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Latvia:Assessment in Single Structure Education

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Pupil Assessment

The Regulations on the National Standard for Basic Education, Standards for Basic Education Subjects and Basic Education Programme Sample Plan (2014) set the criteria for evaluation of pupils.

Teachers in classrooms carry out continuous assessment on pupils’ progress using a grading scale 1-10 and non-grade system (pass/fail or descriptive assessment). Descriptive assessment means that parents of pupils receive a short oral and written assessment report on pupils’ progress, describing development of knowledge, skills, attitude towards learning and class participation.

Grading scale employed in Latvia's schools

Educational achievements are assessed in a ten-point system: 10 with distinction (izcili), 9 excellent (teicami), 8 very good (ļoti labi), 7 good (labi), 6 almost good (gandrīz labi), 5 satisfactory (viduvēji), 4 almost satisfactory (gandrīz viduvēji), 3 weak (vāji) 2 very weak  (ļoti vāji), 1 very very weak (ļoti, ļoti vāji).  

The criteria building up the assessment of learning performance are as follows: the extent and quality of attained knowledge, learned skills, attitude toward learning process and dynamics of learning performance development.

Achievements of pupils are assessed without marks in the 1st class, i.e., by using a descriptive assessment. A grading scale 1-10 is used in the 2nd and 3rd class for the subjects Native language, Mathematics, Latvian Language for minority pupils, for other subjects a descriptive assessment is used. 

In the classes 4-9 the grading scale 1 to 10 is used in all subjects. 

At the end of the 3rd, 6th and 9th class pupils are obligated to pass centrally organised national testing (diagnostical tests and examinations at the end of compulsory education) in certain subjects. The assessments of tests in the 3rd and 6th classes affect pupils’ end-of-year evaluation, while that in the 9th class does not (as the assessment of exams at the end of 9th grade are displayed in the certificate for basic education pamatizglītība). 

Pupils receive a school-report showing descriptive assessment and/or grades in every subject at the end of each semester. Pupils of the 9th class receive a school-report once a year – at the end of the first semester. The Ministry of Education and Science approves a sample of a school-report issued to pupils.

Progression of Pupils

Usually progression to the next year is automatic. The school-report contains a decree of the head of the school on transferring to the next class. However, pupils who have not adequately mastered curriculum (have received lower than “4” in more than one subject in grades 5-9) may be required to repeat the year. In order to decide about repeating the year, the board of teachers may set additional consultations and tests.

In February 2012, the procedure regarding enrolment and discharging of pupils from general education institutions (except boarding-schools and special education institutions) was adopted. The procedure stipulated mandatory support measures for pupils with learning difficulties so that they would repeat a year only in certain cases. Since the introduction of this procedure, the share of pupils repeating a year has decreased from 2.5% to 1.8% (comparing academic year 2011/12 to 2013/2014).


The Regulations on the Procedure of National Testing  (2013) prescribe the development, organisation and assessment criteria of national testing.

At the end of the 9th class pupils have to pass national examinations. Materials and a single order of examinations are developed by the National Centre for Education. Tests may be organized in a written or combined (written and oral or practical part) form. Examinations may be organized in written, oral or combined form. In addition, pupils who are learning in the minority education programmes may choose the language of national testing.

At the end of 9th grade national tests (examinations) are in:
•    Mathematics,
•    Latvian (or other native) language,
•    Latvian language (for those learning minority educational programmes),
•    History of Latvia,
•    Foreign language.

At the end of 6th grade national tests (diagnostical tests) are in:
•    Combined diagnostical test,
•    Latvian language (for those learning minority educational programmes).

At the end of 3rd grade national tests (diagnostical tests) are in:
•    Latvian (or other native) language,
•    Latvian language (for those learning minority educational programmes),
•    Mathematics,
•    Natural Sciences.

In accordance with the Regulations on the Proceedure of Issuing State Recognized General Education Certificates at the end of 9th grade, pupils that have received assessment in all subjects and examinations receive a certificate on integrated primary and lower-secondary education  apliecība par vispārējo pamatizglītību, certificate on centralized examinations and an achievement sheet. If a pupil does not receive assessment in one of subjects or in one of the final national test or examination, or has received a mark below 4 in more than two of them, he or she receives a school report instead of the certificates on integrated primary and lower-secondary education. Such pupils have not completed integrated primary and lower-secondary education. In order to acquire primary and lower-secondary education, the pupil may repeat the class at the same or another education institution, or may complete a pedagogical correction programme. The latter, unlike the former, begins with the two month long adaptation period, when teachers determine pupils’ level of knowledge in each subject. Pupils do not learn all subjects once more, only the not acquired ones.

Each year, the Cabinet of Ministers approves the regulations on national testing, defining subjects, forms of the assessment and dates, including the alternative dates (in case of sickness etc).

The issuing of the certificate on acquisition of integrated primary and lower secondary is regulated by the Cabinet of Ministers.