The various methods of evaluating students have improved significantly during the past decade. The spectrum of student performance measurements has become wider; its standards have improved. The importance of the various assessment methods is indisputable and quite a number of innovations have been introduced in the field.
When describing the theory and practice of evaluation in their pedagogical programmes, the institutions do not establish different principles and practices for their ‘grown-up students’ on post-secondary level than for the students of secondary level. In post-secondary education, teaching and evaluation methods are more similar to those in tertiary education: individual projects, longer home essays, written or oral examinations after a larger unit of study in the middle of the semester or when the teaching of the subject is finished. At the same time, however, formative and summative evaluation, known from secondary school, are also part of the evaluation practice since most teachers teach both on upper-secondary and post-secondary level.
Both formative and summative evaluation takes place regularly in schools. However, the function and role of these two types of evaluation do not always separate.
The following marks and grades are applied in assessment:
- excellent (5),
- good (4),
- satisfactory (3),
- pass (2),
- fail (1).
The marks are documented in the class register, which contains basic information about students. More and more frequently, these grades are registered in an electronic administration system. From the 2018/2019 school year, an electronic report system, the so called the KRÉTA (Public Education Registration and Study System) has been introduced in every school, to help teachers to easily record the study data and omissions of students in the electronic report system, even via a mobile application. Students and their parents can quickly and easily access their evaluations, absences, and messages, and they can also receive instant notifications on their mobile phone when an entry is added.
It is the right of every teacher to select the methods of evaluation from the school’s pedagogical programme.
Progression of students
The general principles and rules of student progress on post-secondary level are the same as those on upper-secondary level. However, contrary to upper-secondary education lasting for 3-5 years, the vast majority of post-secondary vocational programmes last only for 1 year; for students with upper-secondary school or non-specialized complex professional school leaving examinations, 2 years. In the case of a programme of more than one year, the successful completion of the required study requirements by the end of the school year is a prerequisite for the progression.
Decision on progress to the next grade is made by the teaching staff on the basis of the year-end grades. Since studying on post-secondary level is not mandatory, grade repetition can be denied from students. Grade repetition is rare on post-secondary level. Students failing to fulfil the educational requirements tend to quit their studies in the given programme.
At the end of vocational studies, in the given grade, it is possible to take a vocational exam. This ensures that students finish their post-secondary studies with a qualification recognised in the whole country. The prerequisites, the content and the parts of vocational exams are included in the exam requirements and in the new programme requirements. This examination is a state-exam which may be successfully passed before an independent committee consisting of four members. The exam committee of the vocational exam uses a seal which contains the coat of arms of Hungary. The exam committee always has a member who is a delegate of an organization representing the economy, a trade association or a chamber. The list of experts who could be exam committee chairs is maintained by the ministry responsible for vocational qualifications. The exam consists of well-distinguishable sections assigned to the qualification requirement modules which comprise a written, an oral, an interactive and a practical part containing concrete tasks. Based on previously passed exams, students may be exempted from certain subjects, modules or parts of the vocational exam.
At the end of each grade, students are provided with year-end school reports (certificates). The grades in the year-end school reports are based on the student’s performance during the school year and his or her marks received in the course of formative and summative assessments/evaluations.
The year-end school report is a public document the contents of which must be accepted until the contrary is proven. The year-end school report form is approved by the Minister responsible for education. The Minister’s permit is required for the production and distribution of the forms of year-end school reports.
The school cannot refuse to issue a year-end school report on the basis of any excuse. The year-end school report contains the student’s name, identification data, grade, the titles of the subjects, the grade in a textual and in a numerical form, the field of comments, the date, the signature of the school head and the form master as well as the seal of the school.
If a student meets the requirements, he/she can receive a vocational qualification certificate. This certificate is also a public document; the Minister’s permit is required for the production and distribution of this form as well. The certificate is issued by the vocational exam committee. This document entitles the owner to find employment or pursue activities related to the acquired qualification.
There is a new element in the issuance of certificates: in addition to the identification number and the title of the qualification, partial qualification, or add-on qualification a certificate must include:
(a) the level of the Hungarian Qualifications Framework
(b) the level of the European Qualifications Framework