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Matura-The School Leaving Examination in Slovenia

General Matura- The School Leaving Examination

Students after the completion of the general upper secondary education are required to sit for the splosna matura in order to be eligible for applying to the higher education institutions in Slovenia. It is a school leaving examination. 

The Matura examination is organized by the National Examination Centre. The Matura is also managed and regulated by the following bodies:
  • The school committee for the Matura (SCM)
  • National Committee for the Matura (NCM)
  • School examination boards for the Matura (SEBM)
  • Subject testing committees for the Matura (STCM)
The Matura examination comprises of 5 subjects in total, out of which 3 are compulsory subjects and 2 are elective subjects. 

Compulsory subjects: Slovene, Hungarian or Italian language, mathematics; one foreign language- English, or Spanish, French, Russian, Italian and German.

Elective subjects: These are selected among the subjects’ studies in schools. These include informatics, music, Greek language, history, arts, biology, Latin language, philosophy, biotechnology, chemistry, geography, physics, sociology, economics, material sciences, psychology, Engineering Mechanics, theory of art, and theory and history of Drama.

Grading scheme: Slovene subject test is graded on 1-8 scale. All the other subjects are graded on scale 1-5. Score of 1 indicates a fail status. 
 Students who have obtained 30 or more points are awarded the school leaving examination diploma (In Slovene: zlata matura, “golden matura”).

Levels of Difficulty

Foreign language and mathematics are offered at 2 difficulty levels: basic and higher. The higher level has more content. Students taking up the higher level exam are given extra points. 

Basic and Higher Levels of Achievement: English, Ancient Greek, mathematics, French, Latin, German, Spanish, Italian, and Russian can be taken either at basic or higher levels. At higher level, a maximum of 2 subjects can be taken. 

Examination Structure

Mother tongue: Slovene (Can be Italian or Hungarian for Minority’s Class)

There is a written and an oral exam.

Written exam: There are three parts-
  • Part 1: In this, students are required to write an essay on the two pieces of literature. This part holds 50% of the final mark.
  • Part 2: An unknown text from a magazine, newspaper, article, etc. is given along with 30 tasks. Students are required to complete these tasks. This part assesses the students understanding ability and knowledge of Slovenian grammar, spelling and word formation abilities. 
  • Part 3: Students are required to create a text which can be biography, a complaint letter or invitation. 
Part 2 and 3 constitute 30% of the final score. 

Oral exam: This exam has 3 questions. The first 2 are related are associated with the world literature, and the third question is on the Slovene historical development.

Final score is given on a scale 1 to 8 with 8 being the highest and 1 stands for fail.

Mathematics

This subject test can be taken at a basic level or a higher level. There is a written and an oral exam. 

Written exam: This exam has 2 parts-
  • Part 1: Includes 10 tasks that assess the mathematics knowledge. If taken a basic level, this part constitutes 80% of the total score; and if taken on a higher level, this part constitutes 53.3% of the total score.
  • Part 2: This part is conducted on a higher level only. 3 tasks are given. This part accounts for 26.7% of the total score. 
Oral exam: This exam has 3 questions and it tests the mathematical skills of the students. It assesses the student’s ability to prove theorems or illustrate some mathematical axioms and principles. 

Foreign Language Exam

This examination is in English, Hungarian, German, Italian or French. This exam has two difficulty levels: basic and higher. Both the levels have written and an oral exam. 

At Basic level-
Written exam tests the reading, writing, listening and use of language skills. Oral exam involves role play on day-to-day situations, presentation and conversation. 
At a basic level, candidates are required to understand the day to day situations, understand the general topics; interact on day-to-day topics, and produce simple familiar text.

Higher level: 
Written exam tests the reading, writing, listening and use of language skills; and candidates are even required to write an essay. Oral exam involves role play on day-to-day situations, presentation and conversation. 
At higher level, candidates are required to understand and use known words and expressions in complex conditions; interact fluently and spontaneously on the day-to-day topics, and state their opinions clearly. 

Scoring: The final score for a basic level is given on a scale 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest and 1 stands for failure; and the final score for a higher level is expressed in a scale 1 to 8 with 8 being the highest score.

