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Hungary:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education

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Hungary:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Hungary:Historical Development

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Hungary:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

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Hungary:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Hungary:Organisation of Private Education

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

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

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Hungary:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Hungary:Higher Education Funding

Hungary:Adult Education and Training Funding

Hungary:Early Childhood Education and Care

Hungary:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Hungary:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Hungary:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Hungary:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

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

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

Hungary:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Hungary:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Hungary:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Hungary:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Organisation of General Secondary Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in General Secondary Education

Hungary:Assessment in General Secondary Education

Hungary:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education

Hungary:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education

Hungary:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

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

Hungary:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Higher Education

Hungary:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Hungary:First Cycle Programmes

Hungary:Bachelor

Hungary:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Hungary:Second Cycle Programmes

Hungary:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Hungary:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Hungary:Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Distribution of Responsibilities

Hungary:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Hungary:Main Providers

Hungary:Main Types of Provision

Hungary:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Hungary:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

Hungary:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Hungary:Management and Other Education Staff

Hungary:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

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

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

Hungary:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Hungary:Management Staff for Higher Education

Hungary:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Hungary:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

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

Hungary:Quality Assurance

Hungary:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Hungary:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Educational Support and Guidance

Hungary:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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

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

Hungary:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Hungary:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Hungary:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Hungary:Mobility and Internationalisation

Hungary:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Mobility in Higher Education

Hungary:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

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

Hungary:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Hungary:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Hungary:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Hungary:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Hungary:National Reforms in School Education

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

Hungary:National Reforms in Higher Education

Hungary:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Hungary:European Perspective

Hungary:Legislation

Hungary:Institutions

Hungary:Bibliography

Hungary:Glossary

Students Assessment

The culture of the evaluation of students has improved significantly during the past decade. The spectrum of student performance measurements carried out for various functions - some measurements contributing, at the same time, to the efforts of the education department as well - has grown broader, its standards and propriety have improved, those concerned have grown increasingly assured of its importance in pedagogical and teaching work and quite a number of innovations have also been introduced in vocational education. For example, in the framework of the Vocational School Development Programme carried out with the involvement of 160 vocational schools between 2003 and 2009.  

The 2011 Act on Public Education provides that the performance of students must be regularly evaluated by way of grades and it declares parents’ rights to be provided with regular detailed and meaningful information on the development, behaviour and progress of the studies of their children.

Diagnostic evaluation is frequently applied in vocational schools in comparison to the other secondary programmes. The main reason for this is that the students of the lowest performance in primary school come to vocational schools, most of whom are facing difficulties in literacy and numeracy, thus accurate knowledge of the development needs is key.

Both formative and summative evaluation takes place regularly in the schools. The respective functions and roles of these two types of evaluation however, are not always clearly separated for all of the stakeholders - primarily for the students and their parents but sometimes even for the teacher - and thus the difference between the two is often lost.

Marks and grades used to evaluate student performance are as follows: excellent (5), good (4), satisfactory (3), pass (2) and fail (1). Behaviour and effort/diligence are evaluated on a four-grade scale: exemplary (5), good (4), could do better (3) and poor (2). 

Marks are recorded in the attendance book of the class, which includes students’ basic data, and are also recorded in each student’s report book, which primarily aims to provide information to parents. Most schools use electronic attendance and report books, where teachers, parents and students can access their relevant profiles (under strict data protection conditions). Teachers tend to evaluate all students at least once in every one or two months in every subject, and inform parents about the marks earned through an electronic reporting system. Parents acknowledge school marks/assessment. In case of formative assessment, in addition to giving marks, some schools also provide percentage and a written description of student performance. The assessment tools/methods applied are described in the pedagogical programme of the school. The most frequently used tools of formative assessment are short oral tests, short written tests (taking 5-20 minutes) and the checking of written homework. The most widely used tools of summative assessment are end of topic tests (after completing a larger thematic unit) and mid-term and end-term assessment. These are usually made on the basis of the marks earned during formative and summative assessments throughout the school year. Additional, not so commonly used tools of summative assessment include the written summary of the topic of several lessons; written project works / oral presentations on individual observations, experiments and data collection.

