Number of repeaters


Number of pupils from a cohort enrolled in a given grade at a given school year who study in the same grade in the following school year.

Data source

School register or school census for data on enrolment by grade.

Source definition

UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Calculation method

Use data on the number of repeaters or remove the number of new entrants in a given grade from the total enrolment in that grade.

Data required

Enrolment and new entrants by grade for the reference school year.


Large values denotes high prevalence of grade repetition practices, and serious problems with the internal efficiency of the education system.


The level and maximum number of grade repetitions allowed can in some cases be determined by the educational authorities with the aim of coping with limited grade capacity and increasing the internal efficiency and flow of pupils. Care should be taken in interpreting this indicator, especially in comparisons between education systems.


To measure the magnitude of repetition by grade, as part of the internal efficiency of the education system, and also to inform policies about education supply capacity for new entrants by grade.

Quality standards

The calculation of this indicator should be based on reliable data on enrolment and new entrants by grade and sex at each level of education (primary and lower secondary) and from all types of educational institutions in the country (public and private).

The definition of repeaters should be unambiguously applied to include even pupils repeating more than once in the same grade and those who repeat the same grade while transferring from one school to another. Pupils or students who were not studying in the same grade in the previous year should be excluded.

The UIS sets standards, develops questionnaires and quality control protocols for country data reporting, and maintains the global database on the structure of education, and enrolment data by grade.

Types of disaggregation

By grade and sex.