Dates and Deadlines

The Matura examination is held in 2 sessions:
  • First session is held in spring: In May/June
  • Second session is in autumn: In September

Grading System

 5-point grading scale is used at a basic level of achievement. Passing score is 2.
  • 5 stand for “Excellent”
  • 4 means “Very good”
  • 3 means “Good”
  • 2 means “Sufficient”
  • 1 indicates “Insufficient”
An 8-point grading scale is used at a higher/advanced level of achievement

A grade expressed in points (GEP) from 1 to 8 is given:
  • GEP 8 for the upper half of the interval of Grade 5 indicates “Excellent”
  • GEP 7 for the lower half of the interval of Grade 5 indicates “Excellent”
  • GEP 6 for the upper half of the interval of Grade 4 indicates “Very Good”
  • GEP 5 for the lower half of the interval of Grade 4 indicates “Very Good”
  • GEP 4 for the upper half of the interval of Grade 3 indicates “Good”
  • GEP 3 for the lower half of the interval of Grade 3 indicates “Good”
  • GEP 2 for the entire interval of Grade 2 indicates “Sufficient”
  • GEP 1 for the full interval of Grade 1 indicates “Insufficient”

Resit Condition

Candidates can resit for the exam for up to 2 years after the first sitting if they want to improve their grades or they fail in 1 or more subjects.

Vocational Leaving Examination- Poklicna Matura 

It is a final examination at vocational schools and does not lead to university studies. This exam allows students to go for studies in vocational colleges. Vocational Matura students wanting to study in university must pass the Vocational Matura and one subject of the Matura.

Vocational Matura examination comprises of 4 subjects. Written examinations for the first and third subjects are managed and prepared by the National Examination Centre. The second and fourth subjects’ examinations are organized by the National Institute for Vocational Education and Training.

Other Administering Bodies
The Vocational Matura is handled by the following bodies as well:
  • School Committees for the Vocational Matura (SCVM)
  • National Committee for the Vocational Matura (NCVM)
  • School Examination Boards for the Vocational Matura (SEVBVM)
  • Subject Testing Committee for the Vocational Matura (STCVM)

Dates and Deadlines

The Vocational Matura exams are conducted in three terms:
  • Term 1: Spring- In May to June
  • Term 2:  Autumn- In August to September
  • Term 3: Winter: In February
Pupils from Year 4 appear for the trail examination in March.

Vocational Leaving Examination Structure

Vocational Matura exam comprises of compulsory and optional subjects. Candidates must appear the exam in four subjects. 

Compulsory subjects: The first two subjects of the exam are compulsory. They are: mother tongue- Slovene and Italian or Hungarian for minorities; and the second is a basic subject of specialisation.

Optional subjects: The third and fourth subjects are optional. 
  • Third subject: Mathematics, a modern foreign language- can be Italian, English, or German; or a second language- Slovene as a second language, or Italian as a second language
  • Fourth subject: Comprises of practical activities in the profession or branch of study selected by the candidate.  

Grading System

The final marks in each Matura exam are the cumulated sum of points attained by a candidate in individual sections of the examination. 
5-point grading scale is used, wherein:
  • 5 stand for “Excellent”
  • 4 means “Very good”
  • 3 means “Good”
  • 2 means “Sufficient”
  • 1 indicates “Insufficient”
Passing score is 2.

For Slovene, Italian or Hungarian subject tests, a different grading scale is used. 
Grades 3, 4 and 5 are split up into 2 parts: the upper and the lower part, and additional points are awarded are as follows:
  • 1 point to the upper part of Grade 3 and lower part of Grade 4, hence 3+1 = 4 and 4+1 = 5);
  • 2 points to the upper part of Grade 4 and lower part of Grade 5, therefore, 4+2 = 6 and 5+2 = 7 are the final grades.
  • 3 points to the upper part of Grade 5, therefore, 5+3 = 8 is the final grade.
To achieve a “Golden Matura Certificate” score of at least 22 points is required.

Resit Condition

Candidates can resit for the Vocational Matura exam for up to 2 years after the first sitting if they want to improve their grades. Also, candidates who have failed in the exam but have received 2 positive grades in at least 2 subjects are allowed to re-appear for the exam for a maximum of 2 negative exams.
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