A widely applied formative measurement tool in vocational school training is the so-called ‘level examination’, but it is also applied before concluding a student agreement in the framework of a vocational secondary school or vocational training school programme; it is obligatory for the school to organise a ‘level examination’ and for the pupil to attend it before concluding a student agreement. The level examinations are organised by the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK) in cooperation with the training institution and its database is managed by the MKIK. The level examination is typically executed at the end of the first year of the vocational education and training period and pupils being trained in blue collar jobs obtain practical training from the second year.

Competence assessment

An exercise referred to as National Assessment of Basic Competences (Hungarian abbreviation: OKM) was carried out first in 2001, the primary aim of which was to generate feedback on the effectiveness of schools but the measurement system has developed in a direction that for a few years now it has also been used to inform the student, his or her parents and teachers on the individual’s development as well. The OKM is an annual assessment system covering well-nigh all 6th, 8th and 10th graders in Hungary, and it has been carried out since 2007 in accordance with the a single standard fixed procedural regime regulated by the Act on Public Education and the relevant ministerial decree. Among pupils in vocational secondary education, those attending the so-called Bridge programme (targeting children with no primary school exit certificate) or a special vocational school (for children with disability) do not participate in the assessment from year 10; only children in vocational secondary schools and vocational training schools are assessed. In the course of the assessment students fill out test booklets containing tasks in mathematics and text understanding, at the end of each school year, in the last week of May, in 4x45 minute rounds. The tasks applied in the assessment are aimed at measuring not the extent to which the knowledge content prescribed in the curricular requirements of the given grade but the extent to which the student can apply the knowledge elements acquired in the public education system up to that point in time, in solving problems or tasks drawn from day-to-day life. In addition to a National Report a School Maintaining Organisation’s, Institutional and Branch Unit report and an individual Student report is also generated from the assessment’s database. The Student report presents the results of the individual students, the capability point reached by the individual student and his or her results in the various specific tasks as well as how it relates to the national result and to the results of his or her school and class. The student report can be accessed only with the aid of the assessment ID thus it can be accessed only by the student, his or her parents as well as the school concerned. The national assessment of competences has already made an impact on the development of the institutional diagnostic evaluation culture since the results are analysed by the whole of the teaching staff and large numbers of teachers are provided with further training in this field.

 

Progression of pupils

The general rules applying to the progress of students are laid out in the 2011 Act on Public Education. Accordingly, the teachers evaluate the students’ performance during the school year regularly, by way of marks or grades. At the end of each term and school year the evaluation is expressed in the form of grades in every subject worked out on the basis of the interim grades assigned during the year and on the basis of the student’s activity throughout the term/year. From among the two grades the one assigned at the end of the first term is for information but the year-end grade is a prerequisite for progressing to the next grade. Both the student and the parent have to be informed of the end-of-term and end-of-year grades. At the end of the first term this information is provided by way of the report booklet, while at the end of the year it is provided by way of the annual school report booklet. The annual school report booklet is a public document.

A basic principle (that is set out in the Act on Public Education) is that the mark and grade cannot be applied as a disciplinary instrument, they must reflect the student’s actual knowledge and performance. Schools and teachers increasingly comply with this criterion. The grades - like the marks in the course of the school year - appear in the form of a scale of five grades (excellent - 5, good - 4, medium - 3, satisfactory (pass) - 2 and unsatisfactory (fail) - 1.), while behaviour and diligence is rated on a scale of four grades: exemplary - 5, good - 4, varying - 3 and poor/negligent - 2. The marks are assigned by the teacher and he or she makes a proposal for the year-end grade and the decision is made by the teaching staff. Decision on the progress of the student to the next grade is also made by the teaching staff on the basis of their review of the year-end grades.

A student may progress to the next grade of the school if he managed to fulfil the prescribed study requirements by the end of the school year, i.e. if - on the basis of his or her performance and marks during the year or his/her performance in the school’s examination - he or she received at least a satisfactory (2) grade. Decision on the necessity of repeating a given grade is to be made at the end of the school year. The grade may have to be repeated if the student was assigned an unsatisfactory (1) grade in any subject. Before the beginning of the next school year however, the student may take a re-take examination, theoretically irrespective of the number of subject in need of improvement, but in practice in one, or two or rarely in three subjects. A re-take examination may be taken and passed either at the school or before an independent examination board. The latter must be requested at the school but the organisation of such an examination is a task for the Educational Authority which appoints independent teachers specialising in the subject concerned. This solution is rarely opted for, typically only in cases where there is some conflict or distrust between the student or the parents and the teacher concerned. An additional criteria to progress to the next grade is to attend at least 80% of the practice classes. If the pupil fails to achieve this he/she must repeat that school year.

