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The optimization of the metallization pattern and the emitter doping profiles and geometry for selective emitter solar cells require reliable and fast simulation models. The computational effort of one-dimensional models is usually much lower than that of two-dimensional models, which in turn allow for more realistic calculations. We review the literature on one-dimensional and two-dimensional models for the simulation of selective emitter solar cells. We compare the approaches for various emitter profiles and widths of the highly doped areas. We show that the one-dimensional and the two-dimensional approaches show similar trends and only small deviations concerning the short-circuit current density and the open-circuit voltage. Concerning the fill factor and the efficiency, the agreement is still reasonable for the investigated selective emitter structures. However, the one-dimensional approach leads to a more profound understanding and a more realistic simulation of the fill factor.