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The EB is an officially recognised entry qualification for higher education in all EU countries, as well as many others. European School students attend universities all over Europe and beyond. There are currently around 24,000 students in the system and approximately 1,500 take the EB each year. These numbers are growing annually as the system expands.

The EB is a demanding examination where students must study 10 or 11 subjects. Students are required to study their own language, at least one foreign language to a high level, history and geography in that foreign language, mathematics, at least one science subject, philosophy, physical education and religion/ethics. They must add elective courses to this, for example more sciences and languages, or the same subjects at a higher level. This means that, despite the large compulsory element in the EB, students are able to build up a programme which reflects their particular interests and strengths. The EB diploma is based on performance in the final year.


The grading system for individual subjects uses a 0 to 10 scale with 6.0 as a pass mark. When a candidate is awarded the EB, the overall mark is expressed as a percentage and 60% is a pass. 

There are three components that contribute to the overall mark:          

Preliminary mark 50%
Written examinations 35%
Oral examinations 15%




Preliminary mark  

Internal examinations constitute 60% of the preliminary mark. The remaining 40% is continuous assessment throughout the year.  

Written examinations  

Candidates will sit five written examinations:

  1. Language 1 or advanced Language 1
  2. Language 2 or advanced Language 2
  3. Mathematics (5 periods) or Mathematics (3 periods)
  4. Option (4 periods)
  5. Option (4 periods)

These examinations are set by a panel of subject specialists. Marking is carried out by subject teachers and by external examiners. The two marks are averaged, with overall supervision by the subject inspector. 

Oral examinations

Candidates take three subjects as oral examinations:  

Exam 1

Exam 2

Exam 3

Language 1 (Advanced, if studied)  


Language 2 (Advanced, if studied) OR

History or Geography (if not taken as a written exam)  


Four-period elective subject (if not taken as a written exam) OR

two-period subject OR

Advanced Mathematics (compulsory if studied) 


Further Information

Find more information on the European Schools' website.