Conservatoires (konzervatoře) use both continuous assessment during the school year and final assessment of pupils in a school report. There is no examination at the end of a grade. The first nation-wide test was the Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška) carried out in spring 2011.
The Education Act states that the rules of assessment of pupils' educational outcomes of pupils are part of each institution's School Code (školní řád), which is issued by the school head. Rules of assessment are approved by the school council (školská rada). The Decree on Secondary Education and Education in Conservatoires stipulate that the rules must be based on the requirements of the framework and school education programmes and what they should include. Assessment of pupils in lower years of conservatoires fulfilling compulsory school education corresponds to the assessment at basic schools.
Final assessment of pupils in a school report
The results of a pupil's education are assessed at the end of each term and may be expressed by a mark, a verbal assessment, or by a combination of both.
If marks are used, a pupil's educational results in the individual subjects are assessed according to the following marks:
1 – excellent
2 – very good
3 – good
4 – satisfactory
5 – failed
If it is not possible to assess a pupil, the expression "not assessed" is used. If he/she was excused from the class (e.g. for health reasons), the term "excused" is used.
In day education, a pupil's conduct is also assessed, by means of the following marks:
1 – very good
2 – satisfactory
3 – unsatisfactory
The overall assessment of pupils is expressed on their report as follows:
passed with distinction if the mark for any compulsory subject or its verbal assessment translated into a mark is no worse than 2 – very good, the average results in compulsory subjects are at most 1.5, and his or her conduct is assessed as very good; in Art and Applied Art courses, specialised subjects must also be assessed as 1 – excellent;
passed if no compulsory subject was assessed by mark 5 or a verbal assessment translated into a mark of 5 – failed;
failed if the mark for any compulsory subject or its verbal assessment translated into a mark is 5 – failed or if a pupil is not assessed in some subject at the end of the second term; and
not assessed if it is not possible to assess pupil in some subject at the end of the first term or on an alternative date
The forms for certificates and diplomas on graduate examination (absolutorium) is set by the Decree on Some Certificates on Education. The forms include information on the level of the European Qualification Framework (EQF) that is the scale for all qualifications.
A school head, class teacher or a teacher of practical training can, in certain specified cases, give educational measures: formal praise or another form of appreciation, or a warning or reprimand in the case of a violation of the School Code. A school head may decide to exclude a pupil from the school or alternatively to place him/her under warning of exclusion.
Progression of pupils/students
The progression of pupils in conservatoires (konzervatoře) is stipulated in the Education Act and the Decree on Secondary Education and Education in Conservatoires.
Only those pupils who receive a pass or a pass with distinction in their report at the end of the second term may proceed to the next grade.
Pupils who fail a maximum of two compulsory subjects at the end of the second term, or pupils who fail a maximum of two compulsory subjects at the end of the first term (from subjects taught in the first term only), are assessed in these subjects by a board (komisionální opravná zkouška).
Upon written request from the pupil or his/her legal guardian, the school head has the authority to grant permission for a pupil, who has already completed his/her compulsory school attendance and failed or could not be assessed at the end of the second term, to repeat a grade.
Pupils who have completed their compulsory school attendance may also interrupt their education with the prior consent of the school head, for a period no longer than two years.
In the case of an exceptionally gifted pupil, school heads may, at the request of his/her legal guardian, transfer that pupil to a higher grade without him/her completing the previous grade. The transfer is conditional on their passing examinations relating to the syllabus (or the part of the syllabus) of the grade the pupil does not complete.
Progression of pupils still completing their compulsory school attendance corresponds to progression of pupils at basic schools (except for the resit).
Education in courses of conservatoire (konzervatoř) is usually completed by a graduate examination (absolutorium) at the conservatoire. However, pupils can also complete their education with the Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška), namely after the fourth year in six-year courses or after the eighth year in the eight-year dance course. Detailed information on the completion of study with the Maturita examination (ISCED 354) is provided in separate section.
The conditions for organisation of the graduate examination are specified by the Education Act and the Decree on Completion of Education in Upper Secondary Schools in the Form of a VET Final Examination, and on Completion of Education in Conservatoires in the Form of Graduate Examination.
