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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Assessment in vocational upper secondary education


6.Secondary and post-secondary higher education

6.9Assessment in vocational upper secondary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Pupil/students assessment

Student assessment is used for the continuous improvement of the management and day-to-day running of schools.  It is an integral part of the instruction and learning process.

In order to conduct assessments, schools use a set of techniques and approaches:

  • Diagnostic assessment is carried out at the start of a school year in order to record prior student performance and inform lesson planning and instruction
  • Formative assessment is conducted during the learning process in order to determine if learning objectives specified by the current curriculum for each subject have been met.  The ultimate purpose is to support the instruction process and learning outcomes
  • Assessment of knowledge and skills needs to be reliable, comparable and consistent.  This is achieved through summative assessment.

Distinction of taught subjects at vocational upper secondary school

Attendance in day and evening lykeio lasts for 3 years (law 4547/2018). It includes grades A, B and C. According to law 4610/2019, the subjects taught in vocational upper secondary schools are classified as follows:

EPAL grade A subjects:

  • General education
  • Direction
  • Flexible

EPAL grade B subjects:

  • General education
  • Technological - vocational (sector subjects)

EPAL grade C subjects:

  • General education
  • Specialisation

General education subjects split into fields are:

  • Maths (Algebra and geometry)
  • Natural sciences (Physics, chemistry and biology).

Sector and specialisation subjects are characterised as:

  • Theoretical
  • Laboratory
  • Design
  • Mixed (theoretical and laboratory part).

As far as the format of progression, graduate and degree exams, since school year 2018/19, subjects or subject fields are characterised as:

  • Tested through written exams
  • Not tested through written exams

Due to the special circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic, during the school year 2019-2020, the ministerial decision Φ4/53112/Δ4/7-5-2020 was issued and validated for the students’ assessment. For school year 2020-21 Ministerial Decision Φ5/55515/Δ4/19-5-2021 determines the conditions of student assessment during terms, exam periods and degree exams for student progression.

Student assessment is specific to each subject.  It is the exclusive responsibility of the instructor who teaches it.

Assessment procedure

The teaching of subjects includes two teaching periods called terms.

The first term (term A) lasts from 11 September until 20 January and the second term (term B) lasts from 21 January until the end of lessons.

All subjects are assessed and marked separately per term. After the end of term B, the promotion, school-leaving and degree exams follow. They concern the subjects which are characterised as tested through written exams.

Each teacher is entirely responsible for conducting assessment relevant to the subject he/she teaches.  Results are produced at the end of the school year by calculating the sum of oral performance for each subject and performance achieved in promotion (grades A and B) and school-leaving (grade C) written examinations taken at the end of the second term.

Intermediate oral, practical and written examinations:

The progress of students is assessed with intermediate written, oral or practical evaluation tests, at the discretion of the teacher. Students who take written, oral or practical exams are graded for their performance in each assessment test and their performance is taken into account in the four-month oral grade of each term (law 4610/2019 and law 4823/2021).

The midterm written examinations include the following categories:

  1. Written tests of short duration, which are an alternative way of examining students in the lesson of the day and are carried out without warning depending on the subject-matter of the lesson of the day. The topics of the short written tests must be of appropriate scope, form and content, in order to be answered in the foreseen time. The topics of the short-term written tests can be based on examples contained in the textbooks and the instructions of the Institute of Educational Policy (IEP). The number of short-term written tests per term is is decided by the teacher.
  2. Written hourly repetitive tests, which cover a series of taught chapters / sections are conducted, after warning the students. Especially for the subject "Modern Greek" and subjects related to design/drawing, the duration of the written test is two hours. In terms of their form, these written tests combine different types of questions (developmental, short answer, closed or objective type, multiple choice, etc.) and different levels of difficulty. Written tests mainly test the assimilation of taught material, the ability of synthetic and critical analysis and its application in daily practice and, in general, the progress of students.

In order to assess the performance and diligence of students during term, in addition to intermediate oral and practical tests and the short written tests,  assessment tests are carried out at the end of the term and aim at a most complete and objective assessment of students and a continuous feedback of the educational process.

Term evaluation tests are written hourly tests, repeated throughout the term. Tests are individual or take the form of group synthetic/interdisciplinary creative work or test the utilization of the features and application stages of the flipped classroom model. During the daily curriculum it is not allowed to conduct more than one evaluation test per specialisation. Also, during the weekly curriculum it is not allowed to conduct more than three tests.

For the "written exam" courses during the first four months, a four-month evaluation test is mandatory. If there is an objective problem, this mandatory four-month assessment test related to the written courses can be taken in the second four months.

