelen’) typically have opportunities to improve their grades through re-examination or additional assignments. The specifics of these opportunities can vary by school and teacher.
  • Support Systems: Schools often provide tutoring, counseling, and additional support to students at risk of failing, aiming to address academic challenges before they lead to failing grades.
  • Repeat Assessments: Depending on the school’s policy and the nature of the course, students may be allowed to repeat assessments or undertake alternative assessments to improve their grades.

Impact of Grading Practices

  • Student Motivation: The application of grades and the possibility of grade improvement can significantly impact student motivation. Understanding how grades are assigned and what opportunities exist for improvement can encourage students to engage more deeply with their studies.
  • Academic Progress: Variations in grading practices can also affect students’ academic progress, influencing decisions about course selections, college applications, and career planning. Awareness of these variations is crucial for students navigating their educational paths.

In conclusion, while the Hungarian grading system provides a standardized framework for evaluating academic performance, variations across educational settings and practices underscore the importance of understanding the specific context in which grades are awarded. These nuances play a critical role in shaping students’ educational experiences and outcomes.


Below are some frequently asked questions about the Hungary grading system and scale, designed to provide quick and clear insights into common curiosities and concerns.

Q: What is the highest grade in the Hungarian education system?
A: The highest grade in the Hungarian education system is ‘5’, which stands for ‘Jeles’ (Excellent). It indicates an exceptional level of understanding and mastery over the subject matter.

Q: Can students improve their grades if they receive a low score?
A: Yes, students often have opportunities to improve their grades through re-examinations, submitting additional work, or participating in remedial classes. The specific options available can vary by school and subject.

Q: How are grades in Hungary converted for international universities?
A: Grades in Hungary can be converted to match the grading systems of international universities using comparative tables or conversion scales provided by educational institutions or evaluation services. It’s important to consult with the specific university or an academic advisor for accurate conversion.

Q: Do all schools in Hungary use the same grading system?
A: While the 1 to 5 grading scale is standardized across Hungary, there may be variations in grading practices among different types of schools, such as vocational versus general education institutions. Additionally, some schools might apply more detailed criteria within this scale.

Q: How do Hungarian grades affect university admissions?
A: University admissions in Hungary and abroad consider a student’s grades as a significant factor. High grades, particularly in relevant subjects, can enhance a student’s application. However, universities also consider other factors such as entrance exam scores, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular achievements.

Q: Is it common to use ‘+’ and ‘-‘ with grades in Hungary?
A: The use of ‘+’ and ‘-‘ with grades is not officially part of the Hungarian grading system. However, some teachers and institutions might use these markers informally to indicate a grade slightly better or worse than the standard grade.

Q: What happens if a student fails a subject in Hungary?
A: If a student fails a subject, they typically have the opportunity to retake the exam or complete additional assignments to improve their grade. Failure to pass after these opportunities may require the student to repeat the course or, in some cases, the school year.

This FAQ aims to address common questions and provide a clearer understanding of the grading system in Hungary, helping students, parents, and educators navigate the academic landscape more effectively.

Additional Resources

To further explore the Hungarian grading system and gain more in-depth insights, several official and educational websites can provide valuable information. Below is a list of resources that are primarily focused on education in Hungary, offering a range of details from grading specifics to broader educational standards and practices.

1. Hungarian Educational Authority (Oktatási Hivatal)

  • Website:
  • Provides comprehensive information on the educational system in Hungary, including regulations, policies, and grading standards. Ideal for understanding the official framework and any recent changes to grading practices.

2. Tempus Public Foundation (Tempus Közalapítvány)

  • Website:
  • Focuses on international educational activities and scholarships. Useful for students looking to study abroad or international students aiming to study in Hungary. Offers guidance on grade conversion and recognition of Hungarian grades in other countries.

3. Study in Hungary (Tanulj Magyarországon)

  • Website:
  • A government-supported portal providing information on higher education in Hungary, including university programs, scholarships, and living in Hungary. Great for prospective international students, with insights into how Hungarian grades translate to global academic environments.

4. Educational Research and Development Institute (Oktatáskutató és Fejlesztő Intézet)

  • Website:
  • Offers research and analysis on educational trends and policies in Hungary. While more academically oriented, it can provide a deeper understanding of the grading system’s context within broader educational strategies and reforms.

These resources can be especially helpful for students, educators, and academic researchers interested in the specifics of the Hungarian educational system, including grading scales, academic standards, and international equivalencies. Whether you’re navigating the Hungarian education system or looking to compare it with those of other countries, these sites offer authoritative information and support.