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Compensating grades: what works, what doesn't

Many students think that they can easily compensate for a five or even a six on their report cards with good grades in other subjects and thus prevent them from getting stuck. In principle that is correct. But the rules on how to offset grades differ significantly not only from state to state, but also at secondary schools, secondary schools and grammar schools.

Before reaching upper secondary school, there are few opportunities to choose school subjects according to personal inclinations. And since most of the students are not universal geniuses, the grades are quite different for many. The Certificate grades "poor" or "unsatisfactory" do not necessarily endanger the Transfer. But if you want to be sure that you have enough time to move on to the next class, you should know the rules for your own type of school or the respective federal state.

It is almost always important in which School subjects there are the bad grades. For example, a five in the Major in mathematics usually only with good grades balanced in other main subjects become.

Grade compensation at the grammar school

The regulations for grade compensation at grammar schools often differ from those at secondary schools or secondary schools. Important: Depending on the federal state, there is no general entitlement to grade compensation. In Bavaria, for example, it is a “can” rule. The advancement through grade compensation does not have to, but can be granted. The bad grades can only be compensated for with good grades in subjects of the same or higher value. At grammar schools in Baden-Württemberg, a “poor” in one core subject (major) can be made up for with a “good” in another core subject. For example, a five in math is offset by a two in German. Even several “good” or “very good” grades in minor subjects are not enough. A six in a core or major subject cannot usually be offset. In a minor, however, it is possible to compensate for a six with a one or two in other minor subjects. In North Rhine-Westphalia even two fives can be balanced in main subjects: with at least one “satisfactory” in another subject and a successful re-examination.

Compensate certificate grades at secondary schools

The Transfer orders for secondary schools are often similar to those of grammar schools. In Baden-Württemberg, however, two “poor” main subjects at secondary schools can be offset by two “good” two other main subjects. As in grammar schools, special regulations often apply to subjects such as sports, music and the visual arts. In Bavaria, secondary school students can offset a six or two fives on their certificate. Here, too, there are exceptions: No grade compensation for a six in German is possible. Regardless of whether Bavaria, Hesse, Bremen, Brandenburg or Saxony - the same applies to secondary schools: If you want to know exactly, you have to consult the promotion regulations of the respective federal state.

Compensate for bad grades at secondary schools

The regulations for the Grade equalization at secondary schools is usually more tolerant than at grammar schools or secondary schools. In Hessen, for example, a six in one major can also be balanced out: relatively easily with a three in another major. Two “unsatisfactory” are made up for by two “satisfactory”. But here, too, there are limits: If a school grade is lower than four in three or more subjects on the certificate, grade compensation is not possible. In Baden-Württemberg, the following applies to “relevant subjects and subject associations: The grade“ unsatisfactory ”on the secondary school certificate can be offset by a“ very good ”or two“ good ”.

Many exceptions: if the grade compensation does not work

Even if the certificate does not provide grades to compensate for bad grades, promotion is not always excluded. So can the Class conference for example, decide that pupils who have not actually been promoted should be admitted to the next higher class on probation. If the performance develops positively during the probationary period, the person concerned can stay in the class. If not, the year level has to be repeated. In Berlin there is an exception rule for schoolchildren without sufficient knowledge of German: If they have not only attended a German-speaking regular class for at least two years, the school grades in German are not taken into account.

By the way: transfer regulations of the federal states also contain information on the necessary grade point average. The grade point average is not the only decisive factor, the exact regulations of the respective federal state apply. The attempt of a student from Rhineland-Palatinate to rely on the grade point average to force his transfer even went to court - and failed.

Prevent, google and ask the school

It is of course best for students to take action as soon as weaknesses appear - for example through Private tutoring. Because with a little practice and good support, most people manage to banish really bad grades from their certificates.

But if there is a threat of school grades that could endanger the promotion or even blue letters, the exact regulations for your own school should be researched quickly. They are with the search terms "Transfer order“, „School Act“Plus the respective federal state and the type of school usually googled quickly. Or just ask at the school. This also applies if you find the regulation but don't really want to understand the legal gibberish.

Direct contact with the school or the teachers is an advantage anyway. Because the best solutions for good grades can still be found when everyone pulls together.