Retaking a grade cannot be denied from the student until the end of the mandatory schooling age. If the student achieves a minimum of a satisfactory (2) grade in every subject in the re-take examination, he or she may progress to the next grade. A student must repeat the grade on a mandatory basis also when the total number of classes missed with or without justification exceeds the statutory maximum number and the teaching staff did not permit the student to take the grading examination.

As long as the student has not passed the mandatory schooling age grade repetition cannot entail expelling the student from the school. With the now reduced obligatory school age of 16 this means that the school cannot reject the pupil to repeat the grade 9 if he/she has not reached 16 yet. The school may terminate the relationship with the student if the student has failed for the third time to complete the given grade (by which time he or she has probably reached the end of the mandatory schooling age). Another case of grade repetition is when the student requests that he or she be permitted to repeat one or more grades even if he or she could progress to the next grade. This, however, is more of a theoretical possibility.

Since 2013, there is basically no opportunity to change vocational education programme. Dropping out of a programme generally means dropping out of the entire system; in this case, if the pupil reached age 16 he/she can continue his/her education in adult education. In the very infrequent case of changing programme (which happens occasionally in full time programmes) the student usually has to repeat the grade.

Where the student is suspected to be lacking in some particular skill - e.g. dyslexia, dyscalculia – various capabilities of the student may - with the parents’ approval - be examined by a panel designated for this purpose. Increasingly frequently the decision taken by the panel results in exemption from the obligation to fulfil the minimum requirements of certain subjects (e.g. foreign language or mathematics). This does not obstruct the student’s progress to the next grade.

In the vocational secondary school pupils have the option to exit the educational system after obtaining an ISCED 3 level qualification, or to progress to a one-year post-secondary programme (or two years in case of changing trades) in order to acquire an ISCED 4 level qualification. If admission criteria are meet, the pupil may also enter higher education (at BA/BSc level) after grade 12.

Pupils graduating from grade 11 in vocational training schools can either enter the labour market, or attend a two year program to obtain a secondary school leaving examination certificate. This is a precondition for entering higher education, but this is not the reason for this group of pupils to aim for a secondary school leaving examination certificate, but rather to be able to gain some advantages on the labour market (higher salary, job security, more options for further training).

In theory, after graduating from special vocational training school there is an option to progress to a programme providing secondary school leaving examination certificate, but this is extremely rare.

Pupils graduating from the Bridge programmes can either opt for entering the labour market or to progress to vocational training school (or, in theory to vocational secondary school or general secondary school). In this case, progression is very rare, since they would need to start the same three year training at the age of 17 or 18 their more successful peers started at the age of 15 or 15. Further drawback is that the labour market benefit of this type of progression is limited.

 

Certificates

At the end of each grade the students are provided with year-end school reports (certificates). The grades entered in the year-end school reports are based on the student’s performance during the school year, his or her marks received in the course of the formative and the summative assessments/evaluations. The issuance of the certificate is preceded by an examination only in the case of private students and in the case of those who received an unsatisfactory (1) grade at the end of the year in the given subject or who have missed more than 30 % of the total number of classes in the given subject. They demonstrate the knowledge attained by the end of the year in a grading examination. There are almost no private students in vocational education since, pupils cannot be exempt from the practical training, which represent the major part of their education.

The year-end school report is a public document the contents of which must be accepted until the contrary is proven. The printed year-end school report form is approved by the Minister of Education. The minister’s permit is also required for the production and distribution of the forms.

The school cannot refuse to issue a year-end school report on the basis of any excuse. The year-end school report contains the student’s name, identification data, grade, the titles of the subjects, the grade in a textual and in a numerical form, the field of comments, the date, the signature of the principal and the form master as well as the seal of the school.

