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Netherlands:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

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Overview Netherlands

Contents

Netherlands:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Netherlands:Historical Development

Netherlands:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Netherlands:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Netherlands:Political and Economic Situation

Netherlands:Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Netherlands:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Netherlands:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Netherlands:Organisation of Private Education

Netherlands:National Qualifications Framework

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

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

Netherlands:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Funding in Education

Netherlands:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Netherlands:Higher Education Funding

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training Funding

Netherlands:Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

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

Netherlands:Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Primary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Netherlands:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Higher Education

Netherlands:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Netherlands:First Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Bachelor

Netherlands:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Netherlands:Second Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Netherlands:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Distribution of Responsibilities

Netherlands:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Netherlands:Main Providers

Netherlands:Main Types of Provision

Netherlands:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Netherlands:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

Netherlands:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Netherlands:Management and Other Education Staff

Netherlands:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

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

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

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Netherlands:Management Staff for Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

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

Netherlands:Quality Assurance

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Educational Support and Guidance

Netherlands:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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

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

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Netherlands:Mobility and Internationalisation

Netherlands:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Higher Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

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

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Netherlands:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Netherlands:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:National Reforms in School Education

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

Netherlands:National Reforms in Higher Education

Netherlands:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Netherlands:European Perspective

Netherlands:Legislation

Netherlands:Institutions

Netherlands:Bibliography

Netherlands:Glossary

Pupil assessment

The attainment targets are drawn up under the responsibility of the Minister of Education, Culture and Science and describe what pupils are expected to achieve in terms of knowledge and skills in the lower years. Schools monitor pupil's progress by means of regular testing. Interim assessment may also take place where subjects are not taught throughout the lower years. The final tests may not, however, be sat before the end of the second year of the course. Schools may supplement these tests with their own test papers and can decide when and in what order the tests are to be taken.

 

At the end of the second year, the school board will advise pupils as to which option they should choose. Pupils unable to achieve all the attainment targets may qualify for exemption from the attainment targets or from one or more subjects in the core curriculum. Decisions of this kind are taken by a committee appointed by the school board.

 

At most schools, parents receive three to four progress reports per year. Some schools also give six-weekly interim reports on pupils’ progress. Report card marks are based on numerous data about a pupil’s performance. While each school has its own assessment system, report card marks generally reflect a pupil’s combined performance on:
● written and oral tests to check that homework has been done;
● written tests;
● projects.

 

Progression of pupils

Pupils who have successfully completed the VMBO theoretical programme may transfer to the 4th year of HAVO and pupils who have successfully completed HAVO may transfer to the 5th year of VWO.


Certification

The leaving examination is in two parts: a school examination and a national examination. The elements to be tested in each are specified in the examination syllabus, which is approved by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science. The syllabus also specifies the number of tests which make up the national examination, and their length. Schools are responsible for setting the school exam. Every year, schools are required to submit their own school exam syllabus to the Inspectorate showing what elements of the syllabus are tested when, and how marks are calculated, including the weight allocated to tests, and opportunities to resit them. To help schools, the SLO publishes school exam guidelines for every subject and level of education.

 

Generally speaking, the school exam consists of two or more tests per subject. These may be oral, practical or written. There are also practical assignments for which no marks are given, only an acknowledgement that the candidate has completed them properly. The school exam must be completed and the results submitted to the Inspectorate before the national examination starts. The national examination consists of tests with open or multiple-choice questions and in some cases a practical component too. For some subjects there is only a school exam.

 

The national examination can be sat at three times during the school year – in May, June and August. All candidates sit the examination in May. The June and August sessions are for pupils doing resits, or who were unable to sit the examination in May. The head teacher is responsible for determining each candidate’s final marks. The final mark in each subject is the average of the mark for the school exam and the mark for the national examination. To obtain a leaving certificate, a candidate must have scored pass marks in a specified number of subjects. For subjects with only a school exam, the mark obtained is the final mark (rounded off).

 

Marks are awarded on a scale ranging from 1 (very poor) to 10 (excellent). A six is a pass. Candidates with a final mark of six or higher in every subject have of course passed their school-leaving examination, but they can still be awarded an overall pass mark even if they get a lower mark in some subjects. Successful candidates receive a certificate and a transcript listing the marks scored in the school exam, the marks scored in the national examination, the final marks for each subject and the outcome of the school-leaving examination. Candidates who fail the examination after doing resits may decide to repeat the final year, go to an institute for adult secondary general education, or study for the state examination instead.

 

The computer has become an important examination tool. CITO has developed software for digital examinations, the ExamenTester, which enables multiple choice questions to be marked by computer. Open questions are marked by teachers. In 2011, parts of the VMBO national exam – i.e., the general subjects at basic vocational level (VMBO BB) and dance/drama at combined and theoretical levels (GL and TL) will in principle be set digitally. Schools not wishing to use the digital exams in these subjects have to notify the examination board. The exam for French at middle-management vocational level (KB) can only be taken digitally. Schools may elect to use a digital exam for music at GL/TL, HAVO and VWO levels, or a paper exam, with the selected fragments of music played on a regular audio system. Schools may use either ExamenTester or a paper exam supported by Authorware for the culture & the arts exam at HAVO and VWO level.


Examination portfolio

The school exam takes the form of an examination portfolio comprising various elements as documented in a form decided upon by the school, e.g. a list of grades or examples of project work. The separate elements of the school exam are not all scheduled for the final year. Each school can decide when the various parts of the exam are to be held. In the case of subjects for which there is a school exam only, the exam can be held before the final year, for instance at the end of the 4th year.

 

The national examination consists of the same questions – or questions of an equivalent degree of difficulty – for all pupils and is assessed against national standards. It is taken at the time specified by the government, which is the same for all HAVO schools and all VWO schools respectively. The HAVO qualification gives entry to higher professional education, but school-leavers with HAVO certificates can also enter the 5th year of VWO or go on to secondary vocational courses.

 

Examination syllabus for the revised curriculum

A revised curriculum was launched on 1 August 2007 for all pupils entering the 4th year of HAVO and VWO. The first national exams under the new system will be held in 2008/2009 for HAVO and in 2009/2010 for VWO. The National Institute for Curriculum Development (SLO) has published examination guidelines listing the elements to be assessed in school examinations. The guidelines are not compulsory, in contrast with national examination syllabuses, but can help schools set exams.

 

The examination syllabuses for history, geography and social studies have been completely overhauled while few if any changes have been made to the remaining syllabuses. The old and new systems do, however, differ fundamentally for all subjects as regards the descriptions contained in the examination syllabuses. There are other differences, too.
● The syllabuses have become shorter and less detailed.
● Under the revised curriculum, the national examination no longer covers the entire syllabus. This applies to nearly all subjects.
● Schools can add their own elements to those described in the syllabus.
● The new syllabuses no longer prescribe how elements must be tested or how they must be weighed.
● Some examination syllabuses have been partly or completely revised. There are new examination syllabuses for history, geography, social studies, and science, life and technology and the maths syllabuses have been radically rearranged.

 

Early examinations

At schools participating in the flexible examinations pilot project, which will run until the end of the 2010/2011 school year, pupils may sit the national exam in one or more of their final exam subjects in their penultimate school year, provided they have completed the school exam in the subject or subjects concerned.