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Assessment in general upper secondary education


6.Secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education

6.6Assessment in general upper secondary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Students assessment

At general upper secondary level education institutions adopt a system combining formative and summative assessments. Ongoing formative assessments are supplemented with summative assessments held on a half-yearly and end-of-year basis. These assessments are also essential for student progression from the first to the second year of the course. 


Junior College

In line with Legal Notice 132 of 1996 regarding the Education Act, the College-based assessment is based on regular coursework and progress assessments. Each academic year is divided into two (2) assessment periods and students are assigned an average progress assessment mark per subject per assessment period.

Programmes of study of two (2) years, will have the following assessments:

  1. First Year: two (2) average progress assessments with a 20% weighting each, and an end-of-year examination of 60% weighting per subject
  2. Second Year: one (1) average progress assessment of 100% weighting per subject.


Programmes of study of one (1) year, will have one (1) progress assessment of 100% per subject. Students following programmes of less than one year will be assessed according to the approved course description.

End-of-year (EOY) examinations are held in two main sessions during each academic year. Students who are eligible to sit for EOY examinations, will have to sit for these examinations in all subjects at the end of the year. Students are expected to attend regularly for all sessions throughout the academic year and those who fail to attend 10% of their sessions during the academic year without justification, will be considered to have abandoned their course and will not be allowed to sit for their end-of-year examinations. The pass mark is 45% in each subject.

For a student to be promoted from one year of the course to another, a minimum global mark equivalent to 45% of the maximum global mark must be obtained. The global mark is the sum of all the progress assessment marks and end-of-year examinations for all academic subjects.

In line with its mission statement, the College offers a whole range of activities, programmes and initiatives, collectively referred to as Enrichment Programme, which is meant to develop and enrich students holistically. The EP is intended to complement the formal study programme. While participation in EP is completely voluntary, it is intended to complement the formal study programme. A maximum of 30 marks obtained from the participation in Enrichment Programme may be added to the global mark and may be used for the purpose of promotion.

State higher secondary schools

During the first term all students attending at the state higher secondary schools are given an Assessment Mark, based on the work done during that term.

At the end of the second term, first year students sit for the end-of-term tests whereas second year students sit for their end-of-course final examinations. On completion of the two-year programme students are given a Final Assessment Report which includes the first year annual grade, the first term assessment mark, the final examination raw mark out of 100 and the Overall Global Mark for the course.

Progression of students

Assessments at post-secondary level are essential for student progression from the first to the second year of the course.

Junior College

Those students who fail to attain the required 45% threshold in the global mark, even after adding the marks obtained in EP, will have the possibility of sitting for the examinations of the 2 subjects in which they obtained the least mark in the EOY examinations. Students who are not promoted, will be given the opportunity to automatically re-start the year. They may restart the study programme they were following, or start a new programme, if it is beneficial to them. Students can register for a study programme any number of times, provided they hold the necessary entry requirements.

State post-secondary schools

Greater autonomy exists at upper secondary level as institutions decide on the students’ promotion criteria from one year to another. Generally this depends on students’ performance throughout the year and especially in their annual examinations. The institutions decide the overall weighting given to the formative and summative elements of assessments which will result in the overall rating at the end of the year. In those subjects involving laboratory and workshop practice, formative assessment is given more weighting.

 At Giovanni Curmi Higher Secondary School, first year students need to obtain an overall Global Assessment Mark of at least 45% in each of the subjects studied at Advanced and Intermediate Level to be promoted to the second year. A Credit Mark, on a 10-point scale, is awarded for participation and contribution in school life and activities. Special examination arrangements are made according to students’ individual needs.


General upper secondary education institutions prepare students for the Matriculation examinations which are administered by the Matriculation and Secondary Education Certificate (MATSEC) Board of the University of Malta. Successful candidates within the general education strand are awarded the Matriculation Certificate.


Candidates qualify for the Matriculation Certificate if they obtain a minimum of 44 grade points (described below); sit for six subjects, two at Advanced Matriculation level, Intermediate Matriculation Systems of Knowledge, and three other subjects at Intermediate Matriculation level; and obtain a passing grade in at least one of the subjects from each of Areas 1, 2, 3 and a passing grade in Systems of Knowledge. 

The results given in the individual subjects are given as Grades A, B, C, D, and E in descending order of merit. F indicates a fail. Grade points are awarded for these results up to a total of 100 as follows: 

Grade Points for Advanced Level Examinations


Points Awarded

Grade A

30 Grade Points

Grade B

24 Grade Points

Grade C

18 Grade Points

Grade D

12 Grade Points

Grade E

6 Grade Points


Grade Points for Intermediate Level Examinations


Points Awarded

Grade A

10 Grade Points

Grade B

8 Grade Points

Grade C

6 Grade Points

Grade D

4 Grade Points

Grade E

2 Grade Points


The requirements for the Matriculation Certificate may be obtained by the candidates within a period of five years from the first sitting of any Intermediate and/or Advanced Matriculation level examination. Some restrictions as to which subjects may be presented apply.  These are specified below:

  • No subject may be presented at both Advanced Matriculation level and Intermediate Matriculation level;
  • Not more than two subjects from Accounting, Economics, and Marketing may be presented;
  • Intermediate Matriculation in Environmental Science may not be presented with Intermediate or Advanced Matriculation in Chemistry, Physics, and Biology;
  • Computing may not be presented with Information Technology;
  • Engineering Drawing may not be presented with Graphical Communication;
  • Classical Studies may not be presented with Latin or Greek.

    At the Junior College, students are awarded a Final Assessment Report on completion of the two-year course.