The state educational programme defines educational standards. These are requirements pupils need to meet within a specific time period (grade). These requirements are formulated as competences which include knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values in the context of the defined educational content. They contain the structure of teaching targets, performance requirements, and the defined framework teaching content.
All educational programmes must contain an internal evaluation system and monitoring of students, which, however, must comply with the relevant legislation (Education Act (SK), Methodological guidance (SK) No.21/2011 defining the evaluation and marking procedure of secondary school pupils in the Slovak Republic).
According to the legislation, pupils have the right to:
- know what will be assessed and in what manner,
- be informed of the result of each assessment,
- impartial evaluation.
Continuous and summative marking of pupils is performed in the process of education and training. Continuous marking is used to assess pupils’ partial results and behaviour during the school year (formative assessment). Summative marking is performed at the end of each term (summative assessment).
Pupils take oral, written and practical examination. Record of each examination is made.
Pupil’s final mark in a subject is determined by the teacher. If there are more teachers teaching a subject, the relevant teachers will agree on the final mark for the marking period.
When determining the final mark in each subject at the end of the marking period teachers will evaluate the quality of work and study results achieved by the pupil in the course the whole marking period. Factors taken into account include: pupil’s systematic approach to work, expressed personal and social competences, responsibility, effort, initiative, willingness and ability to cooperate in the course of the whole marking period. The achievement level is not determined based on the average of obtained marks in the given marking period, but the weight of each mark is taken into account.
Pupil’s achievements in individual subjects are marked by the following scale:
- 1 – excellent,
- 2 – laudable,
- 3 – good,
- 4 – satisfactory and
- 5 –fail.
Pupil’s behaviour is assessed separately as follows:
- 1- very good,
- 2- satisfactory,
- 3- less satisfactory and
- 4- dissatisfactory.
Upon successful completion of a grade, pupils receive a certificate. The certificate shows numeral evaluation in each subject and evaluation of behaviour. In subjects which are not marked (ethical education, religion), the certificate shows are “pupil passed” of “pupil failed”. Pupils can be exempted from taking a subject for example due to health reasons (e.g. physical education).
The overall evaluation of secondary school pupils at the end of the first and the second term of the school year:
- He/she passed with honours,
- He/ she passed very well,
- He/she passed,
- He/she failed.
School may give pupils recognition for excellent results or exemplary behaviour; admonitions or reprimands of varying severity for misdemeanours.
For serious or repeated misdemeanours against school rules, principles of coexistence, human rights or moral standards of the society, pupils may be conditionally expelled or expelled from the study if they have already completed their compulsory school attendance.
Pupils may take the commissional examination in cases defined by law. If a pupil fails not more two subjects he/she can re-take the examination in an additional date (most often the last week of summer holiday, before the beginning of the new school year). The legal representative is informed about the pupil’s bad marks in the course of the given term of the school year.
The basis for evaluation of the study results of conservatory pupils in the main study field and in other practical vocational subjects is the commissional examinations and artistic production, which take place in front of examination commissions appointed by the headteacher. Commissional examinations take place at the end of each term and at the end of the school year within the extent defined by the educational programme.
Same assessment principles apply to the assessment of conservatory pupils in general education subjects as to the assessment of gymnasium and secondary school pupils.
Schools carry out internal evaluation of pupils’ results and publish them at their websites in the Report on the Educational Activity at the end of each school year.
External evaluation of schools is performed by the State School Inspection (SK), which presents an annual report on the state and quality of education and training in the Slovak Republic to the parliament.
Progression of pupils/students
All pupils of secondary school, except of those who failed, move on to a next grade. A pupil who fails in two compulsory subjects at most may with the headteacher’s approval, take a re-sit. After its successful passing pupil moves on to the next grade. If the pupil fails re-sit, the headteacher can allow him to repeat the grade. In the course of study the pupil can transfer to another school. The transition of a pupil is decided by headteacher of the secondary school that the pupil chose to transfer to. The content, scope and date of the differential examination to be taken by the pupil upon the transition are set by headteacher of the secondary school to which the pupil has been transferred.
School leaving examination (“maturita”)
School-leaving examination completes the following study:
- At minimum a four-year and at maximum eight-year educational programme of a field of study at gymnasium,
- at minimum a four-year and at maximum five-year educational programme of a field of study at secondary vocational school,
- extension courses which continue after the previous vocational education and preparation in a related field of study,
- in the fourth grade of a six-year educational programme at conservatories and in the eighth grade at dance conservatories.
The Certificate of school-leaving examination serves as a certificate of the achieved level of education.
In compliance with the state educational programme, the National Institute for Education in Slovak Republic creates the Catalogue of Target Requirements for the School-leaving Examination (SK) (hereinafter referred to as „Catalogue“). The Catalogue is compiled of target requirements for the school-leaving examination in individual subjects. The school-leaving examination aims to verify pupils’ knowledge and skills in the extent of the subject-matter defined by the Catalogue of Target Requirements and to verify how pupils are prepared to use the acquired competences in the further study or the pursuit of professions and vocational activities for which they are being trained. The Catalogue defines the requirements for the expected pupils’ level for each subject in secondary education and at the school-leaving examination. It aims to ensure a comparable level of pupils completing secondary education study throughout the whole Slovakia. The latest Catalogue has been valid since 1st September 2018.
