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Assessment in vocational upper secondary education


6.Upper secondary education and post-secondary tertiary education

6.6Assessment in vocational upper secondary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Pupil/Students assessment

Regulations to the Education Act Chapter 3 on individual assessment states:

  • The pupils shall understand what they have to learn and what is required of them, e.g. by preparing them for what is expected of them in a more formal assessment situation.
  • The pupils shall receive feedback which tells them about the quality of their work or performance and which includes feedback on the reasons why the work is considered good or bad.
  • The pupils and apprentices shall be given advice on how they may improve based on what they have done.
  • The pupils and apprentices shall be involved in their own learning by assessing their own work and development, amongst other things.

The students’ legislative right to assessment means both a right to formative (continuous) assessment and final assessment and a right to documentation of their education. The students shall be assessed in the school subjects and in order and conduct.

Pupil assessment has the following aims:

  • Informing the pupil, parents, teacher and school about the pupil's progress in relation to the curricula objectives.
  • Serving as a tool for the guidance, motivation and development of the pupil.
  • Offering an opportunity for the teacher to continuously evaluate his/her teaching, procedures and whether the pupil is gaining satisfactory learning outcomes from the teaching.
  • Providing information about the pupil’s ability to society, employers and higher education institutions. 

For vocational subjects moreover the counties are responsible for external assessment, appointing external examiners and administration of complaints.

Formative assessment in vocational programmes has the same purpose and provision as in general upper secondary education. See chapter 6.3.

Summative (final) assessment occurs after year 2 of vocational education. All pupils receive an overall achievement mark. The pupils are tested in their chosen vocational field as described in the Guidelines for Examinations in Vocational Education (in Norwegian).

Progression of pupils/students

After year 2: All pupils in year 2 of upper secondary education shall have one compulsory interdisciplinary examination from the subjects within their study area. In addition, around 20% of the pupils in the course of year 1 and year 2, shall be selected for an examination in one subject. The examination is written and lasts up to 5 hours. The overall achievement grade is set by the teacher at the end of year 2.

Year 3 and 4 of the vocational training is conducted in the companies where the apprentice has his or her apprenticeship. There at no exams during this period except for the Trade- or journeymans examination at the end.


  • Successful completion of three years of upper secondary education including upper secondary year 1, 2 and 3 (regardless of area of study) or possession of a recognised vocational qualification.
  • Studies corresponding to a specific level of attainment, determined by the number of lessons per week, within the following general subject areas: Norwegian, English, Social studies History, Mathematics and Natural Science.
  • Certificate awarded upon completion of three years of upper secondary education leading to either a general admission qualification for higher education or a vocational qualification in vocational subjects. 

There are two ways of gaining a higher education admission qualification: either by three years of study with a minimum level of attainment in the subjects mentioned above, or by completing and passing upper secondary year 1 and 2 on a vocational programme followed by a supplementary programme at upper secondary year 3.

Trade- og Journeyman's examination

Trade- or Journeyman’s examination (final) is taken on completion of an apprenticeship at a workplace or upper secondary school. Successful candidates are awarded a trade certificate, entitling them to practice the trade concerned. The duration in number of days of the examinations vary from vocation to vocation.

In most cases the final test in vocational education and training is the trade or journeyman’s examination. The test is marked as very good, passed or failed. The vocational education programmes lead to trade certificates, journeyman’s certificates or other vocational qualifications.

The county examination board issues trade and journeyman’s certificates on the basis of recognised trade or journeyman’s tests.