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Assessment in vocational secondary education


6.Secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education

6.6Assessment in vocational secondary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Students assessment

The teacher regularly evaluates the performance and progress of the students during the school year with marks, and with a grade at the end of the term and at the end of the school year. If the specialised education of the student is not provided by the VET institution, the dual training place together with the instructor evaluate the student's performance and progress. Such assessment is carried out in the framework of a report for each acquired subject, as defined in the professional programme of the VET institution. In the preparatory year - with the exception of language preparation - the student should be evaluated in text and decided on his / her progress at the end of the school year. In the school workshop programme, evaluations should not be used.

The same five-scale evaluation system is used in case of both types of assessment.

Marks and grades used to evaluate students’ performance are as follows: excellent (5), good (4), satisfactory (3), pass (2) and fail (1). Marks are recorded in the attendance book of the class, which includes students’ basic data. Grades are recorded in each student’s report card as well, which primarily aims at providing information to parents. 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.

Behaviour and effort/diligence are evaluated on a four-grade scale: exemplary (5), good (4), varying (3) and poor (2).

Competence assessment

The first National Assessment of Basic Competences (NABC) was carried out in 2001 with the primary aim of assessing the effectiveness of schools (general description about the national assessment of basic competences). The assessment system has developed during the past few years in a way that now it informs students, parents and teachers about students’ individual development. The NABC is an annual assessment system that covers almost all students in grades 6, 8 and 10. It has been implemented since 2007 under the same order of procedure as prescribed by the Act on Public Education and a Ministerial Decree. During the assessment, students complete mathematics and reading comprehension tests at the end of every school year in the last week of May in four 45-minute sessions. Tests do not assess the extent to which students have acquired the knowledge prescribed by the syllabus of the given grade, rather, the extent to which students can apply their knowledge to solve real life problems. From the school year 2020/2021, the assessment is organised on a digital basis and includes the assessment of pupils’ science competences in addition to the previous two fields.

Assessment results are used for preparing a National Report as well as reports at the level of the maintainer, the institution, the school site and the individual student.  The Student Report presents the student’s achievement on the test, results broken down into tasks and results compared to the national, the school and the class average. As a unique assessment ID is required to access the Student Report, such reports may only be viewed by the students, their parents and the school. The National Assessment of Basic Competences has already contributed to the improvement of diagnostic assessment in schools: the teaching staff of schools often analyse the results of their school together and a large number of teachers has received further training in this field.

Progression of students

The general rules applying to the progress of students are determined in the 2011 CXC. Act on Public Education and in the 2019 LXXX Act on Vocational Education and TrainingIn school-based vocational education practical training incudes practical training during the school term and a practical course outside the teaching period.

If a student repeats a year, he/she must complete the practical course again, even if he/she had already finished it previously. At the end of each term and school year, the evaluation is expressed in the form of grades in every subject based on the interim grades given during the year and on the basis of the student’s activity throughout the term/year. From the two grades, the one assigned at the end of the first term is for information but the year-end grade is a prerequisite for progressing to the next grade. Both the student and the parent have to be informed about the end-of-term and end-of-year grades. At the end of the first term, this information is provided by way of a report card while at the end of the year it is provided by way of the annual year-end school report. The year-end school report is a public document.

It is a basic principle (set out in the Act on Public Education) that the mark and the grade cannot be applied as a disciplinary instrument; they must reflect students’ actual knowledge and performance. The grades - like the marks during the course of the school year - appear in the form of a scale of five grades (excellent - 5, good - 4, satisfactory - 3, pass - 2 and fail - 1.). Behaviour and diligence are rated on a scale of four grades: exemplary - 5, good - 4, varying - 3 and poor/negligent - 2. The marks are given by the teacher and he or she makes a proposal for the year-end grade.

The year-end grade of the student is reviewed by the teaching staff at the grading conference, and decides if she/he can progress to the next grade. The decision is based on the grades earned by his/her instructor, class teacher, and dual training place. The student may progress to the next grade if he/she manages to fulfil the prescribed study requirements of the grade. The student will receive a school report of completion of the grade.

Repeating a grade cannot be denied from the student until the end of the mandatory schooling age – until the end of the year the student turns 16. If the student achieves a minimum of a pass (2) grade in every subject in the re-take examination, he or she may progress to the next grade. A student must repeat the grade on a mandatory basis also when the total number of classes missed with or without justification exceeds the statutory maximum number and the teaching staff does not permit the student to take the grading examination. If the student misses more than 20% of the practical training, he/she has to repeat the year automatically (even if the reason for the absence, certified by a doctor, is a medical problem).

