- April 7, 2015
High school finals coming up
During the Easter week, when schools enjoyed the Easter break, this year’s high school graduates were taking their language exams. Sooner than in one month, on May 2nd, the public high school final exam in French will take place first. All the high school finals last until mid-June. The number of students taking them this year will reach 37,279 (against 38,562 in 2014), and one thousand in Polish schools.
High school finals will take place on consecutive Saturdays in May: the French exam on May 2nd, the Russian exam on May 9th, the German exam on May 16th, and the English exam on May 23rd. On May 28th, 950 students of Polish schools will be sitting the Polish exam. On the same day, all the Russian schools and the only Belarussian school in Lithuania will be holding their native language exams. The exam in the native tongue held in schools of national minorities is not compulsory.
The finals last until June 17th. Retakes are due between June 22nd and July 7th.
In order to obtain a secondary school graduation certificate, one needs to pass two exams: a compulsory Lithuanian exam (either a public one or a school-based one), and an exam in a selected subject. The majority of students are going to take at least three exams as universities, and institutions of higher education demand a minimum of three grades for the finals. Public exams will be held across 12 subjects, school exams in 7 subjects (Lithuanian, art, musicology, technology, native languages: Polish, Russian and Belarussian).
Similarly to the previous years, the most popular subjects, besides compulsory Lithuanian, were English, history and maths. The state exam in Lithuanian will be taken by 21,095 students; in English by 21,892; in maths by 15,290, and as many as 13,006 will sit one in history. The number of students sitting exams in geography, biology and physics has been on the increase for three years.
Exam papers will be marked by over one thousand examiners. The results will have been published by July 10th at the latest. Saulė Vingelienė, head of the National Examination Centre, has informed that confidentiality regulations on exam papers have been sharpened this year. “Like in the previous years, all those responsible for preparing the tests, i.e. the authors, reviewers and translators, have signed an appendix to the author’s agreement, pledging themselves to keep the exam questions in confidence. Financial consequences for revealing any information about them have been specified and sharpened this year”, added S. Vingelienė.
Exam papers are prepared by people selected by way of competition. They are experts in their fields, having at least 3-year experience in high school teaching. During last year’s exams, both students and teachers voiced many objections to the exam questions in maths, history and Lithuanian. The National Examination Centre has commissioned an independent analysis of the exam papers. The results of this analysis were taken into account when preparing this year’s exams. “Draft versions of the exam papers have been reviewed by experts and a language editor. Some of the terms and difficult words used in the tests have been translated into Polish and Russian”, informed Vingelienė.
The build-up to high school finals is a nerve-racking time for students. A special training programme, created by scientists from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw, will help them to control stress levels, prepare well for the exams and motivate them to learn. The programme has been implemented in Poland for a few years as a part of a special campaign. It’s the first time the “Podrasuj sobie mózg” (“Boost Your Brain”) campaign has taken place in Lithuania. The patron of the campaign is the Pedagogical and Psychological Counselling Centre of the Vilnius District.
Based on: egzaminai.lt, delfi.lt, inf.wł.
Translated by Julia Pastewska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.