For the "non-examined courses", except the Orientation subjects, "Health Education" and "Physical Education", it is obligatory every four months, by a written or oral or practical test of repetitive character or a combination of them.

Assessment of student performance during terms (oral marks)

Student assessment during terms includes:

  1. Their participation in the educational process
  2. The oral examination, as well as their diligence and interest in this specific course.
  3. Their performance in the intermediate written and oral tests, and the four-month evaluation tests (article 120 of law 4610/2019).
  4. The assignments are prepared at home or school.
  5. The optional creative assignments of students on a voluntary basis.
  6. The pupil’s portfolio - where it is observed - which may contain data contributing to the comprehensive educational assessment of pupils, that do not arise from other evaluation procedures of their performance.

In particular, the assessment of the students' performance in the school written, practical and oral tests during terms, include questions that are phrased in such as way as for the students to be able to answer them on time and various parametres can be tested, such as:

  •  The acquired knowledge of the students

  • Comprehension of coginitve elements
  • Ability to ctitically evaluate and draw conclusions
  • Process, use and apply theoretical knowledge
  • Evaluate data
  • Complex thinking
  • The ability of students to use their knowledge and skills together, in order to solves exercises and problems, and draw and produce conclusions.

The teacher submits the students' score to the school head.  First and second term results are recorded into the electronic system at the end of each term. Regarding the second term, results are recorded before the beginning of the written, school-leaving and degree examinations.

When results have been finalised and recorded, guardians/parents are updated on student performance, diligence, attendance and behaviour, and receive the individual progress report.

Written promotion, school-leaving and degree exams

The written promotion, school-leaving and degrees exams at EPAL are carried out after the end of lessons at second term at the responsibility of the school head and teaching staff.  In these two-hour exams that concern subjects tested through written exams, students are tested on their knowledge, skills, ability to integrate them in everyday life, combining and critical thinking, analysis adn drawing conclusions and generally their progress aquired during the teaching year.

In EPALs, subject to assessment in the promotion, school-leaving and degree exams is two third (2/3) of the total syllabus.  It is not possible to assess less than half of the syllabus.  Teachers are responsible for selecting and properly defining the syllabus content that will be assessed.  This content is then submitted to and approved by the school head.  It is announced to the students 5 working days before the beginning of the examinations.

Questions of the promotion, school-leaving and degree exams for each subject as well as questions of the respective exams of the special exam periods are produced by the respective teachers. The exam questions are extracted from the syllabus defined as examinable for each school subject during the school year of the exams. These questions are according to questions from the school textbooks and the guidelines of the Institute of Educational Policy (IEP); they cover the maximum possible syllabus range. They test a wide range of the learning outcomes and teaching goals and are of differentiated difficulty. (law 4610/2019).

A “classified difficulty exam questions bank” for the student assessment for the promotion for the students of Grade A of the Day and Evening EPAL schools is going to be implemented for the school year 2021-2022 and on. (Ministeral Decisions Φ4/ 116552/ΓΔ4/17-09-2021 and Φ4/141050 / ΓΔ4 / 04-11-2021).

The above Ministerial Decisions determine the "written examination" courses, the examined material and the way of evaluation per course.

Rating scale

The rating scale for the calculation of pupil performance in all subjects is 0-20 bearing also verbal characterisations as follows:

Poor 0-5
Insufficient 5,1 -9,4
Fairly good 9.5 - 13
Good 13.1 - 16
Very good 16.1 - 18
Excellent 18.1 - 20

The written and oral parts of progression, school-leaving and degree examinations are marked in whole numbers on a scale of 0 -100 and the final mark of the written part is reduced to a scale of 0-20 (mark may be decimal to one place).

Oral test results are administered in the form of whole numbers.  The average of the oral scores achieved during both terms is the total oral performance grade (may be decimal to one place) achieved for each subject, for the school term as a whole.

The annual performance score for each subject is the average of the annual oral performance and the respective written performance scores (may be decimal to one place).

Calculating progression marks (grades A and B) or school-leaving marks (grade C of day EPAL, grade C of evening three-year EPAL a

Promotion (grades A and B) or school-leaving (grade C of day and evening three-year EPAL) mark is the general average i.e. the average (may be decimal to one place) of the annual performance scores for all subjects except for physical education.

School-leaving marks for EPAL

The school-leaving mark for day and evening three-year EPAL is the average of the annual performace for specialisation subjects of grade C.

Progression of pupils/students

Students may progress to the next grade or leave school (graduate) when the following two requirements are met at the same time:

Minimum general average

At the end of the progression, school-leaving and degree examinations, the school teachers' board decides upon:

  • The progression and the award of graduation degrees
  • Students who have to re-sit examinations at the following special exam period or repetition of grade.

