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Estonia:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

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Overview Estonia

Contents

Estonia:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Estonia:Historical Development

Estonia:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Estonia:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Estonia:Political and Economic Situation

Estonia:Organisation and Governance

Estonia:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Estonia:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Estonia:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Estonia:Organisation of Private Education

Estonia:National Qualifications Framework

Estonia:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Estonia:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Estonia:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Estonia:Funding in Education

Estonia:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Estonia:Higher Education Funding

Estonia:Adult Education and Training Funding

Estonia:Early Childhood Education and Care

Estonia:Organisation

Estonia:Teaching and Learning

Estonia:Assessment

Estonia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Estonia:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Estonia:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Estonia:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Estonia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Estonia:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Higher Education

Estonia:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Estonia:First Cycle Programmes

Estonia:Bachelor

Estonia:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Estonia:Second Cycle Programmes

Estonia:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Estonia:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Estonia:Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Distribution of Responsibilities

Estonia:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Estonia:Main Providers

Estonia:Main Types of Provision

Estonia:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Estonia:Teachers and Education Staff

Estonia:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Estonia:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Estonia:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Estonia:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Management and Other Education Staff

Estonia:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Estonia:Management Staff for Higher Education

Estonia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Estonia:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Quality Assurance

Estonia:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Estonia:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Educational Support and Guidance

Estonia:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Estonia:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Estonia:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Estonia:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Estonia:Mobility and Internationalisation

Estonia:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Mobility in Higher Education

Estonia:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Estonia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Estonia:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Estonia:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Estonia:National Reforms in School Education

Estonia:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Estonia:National Reforms in Higher Education

Estonia:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Estonia:European Perspective

Estonia:Legislation

Estonia:Glossary

 

Student Assessment

The new national curriculum for upper secondary schools introduces the notion of formative assessment that means assessment taking place during studies, in the course of which the student’s knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and behaviour are analysed, feedback is provided on the student’s previous results and shortcomings, the student is encouraged and guided in further studies and the future objectives and routes of studying are planned.

Students are assessed on a five-point scale. According to the assessment regulation, a school may also use a different assessment system but when a student is graduating from upper secondary school or changing schools the grades have to be converted into the five-point system. The majority of upper secondary schools using a different system use that of higher education institutions as a basis. A 100-point system is used for marking state examination papers. Course grades and study stage grades are given at the upper secondary school level. A transfer from annual grades to study stage grades took effect since the 2007/2008 academic year.

As of the academic year 2013/2014,  the procedure for taking state examinations and graduating from upper secondary school was changed. In order to graduate from upper secondary school, students have to pass state examinations in mother tongue or – in cases specified in the national curriculum for upper secondary schools – in Estonian as a second language, mathematics, foreign language, school examination and student study or practical work. Students may choose to perform the foreign language examination in Russian, English, German or French. Only English is available for state examination. State examinations in Russian, German and French are replaced by international examinations. A student is not required to take a foreign language examination if the he or she submits to the school valid examination papers or a certification attesting to the achievement of level B1 or higher in an internationally recognised examination, e.g., First Certificate in English (FCE), DALF C1 level, Goethe-Zertifikat C1 level, etc. A detailed list of the tests and related requirements are provided for in the relevant directive.

Upper secondary school examination results are taken into consideration for admission purposes at institutions of higher education. 

In general, state examinations are written examinations. The state examinations are prepared by working groups of specialists in relevant subjects and the students' state examination papers are evaluated by state commissions. The procedures for carrying out state examinations are established by the Ministry of Education and Research. Until 2012, the  National Examinations and Qualifications Centre, henceforth the Foundation Innove  was responsible for the organisation of state exams and evaluation of state examination papers. The evaluation commissions for state examinations grade the coded state examination papers on a 100-point scale. A result for a state examination of at least one percent of maximum score indicates a pass.

Progression of Students

The standard period of study in upper secondary school is three years; the period of study may be prolonged on the basis of an individual curriculum.

The conditions of and procedures for assignment of supplementary study to a student are set out in the school's curriculum. A student acquiring upper secondary education is excluded from school in case he or she receives, in any of the academic years, “poor” or “weak” as a course grade in more than half of the courses in three or more subjects. The school rules may establish additional bases for exclusion from upper secondary school.


Certification

Students or external students who have fulfilled the conditions for graduation from upper secondary school are issued an Upper Secondary School Leaving Certificate. The results of state examinations and electronic certificates are made available electronically to people having passed the examinations. The data of State Examination Certificates and Upper Secondary School Leaving Certificates are entered in the Estonian Education Information System (EHIS) into the sub-registry of educational certificates.

The Foundation Innove issues the State Examination Certificate. The school where a student studied issues the School Leaving Certificate. A State Examination Certificate is valid only together with an Upper Secondary School Leaving Certificate. A school leaving certificate is valid as an independent educational certificate also without the school report or a state examination certificate.

From the academic year 2013/14 onwards, the Upper Secondary School Leaving Certificate is issued by the school on the basis of a decision of the teachers’ council to:

  • students whose study stage grades are at least satisfactory or, in case of elective subjects, satisfied or passed;
  • students who have passed final examinations in mother tongue or Estonian as a second language, mathematics and foreign language (English, French, Russian or German) to the extent required for these subjects with at least one per cent of the maximum score;
  • students who have passed school examination of upper secondary school with at least satisfactory result;
  • students who have performed student study or practical work during the upper secondary school period with at least satisfactory result, unless they graduate as external students.

Students with special educational needs, whose school curriculum or individual curriculum recommended by counselling committee has reduced or replaced the academic results required by national curriculum for upper secondary school, will graduate on the basis of performance of academic results determined by school curriculum or individual curriculum.


A school leaving certificate is issued after the state examination certificate has been issued.

Legislative References

Conditions of and procedure for preparing and conducting level determining tests and final examinations in basic schools and upper secondary schools, and for compiling, assessing and preserving examination papers, and conditions of and procedure for analysing the results of level determining tests, the harmonised final examinations of basic school and state examinations

Conditions and procedure for preparing and assessing student investigation papers and practical work

Formats and statutes of basic school and upper secondary school graduation certificates