Certificates and grading scales

Here you will find information about the different types of certificates, the Norwegian grading scale and validity.

Certificate of competence (kompetansebevis)

A certificate of competence is the documentary basis for completed and assessed upper secondary education and training which does not entitle the holder to a certificate of upper secondary education and training, a craft certificate or a journeyman’s certificate. A certificate of competence can also be issued, if required, for all education and training, at whatever level, regardless of whether it was successfully completed or not.

Certificate for upper secondary education and training (vitnemål for videregående opplæring)

A certificate for upper secondary education and trainingprovides documentation of  the successful completion of a 3-year course of education and training that gives access to university studies and documentation of vocational competence.

Absence is listed in terms of days and single hours for each year level. The reason for absence can be given on the certificate.

Certificate for primary and lower secondary education (vitnemål for grunnskolen)

A certificate for primary and lower secondary education is issued as documentation of completed primary and lower secondary education.

Pupils are assessed in non-continuing subjects at the end of their period of education and training and receive a final mark for order and conduct at the end of their 10th year.  The marks represent the competence which they have attained, based on the description in the curriculum for each subject.


The certificate shall contain the name and date of birth (11 digits), as well as information about the location, school and date it was issued. The certificate shall be signed by two persons. A valid certificate shall have the certificate number inscribed at the bottom left, consisting of a V for “vitnemål” (certificate) or K for "kompetansebevis" (certificate of competence), the school’s organization number, the year and a serial number of 4 digits.

A description of the syllabus taught on the basis of local curricula and/or other additional information is enclosed with the certificate.

Grading scales

The grading scale used in the certificates is as follows:

  • 6 – six (exceptionally high degree of competence in the subject)
  • 5 – five (very high degree of competence in the subject)
  • 4 – four (high degree of competence in the subject)
  • 3 – three (fair degree of competence in the subject)
  • 2 – two (low degree of competence in the subject)
  • 1 – one (very low degree of competence in the subject)

In certain subjects, forms of assessment other than numerical marks are used, like the the assessment form "Participated" instead of numerical marks. The relevant national curriculum stipulates which subjects and which forms of assessment that such alternative forms apply to. For private schools entitled to government subsidies a corresponding stipulation is found in the school’s curriculum approved under the Private School Act.

For the practical part of the craft certificate and journeyman’s certificate, a tripartite grading scale is used:

  • Passed with distinction
  • Passed
  • Failed

For an examination mark, there shall also be an indication as to whether the exam form was written ("S" for "skriftlig"), oral ("M" for "muntlig"), oral-practiacal ("MP" for "muntlig-praktisk") or practical (”P”).

The certificate may contain annotations on specific subjects. There may also be annotations that apply to the certificate as a whole. 

Marks for order and conduct are given as follows:

  • Good
  • Fair
  • Poor


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