The school leaving examination consists of
- an external part and
- an internal part.
The external part of the school-leaving examination consists of a written test taken at the same time all over the territory of the Slovak Republic. It is arranged by the National Institute for Certified Educational Measurements (NICEM) – which is a directly controlled professional institution of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. NICEM has been experimentally testing the online external part of the school examination school since 2018. The following subjects have the external part: the Slovak language and literature, foreign languages, national minority languages of instruction (Hungarian language and literature and Ukrainian language and literature) and mathematics. Pupils’ achievement in the external part is evaluated in percentage.
The internal part of the school-leaving examination is comprised of a written form in languages, which is given at the national level at the same time and evaluated in percentage, and an oral part. The internal part of the school-leaving examinations which do not have a written form is comprised only of the oral part. The oral part of the internal part of the school-leaving examination can have several forms:
- oral examination,
- practical examination,
- complex task or artistic performance,
- defense of a complex specialist thesis or project, or successful competition work,
- implementation and defense of an experiment,
- combinations of forms according to the previous points.
The oral part of the school examination is marked and in order to pass, pupils need to achieve at least the ‘satisfactory’ mark (4).
The certificate of school-leaving examination shows each part individually and states only whether the pupil passed the school-leaving examination or not.
Pupils pass if they:
- achieve at least 33% in the external test, at least 25% in the written form of the internal part and at least mark 4 – satisfactory – in the oral part,
- achieve at least mark 3 in the oral part and at least 25% or at least mark 4 and at least 33% in the external part for subjects which do not have the written form of the internal part of the school-leaving examination,
- in the optional and voluntary subjects without the external part and the written form, the oral examination is evaluated by marks 1-4.
If pupils fail the school-leaving examination they can re-take it.
The internal part of the school-leaving examination is public, except for its written form. Pupils are allowed to take the internal part of the school-leaving examination (except for the written form) in at most three subjects in one day. Pupils will take the internal part in the course of five working days at most. Pupils will take the school-leaving examination in the language in which they have studied the subject. Before the start of the internal part of the school-leaving examination, except for its written form, pupils do not take part in lessons for five consecutive days. These days are meant for pupils to prepare for the examination.
The school-leaving examination is to be taken in the regular examination period from March to June of the respective school year or in the special examination period from April to May of the respective school year or in September, or in February of the following school year.
Pupils with special educational needs which do not allow them to take the school-leaving examination in a standard way take the examination under conditions adapted to them as defined in the Annex to the referenced Act, that is, the school-leaving tests will be adapted to them according to the degree of their disability, using enlarged letters, clearly divided text, the underlined substance of the assignment. The blind pupils will work with texts in Braille’s. From the total number of about 60 000 registered secondary school pupils about 300 pupils are with special education needs.
In classes with two languages of instruction, in which the education is regulated by international agreement, the school-leaving examination is taken according to this agreement and practice.
If a pupil, his/her guardian or other person authorised by the latter is not satisfied with the evaluation of the school-leaving examination, or its written part, he/she may ask the headteacher for examining his/her written work and compare its evaluation with the answer key and the rules for evaluating work within five days from the date of learning the results. If the complaint about the evaluation of the school-leaving examination is justified, the re-sit exam is held before a subject commission in its original composition.
School-leaving examination (“maturita”) subjects
All pupils at gymnasiums with the Slovak as the language of instruction are obliged to take the school-leaving examination in the Slovak language and literature and in a foreign language at B level of the Common European Framework. Pupils at gymnasiums (4-year and 8-year) further choose one subject from sciences or social sciences and an additional optional subject provided that the number of lessons taken in the subject in the whole study was at least 6.
Pupils at gymnasiums with a national minority language of instruction have to take the school-leaving examination in the national minority language and literature, Slovak language and literature, foreign language at the B-level, and an optional subject.
Pupils at bilingual gymnasiums have to take the school-leaving examination in the Slovak language and literature, the second language of instruction at the C1 level of the Common European Framework, one optional subject from sciences or social sciences, and 1 -4 other optional subjects.
Pupils at secondary vocational schools with the Slovak as the language of instruction have to take the school-leaving examination in the Slovak language and literature, a foreign language at the B level, and the theoretical and practical part of the vocational component.
Pupils at secondary vocational schools with a national minority language have to take the school-leaving examination in the national minority language and literature, Slovak language and literature, a foreign language at B level and the theoretical and the practical part of the vocational component.
Pupils at bilingual secondary vocational schools have to take the school-leaving examination in the Slovak language and literature, foreign language at the C1 level of the Common European Framework, and the vocational component – theoretical part in the second language of instruction and the practical part in the Slovak language.
School-leaving examination (“Maturita”) commission
School-leaving examination (“Maturita”) commission is nationwide, and it is appointed by the minister of education.
