To apply to Swedish universities as an IB student is different than how you would apply in other countries. And the relevant information can be hard to find or only available in Swedish. VNS Consulting has summarized the 4 main things you, as an IB student should know when applying to Swedish universities.

1. Application Rounds

There are two rounds of application, the first one is mainly for international students, i.e. those of you who are not citizens of an EU/EEA country. And the second round is for EU/EEA applicants (including Swedish applicants).

Since Swedish universities do not accept predicted grades like many other universities, IB students currently in DP2 can only apply for the second round, and only if they are also EU/EEA citizens, or have a resident permit in Sweden (not for studies). Meaning, international students in DP2, who want to apply to Swedish universities, should wait until the year after to submit their application.

However, if you have already graduated with an IB diploma, then you are free to apply in the first round (EU/EEA students can still apply in the second round if wanted).

IB students

2. Grading

In Sweden, IB grades (24-45) are converted to fit the Swedish scale of (0-20). You can see how the grades are converted in the table below.

IB GradeSwedish equivalentIB GradeSwedish equivalent
3317,2443 – 4520,00
Adapted from

Some universities provide their lowest admitted grade on their website but most do not. You can search for admission statistics here (Note: It is only in Swedish).

3. Course Equivalent

All the entry requirements for Swedish universities are stated using Swedish courses. Here is the table of those courses and their IB-equivalent.

Swedish SubjectIB EquivalentSwedish SubjectIB Equivalent
English 6English B SL with a different instruction languagePhysics 2Physics SL/HL
English 7English B SL with instruction language in English and all courses aboveNatural Science 2ESS SL or 2 of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology SL/HL
Mathematics 3Mathematics: applications and interpretation SL History 2History SL/HL
Mathematics 4Mathematics: analysis and approaches SL Social Studies 1IB-Diploma
Mathematics 5Mathematics: applications and interpretation HLSocial Studies 2IB-Diploma (no matter which group 3 subjects was taken)
Specialized MathMathematics: analysis and approaches HL Modern Languages 3Ab initio language (not English or Swedish)
Chemistry 2Chemistry SL/HLModern Languages 5B-language (not English or Swedish)
Biology 2Biology, SL/HLModern Languages 7A-language (Not English, Swedish, Danish, or Norwegian)
Adapted from

4. Courses Eligible for Extra Credit

Additionally, in the Swedish curriculum, 20,00 is not the actual highest score you can receive – you can also receive extra credit or “meritpoäng” for certain courses you take. You can receive a maximum of 2,5 extra credits. Here are the courses that make you eligible for extra credits:

  • English: You will receive 1,00 extra credit if you take English A HL/SL, English B HL, or English B SL with the instruction language is also English (i.e. all your courses are taught in English)
  • Modern Languages: You can also receive 1,50 extra credits if you take a Language B HL/SL that is not English or Swedish, such as French or Spanish. Or receive 0,5 extra credit if you take an ab initio language that is not English or Swedish
  • Mathematics: You can also receive 0,5 to 1,5 depending on what math level you chose and what level of math the program or course you are applying to requires.
IB Course | Swedish level requirementMathematics 1Mathematics 2Mathematics 3Mathematics 4
Math AI SL1,00,5no creditno credit
Math AA SL1,51,00,5no credit
Math AI HL1,51,51,51,0
Math AA HL1,51,51,51,5
Adapted from

For example, if the course/program you’re applying for requires mathematics 3, and you have taken Math Applications and Interpretation HL, you would be able to get 1,5 extra credits.

You can then calculate what grade you need to get in by finding the lowest grade admitted for the course/program. Then you will take that grade and subtract it by the extra credit you’d receive. Take the new Swedish grade and see what IB grade that is then, Tada!

However, even if you are in all three categories, you will not be able to get more than 2,5. Additionally, a couple of universities might not accept extra credit, so make sure you check that.

We have many more resources for students looking to study in Sweden, explore more articles here

~ VNS Consulting

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