A minimum general average of 9,5 or more is required for the progression of grade A and B students and the graduation of grade C (day and evening three-year EPAL) students.

To achieve graduation, the average of annual performance scores for grade C specialisation subjects has to be a minimum of 9,5.  None of these annual performance scores must be less than 8.

Grade A and B students with a general average less than 9,5 have to sit repeat exams (oral and written) held in the special exam period of June of the same year in the subjects in which their annual score is less than 9,5. The exams are written and oral and they progress only if their general average is at least 9,5. If they don't progress during the special exam period of June, they have to repeat the same grade.

Grade C students of day and three-year evening EPAL who do not graduate or receive a qualification or both, have to re-sit the special exams in June, September of the same school year.  In the special exams of June and September, they are examined (written and orally) in all subjects where their general average score is less than 9,5. They graduate if their general average score is at least 9,5.

As regards laboroatory courses, students are examined (written and orally) by showing their skills in performaing a lab task, depending on the nature of the subject.  The school head decides upon the form of the exam, after the proposal by the instructors of the subject.  The test can have one specific form or be a combination of various tasks.

Students who has do not progress (grades A and B) in the exams of June have to repeat the grade.

Grade C day and three-year evening EPAL and grade D evening EPAL students who, after the results of the special exam period of September, do not graduate or do not receive a qualification or both:

  • They repeat the same grade, if they wish, after they make a personal statement submitted by their guardians or themselves, in case they are under-age
  • In the case they do not want to repeat the class, they may sit on the next written or oral exam periods of any school year and be examined orally or written.

Sufficient attendance

Another necessary prerequisite for the progression or the graduation of pupils in all grades of the general lykeio is their adequate attendance during the relevant school year.

Attendance is characterised as adequate or inadequate, based on the total number of absences.  Absences are enumerated one per teaching hour and must not exceed 114 per school year (with some exceptions).

In the case of evening lykeio, it is plus 16 absences.  This applies to other categories of schools, too (ministerial decision 79942/ΓΔ4/21-5-2019).

If a pupil exceeds the threshold, the pupil is required to repeat the grade, as attendance is deemed insufficient.

Progression, graduation and reference to the special exam period of June/September or repeat of the grade depends on the current legislation.  Parents are not allowed to be involved in this decision process.


Pupils successfully graduating from the vocational lykeio are awarded the vocational lykeio graduation certificate, as well as a professional specialisation degree with level 4 professional rights.  Graduates of the apprenticeship class are awarded a professional specialisation degree with level 5 professional rights.

The graduation certificate describes the pupil’s detailed grades per course during the school year, as well as their academic performace, which corresponds to the general average of the grades in the subjects part of the general graduation degree.  The certificate states the specialisation of the graduate, as well as the conduct and behaviour of the student throughout the school year. It also states the sector and the specialisation of the student.

The degree states the general degree of annual progress corresponding to the general average of the grades of the individual specialty courses of the 3rd grade.  At the same time and apart from the general degree, it also states the specialisation of the graduate.

The vocational lykeio graduation certificate, as well as the degree, are issued by the school unit from where the pupil graduated and constitute official state documents.  They also constitute administrative acts bearing the signature of the school head, as well as the signatures of the document author and the members of the school teachers board, who collectively constitute the governing bodies of the relevant school unit.

The lykeio graduation certificate and the degree are drafted after the issuance of the results for each year of graduation, on the basis of the relevant provisions that are valid for and applicable to all lykeia in the county.  They bear the emblem of the Hellenic Republic, the name and seal of the school unit issuing it, as well as that of the regional  primary and secondary education directorate and of the local secondary education directorate, under which the school falls, as well as a protocol number and a date.

Graduation certificates and degrees are issued only once, whereas the studies degrees and certificates are issued without limitation.

With regard to their content, the graduation certificate and the degree bear the photograph of the pupil, whereas under the title of the school and the type of the studies degree there are the personal details of the pupil - based on the details mentioned in the ID card or the passport or the certificate of marital status of the pupil.  These personal details include their name and surname, father’s and mother’s name, date of birth, the municipal register number for boys, the municipality, the county, the school register number, date of birth.

Students with a vocational upper secondary school leaving certificate have the following opportunities:

  • To enter tertiary education and non-tertiary schools of higher vocational education after taking the national exams (pan-hellenic exams)
  • To enrol at vocational training institutes (IEK)
  • To enrol at the apprenticeship class, which implements the dual education system.

The vocational lykeio graduation certificate gives students the ability to directly enter the labour market.