As long as the student does not pass the mandatory schooling age, grade repetition cannot entail expelling the student from the school. Indeed, if the student repeats the same grade for the second or third etc. time, the school must provide individual support for the student to enable him or her to catch up.

A student or a parent representing a student may initiate a procedure against the outcome grade of conduct, diligence, and any other subject if it is not in accordance with the local curriculum used by the school and the certification process is in conflict with law or student status. If the parent seeks legal redress against the certification of studies, the student may, at his/her request, present his/her knowledge to an independent examination board, which shall be organized by the county office. (Decree 20/2012 (VIII. 31.) of the Ministry of Human Capacities on the Operation of Educational Institutions and the Use of Names of Public Institutions).

A school may terminate the legal relationship with the student if the student has failed to complete the given grade for the third time (by which time he or she has probably reached the end of the mandatory schooling age).

The successful completion of the programme provides the student with a secondary-level qualification. However, students may proceed to higher education or post-secondary education only if they pass the upper secondary school-leaving examination, which follows secondary-level education itself. The precondition of participating in the upper secondary school-leaving examination is obtaining the final report of secondary education—that is, acquiring at least a pass grade from all subjects.

As a closing examination, the upper secondary school leaving examination examines general knowledge/education. This is a state examination that is to be organised in accordance with the standardised requirements across all secondary schools in the country.

At least five subjects must be taken at the upper secondary school leaving examination. These include:

1.) Hungarian Language and Literature

2.) History

3.) Mathematics

4.) Foreign Language – for students participating in minority education, it is mother tongue language and literature

5.) A complex subject related to the pertaining vocational training sector

In addition to compulsory subjects and compulsory electives, upper secondary school leaving exams may be taken from other subjects as well. The exam consists of several parts: oral, written and – in case of certain subjects – a practical part. The exam periods are in May-June and in September-October.

After successfully completing grade 11 in secondary vocational schools (vocational schools), students take a complex vocational exam. This guarantees that students finish their secondary level studies with a vocational qualification recognised in the whole country. The vocational and exam requirements contain the preconditions, the required parts and the contents of vocational exams. This exam is also a state exam which may be taken before an independent exam committee consisting of experts. During the exam, pertaining regulations have to be followed. The exam committee of the vocational exam uses a seal containing the coat of arms of Hungary. The Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry or the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture delegates a member to this exam committee who is most frequently the chair of this body. The list of experts as possible exam committee chairs is maintained by the ministry responsible for vocational training. The general rules and procedures of vocational exams are regulated by a ministerial decree. The exam parts of the compulsory modules consist of exam assignments and the pertaining written, oral, interactive and practical exam activities.

When the student is suspected to be lacking some particular skill - e.g. dyslexia, dyscalculia –, various capabilities of the student may be examined by a committee designated for this purpose with the parent’s approval. Frequently, the decision taken by the committee results in exemption from the obligation to fulfil the requirements of certain subjects (e.g. foreign language or mathematics). This is not an obstacle to the student's progression.


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 evaluations. The issuance of the year-end school report is preceded by an exam only in the following cases:

  1. in case of students in individual learning schedule
  2. in case of students who received an unsatisfactory (1) grade form a given subject at the end of the year,
  3. in case of students who missed more than 30% of the overall number of classes.

These students have to give an account of their knowledge in the form of a complex exam covering the subject material of the given grade.

The year-end school report is a public document, the contents of which must be accepted until the contrary is proven. The form of this report is approved by the Minister responsible for education, while the of vocational qualification certificate is approved by the Minister responsible for vocational training and adult education (Ministry of Culture and Innovation). The production and distribution of this document also requires the minister’s permit.

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.

In VET a student may receive a certificate verifying a given vocational qualification if he/she has successfully completed the vocational and exam requirements. Students who have only partially completed these requirements may receive a partial qualification. The certificate is issued by the vocational exam committee. This document entitles the owner to find employment or pursue activities related to the given vocation. In addition to the identification number and the title of the qualification or partial qualification or the add-on qualification, a certificate must include:

(a) the level of the Hungarian Qualifications Framework

(b) the level of the European Qualifications Framework