Vocational secondary school studies end with a so-called secondary school leaving examination. The secondary school leaving examination, as a closing examination, examines general knowledge/education. This is a state examination that is to be organised in accordance with the standardised requirements across all secondary schools in Hungary.

At least in five subjects must be taken in the secondary school leaving examination. These include:

1.) Hungarian language and literature

2.) History

3.) Mathematics

4.) Foreign language – for students participating in minority education it is mother tongue language and literature

5.) One vocational subject

In the new type of education offered from the year 2016 in vocational secondary schools, students obtain an ISCED 3 qualification together with their secondary school leaving examination certificate. This will be first handed over in 2020, until then vocational secondary schools do not provide qualification, it only provides the opportunity to enter the labour market in that sector or to enter postsecondary or higher education programmes.


The examination is comprised of several parts: oral, written and - in the case of certain subjects - a practical part. The examination periods are in May-June and for the students, who failed the school leaving exam at the end of the school year, the retake period is September-October

Students who have successfully completed their studies in the 12th grade, i.e. who have received at least satisfactory marks in all subjects, may be admitted to the secondary school leaving examination. The school report also includes a statement that the student performed the obligatory 50 hours of community service.

In certain subjects a so-called ‘secondary school leaving examination brought forward’ or early secondary school leaving examination, may also be taken. This option was available for most subjects, but from 2014 only for foreign language and IT. The examinee may see his or her own written test - in accordance with the rules laid down in the examination regulation - and may attach comments on its evaluation.

The secondary school leaving examination certificate is a public document the production and distribution of which requires the permit of the minister of education. The certificates must be made out in Hungarian or, if teaching was provided in another language as well, they must be made out in two languages. In addition to the examinee’s data the secondary school leaving examination certificate contains the titles and levels of the examination subjects, the language of the examination and the result of the examination in terms of grade in textual and percentage form as well as the authenticating signatures and clauses. The secondary school leaving examination certificate is issued by the examination board. The successful passing of the secondary school leaving examination is a prerequisite for the obtaining of the certificate. The student or the parents are entitled to submit their appeal against the decision of the examination board to the government office within 5 days (referring to a violation of a piece of legislation). The government office has three days available to make a decision on the appeal.

If the student has obtained the secondary school leaving examination certificate, this document provides access to admission to higher education institutions, vocational training, taking up employment and working, irrespective of the concrete examination results (grades). The secondary school leaving examination certificate entitles the student to enrol in a higher education institution, if other requirements defined by that institution (such as advanced level secondary school leaving examination) are also met.

The education within the framework of a vocational secondary school, a vocational school and training and the Bridge programme is completed with a comprehensive vocational examination. The general rules and the procedural regime of vocational examinations is regulated by Act CLVII of 2011 on vocational education, as well as the National Qualification Register and the connected professional and exam requirements defined by the minister. This is also a state examination, which can be taken before an independent technical/professional body - the examination board - in accordance with the vocational examination regulation. The vocational examination board has a chair and an additional three members. The examination board of the vocational examination uses a round stamp comprising the coat of arms of the Republic of Hungary. A member - in the majority of cases the chairperson - of the examination board is a representative of some economic participant, usually a delegate of the national chambers, i.e. the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry or the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture. The list of examination board chairpersons is managed and updated in the ministry in charge of the vocational qualification. The general rules and the procedural regime of vocational examinations is regulated by a ministerial decree. A student who has passed the module closing examinations may take the vocational examination. In vocational training in the schooling system the successful completion of the last grade is equivalent to the passing of the module closing examination. The prerequisites, parts and contents of the vocational examinations are set out in the vocational and examination requirements. The parts of the examination assigned to the requirement modules of the given vocational qualification are comprised of the examination tasks as well as the written, interactive, practical and oral examination activities assigned to them. Exemption from the parts, subjects or modules of the vocational examination must be granted on the basis of examinations passed earlier. A certificate in proof of the vocational qualification may be provided for the person who fulfilled and met the vocational and examination requirements in the vocational examination. The certificate proving vocational qualification is also a public document the production and distribution of which is also subject to the minister’s permission. The certificate is issued by the vocational examination board. This document entitles its holder to take up a job or position and to conduct the relevant activity.


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