VIKTOR RYDBERG GYMNASIUM
Viktor Rydberg Gymnasium (VRG) was founded in 1994 as one of the first independent upper secondary schools in Sweden (free schools) after a change in Swedish law made this possible. The school, which is run by a non-profit foundation, has three campuses, two in the center of Stockholm (Jarlaplan and Odenplan) and one in a suburb (Djursholm) with a total enrolment of aproximately 1500 students.
Viktor Rydberg Gymnasium (VRG) CEEB 794505
(Swedish upper secondary school, year 10-12)
More general information
VRG follows the regulations set forth by The Swedish National Agency for Education Skolverket; this includes disciplinary policies. We are regularly scrutinized by the Swedish school inspectorate agency, Skolinspektionen. The school is financed through a national voucher system and we are by law only allowed to accept students based on their grades from year 9. Due to our popularity high grades are required to get in to all programs at VRG and for the Natural science programs at Odenplan and Djursholm a perfect or near perfect average is usually required. To the Art and Performing art programme at Jarlaplan students are admitted by both grades and audition or portfolio (50/50).
Worth mentioning is that VRG is ranked a top school in Sweden with our graduating classes usually achieving one of the highest outgoing grades in the country. That means that most students graduating from our schools will be among the top in Sweden.
The schools offer a bilingual education in Swedish and English; this means that several of the teachers have English as their mother tongue and therefore teach in English, and that materials used in courses are in both Swedish and English; furthermore, all English courses are taught by native speakers.
Since the school was founded normal classes are cancelled for two weeks every semester and students instead participate in group projects where a lot of emphasis is put on academic writing skills. Our former students tell us that this has been a big advantage to them when they continue to higher education.
In the Swedish system there are normally no Honors-classes or AP-classes. However, our Djursholm campus as one out of only eleven schools in the country have been approved to run an AP-class in English in cooperation with the Stockholm University; whereby the students take 15 university credits in English during their final high school year. Sweden’s leading business daily dubbed VRG “the garden” of the Stockholm School of Economics five years ago since so many of our students went on to study at SSE. We are hosts to the College Day Scandinavia fair.
VRG offers programs in the Natural Sciences, the Social Sciences, the Behavioural sciences, Business, Art and the performing Arts (Dance, Theatre, and Music). All programs prepare the student for higher education, and are academically rigorous. VRG offers only a limited selection of extra-curricular activities (choir, debate and sports exchanges). In Sweden it is more common for students to seek out after-school activities via their home municipality or via privately run organizations. Furthermore we want to stress that VRG is very restrictive in allowing students to study more than the 2500 credits that are stipulated by the government.
Almost 100 percent of Viktor Rydberg students go on to study at university or other forms of higher education. Most of these students will go on to study at some of Swedens’ most prestigious universities; however, we do see a growing interest in studying abroad, mostly the UK and the US. As is common custom in Sweden many of our students take a gap year after high school and wait with their applications to university until after they graduate from VRG.
Below is a table with examples of universities where our graduates have enrolled the last couple of years.
|Karolinska Institutet||Durham University||Brown University|
|Lund University||University of Aberdeen||Embry Riddle University|
|Royal Institute of Technology||University of Cambridge||Fordham University|
|Stockholm school of economics, SSE||University of Exeter||Stanford University|
|Stockholm University||University of Oxford||Wake Forest University|
|Uppsala University||University of Warwick||University of Chicago|
The most popular professions among our students are in business/economics, engineering, law, medicine and political science.
Explanation of the NEW Swedish grading system
A new Education Act came into force on 1 July 2011 (the 2010 Education Act) in Sweden, bringing about a change in the Swedish grading scale. The number of steps on the scale was increased and the grades were redesignated. The new Swedish grades are awarded on a scale from A to F. Pass grades are designated A, B, C, D or E, with A as the highest grade and E as the lowest. A fail grade is designated F. In each course, there are a set of national requirements that need to be satisfied for each grade. There are defined requirements for grades A, C and E. The Diploma project can only be awarded a pass or a fail grade. This means that it only can be awarded an E or an F. You are required to pass the Diploma project to earn your diploma. The diploma project is not included when calculating the grade point average. This system looks a lot like the American but works after very different principals and thus should not be translated directly. (When asked to compare the Swedish grading scale to the American on the Common app our imperfect translation is that an American A is equivalent to a Swedish A or B while an American B is a Swedish C or D and an American C is a Swedish E.)
In Sweden, the grading system is goal-related, meaning that student achievement is assessed in relation to the goals stated in the course syllabi.
The grade requirements are as follows:
Means that the student has achieved all the knowledge requirements for Grade A.
means that the student has achieved all the knowledge requirements for Grade C and the bulk of the requirements for Grade A.
means that the student has achieved all the knowledge requirements for Grade C.
means that the student has achieved all the knowledge requirements for Grade E and the bulk of the requirements for Grade C.
means that the student has achieved all the knowledge requirements for Grade E.
means that the student has failed to achieve any or all of the knowledge requirements for Grade E.
The NEW Swedish grading system in detail
These new requirements are arguably more demanding than the old IG-MVG system and because of this the Swedish government has introduced a special entry group to Swedish universities so they should not be disadvantaged because of this. Students are now required to reach all the knowledge requirements at an excellent level to receive an A, while an MVG could be achieved to a student even if he or she did not live up to all requirements but did very well in some requirements. In fact in many cases a new B would probably, in many if not most cases, have qualified for an MVG in the old system. The criteria or requirements have also become more clearly spelled out and there is a core content that should be taught.
The upper secondary students in Sweden study a three year program, giving them a total of 2500 credits. Subjects are divided into courses. Depending on the length of each course they are either 50, 100 or 150 credits. Grades are given for each course completed; students are thus continuously graded throughout their three years. There are no final exams. Minimum requirements in order to achieve the Swedish upper secondary qualification “Gymnasieexamen” that qualifies you for university studies is a grade in courses totaling 2500 credits with a passing grade in 90% of these including a passing grade in Swedish 1-3, English 5 and 6, and Math 1b or c, 2 and the Diploma project. It should be noted that an E is the maximum grade for the Diploma project.
At the end of the upper secondary school program, students receive a leaving certificate which lists all completed courses and the grade for each one. As you get a grade if you meet the grade criteria, in theory the whole class could achieve the same grade. Therefore students cannot be ranked 1st or 5th in their class and no other ranking system exists. We do however, have GPA. An A is worth 20, B= 17,5, C= 15, D= 12,5 E=10 and F= 0. These grades are multiplied with the credits for the course. These scores are then added and the total is divided with the total number of credits. Thus a student with A in all courses will have a GPA of 20.
In cases where the teacher lacks a basis for assessment of the student’s achievement due to student absence, no grade is given. A student who has received grades for more courses than required for a complete program may, with certain restrictions, choose the courses to be included in the final grade.
When grading the core subjects of Swedish, Swedish as a Second Language, English and Mathematics, teachers shall use nationally approved examinations. National examinations are also used in the final program-specific subjects of English and Mathematics in the respective programs. Even in other areas, it is recommended that teachers use national examinations to aid in assessing student achievement to ensure that assessment is as uniform as possible across the country.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like to know more about the Swedish school system and the new grade requirements.