Skip to main content
European Commission logo
EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Assessment in vocational and technical upper secondary education


6.Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary Education

6.6Assessment in vocational and technical upper secondary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Pupil/Students assessment

General study assessment in vocational and technical upper secondary schools is in the hands of teachers, under the supervision of the head teacher. Upper secondary schools generally have examinations at the end of every semester, regardless of the type of school. These examinations are in most cases written. Pupils are obliged to take these if they wish to continue and complete their education. The examination period, including the time that it takes to mark the exams, is around three weeks each semester. There are no formal comprehensive final examinations in schools that operate according to a unit-credit system. 

Marks are given in whole numbers on a scale from one to ten in all schools, ten being the highest. On receiving their marks, all pupils have the right to inspect their examinations in the presence of a teacher. 

Assignments completed during the semester often count towards the final mark, but their weighting varies depending on circumstances. Certain courses have no final examination at the end of the semester and the grade is based on continuous assessment and on the assignments set. The continuous assessment is done by the teacher and is, for example, based on tests, pupil participation during lessons, and assignments. In schools with traditional classes or forms, the teacher usually gives a grade based on work the pupil has done during the year, which counts as part of the final mark. This is also the case in some schools that operate on the unit-credit system. 

Pupil evaluation is carried out both by continuous assessment and final assessment at the end of each semester. The continuous assessment is decided by the teacher and is, for example, based on tests, homework and pupil participation during lessons. In the theoretical aspect of a course there are usually written examinations, but in practical courses assessment is based either on assignments that have been carried out during the semester or written and practical examinations. 

For the certified trades there are journeyman's examinations. They are the responsibility of the trade in question. A committee with members from industry and the trade unions (employers and employees) define the requirements and oversee the journeyman's examination. This national co-ordinated examination consists of a practical and a theoretical part. A journeyman's examination can last from one to ten days, depending on the trade. 

Apart from the journeyman's examination, there are no national co-ordinated examinations in vocational education. Examinations are the responsibility of each individual school and are supervised by the head of the department in question. Examinations are written by an individual subject teacher or teachers and marked by them. External examiners are not called in except in the event of a dispute.  

Under the Upper Secondary School Act, occupational councils make proposals concerning assessment, including the journeyman’s examination. 

Progression of pupils/students

In schools that operate according to the unit-credit system, pupils are given a certain number of credits for each course unit they complete. The pupil's progress is thus measured in credits. The passing grade for each course unit is five (on a 1-10 scale). 


Many forms of vocational training give the pupils legal certification for certain types of employment. This applies to studies in the certified trades and, for example, to the course for auxiliary nurses and the course that qualifies vessel-captains. 

In the certified trades, the pupils´ training ends with the journeyman's examination which is a pre-requisite for working in a certified trade. Rights to practise a certain trade subject to the requirement of the qualification are issued by the ministry that handles matters relating to the trade in question.  

Trade- og Journeyman's examination

Those who have completed the journeyman’s examination can become master craftsmen after a certain period of work experience and advanced studies. Master craftsmen receive their qualification certification from the local chief of police or district commissioner.