By passing a graduate examination, a pupil acquires tertiary professional education at a conservatoire (vyšší odborné vzdělání v konzervatoři) – ISCED 554. This type of education only allows access to art courses at a higher education institution. Graduates of a conservatoire must pass the Maturita examination to be admitted to other courses at a higher education institutions (vysoké školy) or programmes of tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy). A pupil may take a graduate examination at conservatoire no later than five years after completing his/her education. Graduates from a tertiary professional school receive the title “specialist with a diploma” (diplomovaný specialista) (DiS.) which is written after their names.
Pupils may take a graduate examination at conservatoire if they have successfully completed the last grade of education and:
successfully passed a final examination in front of an examination board in Czech language and literature and the history of the field they have studied, or a Maturita examination within a six-year programme;
successfully passed a final examination in front of an examination board in Czech language and literature and a foreign language, or a Maturita examination within an eight-year programme.
Content, process and organisation of examinations
The graduate examination at conservatoires in six-year programmes consists of:
a theoretical examination composed of vocational subjects specified by the curricular documents
an examination in a foreign language
a graduate thesis and its defence
a graduate performance in one or two principal artistic branches
or an examination in artistic and pedagogical preparation if so stipulated by the curricular documents, i.e. examination in psychology, educational sciences, didactics, relevant professional methodologies and teaching practice of the field of study
In eight-year programme (dance courses) the graduate examination consists of:
a theoretical examination in vocational subjects specified by the curricular documents
a graduate thesis and its defence
a graduate performance
an examination in artistic and pedagogical training, i.e. examination in psychology, educational sciences, didactics, relevant professional methodologies and teaching practice of the field of study
The content of above mentioned individual parts is laid down by the school head. For the theoretical examination in specialised subjects, the examination in artistic and pedagogical training, and for the examination in a foreign language, between 25 and 30 topics are set, out of which the pupil draws one. The topic for the graduation performance and the final thesis are given to each pupil by the school head. Preparation for each examination lasts no less than 20 minutes, each examination lasts no more than 30 minutes, or 15 minutes for an examination in a foreign language. The graduation performance can take place no earlier than 10th February and the other examinations are held in June. Prior to the commencement of the graduate examination at conservatoire, pupils do not attend school lessons for a period of five days.
A graduate examination at a conservatoire is held in front of an examination board. The vice-chair and members of the examination board are appointed by the school head. Members of the examination board are the supervisor of the graduate thesis, the supervisor of the graduate performance and an opponent.
Evaluation of examinations
Marks for a pupil in individual examinations are proposed by the individual examiners, the supervisor of the graduate thesis or the supervisor of the graduate performance on the following scale:
1 – excellent
2 – very good
3 – good
4 – failed
The overall assessment of a pupil's performance is carried out by the examining board on the following scale:
passed with distinction if the pupil's overall average mark is not higher than 1.5, his or her graduation performance is assessed by the mark 1 – excellent, and the pupil has gained no mark worse than 2 – very good in any part of the graduate examination;
passed if the overall average mark is higher than 1.5 and no part of the graduate examination at conservatoire has been assessed by mark 4 – failed;
failed if the pupil has been assessed by mark 4 – failed in any section of the graduate examination.
After passing the graduate examination, pupils receive a graduation certificate (vysvědčení o absolutoriu v konzervatoři) with grades for each examination, an overall evaluation of the examination and a statement of the level of education achieved, and a graduate diploma (diplom absolventa konzervatoře). These documents are issued by schools. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports lays down in the Decree on Some Certificates on Education the form and the content of valid blanks of graduation certificates and graduate diplomas. Both the graduation certificates and graduate diplomas are stamped with the national coat of arms of Czechia and they are public documents. The forms for certificates and diplomas on graduate examination also include information on the level of the European Qualification Framework (EQF) that is the scale for all qualifications.
If a pupil fails or has not successfully defended his/her graduate thesis, he/she is permitted to resit the examination or repeat the defence of the thesis on a date specified by the examination board. A repeat examination and repeat defence may be taken twice.