The chairman of the school maturita (school-leaving examination) commission is appointed by the relevant state administration authority and it cannot be a teacher employed in the school where the school-leaving examination is held. The school maturita (school-leaving examination) commission members include: the chairman, the headteacher and chairmen of subject commissions.
Subject school-leaving examination commission has a chairman and two examining teachers from the given school. School-leaving examinations are held in front of the subject school-leaving examination commission.
The chairman of the school maturita (school-leaving examination) commission at bilingual schools is appointed by the Ministry of Education. The commission members are obliged to comply with the rules defined by the decree which concern the number of examined pupils and the time of examination.
Pupils achieve lower secondary vocational education (ISCED 253) by successful completion of the last grade of a 2-year educational programme of a field of study at a secondary vocational school or by successful completion of the last year of the educational programme of a field of study at a apprentice schools (“odborné učilište”); in order to do so, pupils must take the final examination; the certificate of achieved level of education and qualification is the Certificate of final examination; in study fields defined by the state educational programme the certificate of the achieved education can also be the Certificate of Apprenticeship, Secondary vocational education (ISCED 353) is achieved by successful completion of the last grade of at least a 3-year and at most a 4-year educational programme of a field of education at secondary vocational school completed by the final examination; a certificate on the received level of education is the Certificate of final examination with a supplement and the certificate on the obtained qualification is the Certificate of Apprenticeship,
The final examination aims to:
- verify pupils‘ knowledge and skills in the extent of the subject matter defined by the educational standards of the State educational programme and
- verify, how the pupils are prepared to use the acquired competencies for the pursuit of professions and professional activities for which they are being trained.
Pupils may take the final examination if they have successfully completed the last year of the educational programme of the respective field.
The final examination consists of a written part, a practical part, and an oral part. The final examination verifies pupils’ knowledge and skills in by means of a question/topic drawn by the pupil.
The examination commission has permanent members and other members. The chairman of the commission cannot be a teacher employed in the school where the final examination is held. The chairman is appointed by the relevant state administration authority. For the final examination at secondary apprentice school (“stredné odborné učilište”) it is a master of vocational training and a teacher of vocational subjects. The headteacher can invite an expert from practice to sit in the final examination upon the approval of the chairman of the examination commission. The expert can ask pupils questions upon the examination commission chairman’s approval; the expert does not assess pupils.
The chairman of the examination commission at the resit examination in the additional examination period and at oral examinations in the additional examination period is the school’s headteacher or an authorized representative.
The graduate examination is a complex vocational examination which verifies the level of pupils’ specific knowledge and skills. The examination verifies the level of artistic and pedagogical-artistic activities. The graduate examination is comprised of
- a graduate performance in the main field(s) of study, graduate written thesis and its defense and the cumulative examination(s) in pedagogical training at conservatories,
- a graduate performance in the main field of study and the cumulative examination in pedagogical training at dance conservatories.
The graduate examination is held in the regular examination period in June of the respective year or in the additional examination period in September or February of the following school year.
The date of the graduate examination is set by the headteacher. The additional examination is designed for taking the re-sit graduate examination or replacement graduate examination.
The permanent members of the examination commission at conservatories are the chairman, vice-chairman and the head of the department. The chairman, examiner and an assessor are present at the examination in vocational subjects.
The course of school-leaving examinations and final examinations is monitored by the State School Inspection (SK.
Final post-secondary examination
Final post-secondary examination completes the improvement post-secondary studies or the innovative post-secondary studies.
Pupils may take the final post-secondary examination if they have successfully completed the last year of their study.
It is a vocational examination which verifies the level of improvement or innovation of vocational knowledge and skills of pupils achieved by means of postsecondary improvement study or qualification study.
It consists of the theoretical part of the vocational component and the practical part of the vocational component. According to the nature of the respective study field the practical part of the vocational component may consist of written or graphical solution of tasks.
The theoretical part of the professional component is oral. It is held during the regular examination period in June, during the additional examination period in September, or in February of the following school year.
The practical part of the vocational component of the final post-secondary examination takes at most 24 hours depending on the character of the study field, and at most 8 hours in one day. In fields where it is required by the character of the examination, the practical part of the vocational component can take four weeks.
When taking the final post-secondary examination, one hour of the final post-secondary examination is considered to be 60 minutes.
The examination time for pupils with health disabilities can be appropriately extended by the chairman of the subject school-leaving examination commission.
The practical part of the vocational components of the final post-secondary examination can be done individually or in a group. Pupils can use aids specified in the work assignment.
Pupils do not attend school five for five school days prior to the final post-secondary examination.
Common provisions regarding the completion of study
Pupils can take the school-leaving examination, final post-secondary examination, final examination or graduate examination within three years upon having completed secondary school study.
School-leaving examination in foreign language at the C1 level can be recognized as the state language examination.
The day after taking any of the above-mentioned examinations the graduate ceases to be a pupil of the school.
If a secondary vocational school pupil did not take the final examination on the set date and he/she was allowed to resit or defer the examination, the pupil will keep his/her rights and responsibilities until the end of the school year the pupil was supposed to finish the study.