Matura-The School Leaving Examination in Czech Republic
The official term for Matura in the Czech Republic is maturita or maturitni zkouska. It is a school leaving examination. This examination is taken by the students at the end of their secondary education, and must be passed in order to gain admittance into the higher education institutions in the Czech Republic. The Maturita examination comprises of the common part and a vocational part. Students who have left general secondary schools, i.e. gymnasium must appear only for the state exam, while student who have left other types of secondary schools can sit for both state and vocational parts. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is responsible for the standardised state exam-common part, while the vocational part is prepared, organised, executed and assessed by individual schools.
The first is the state exam that encompasses of two compulsory subjects and at least 2 optional tests. The two compulsory tests combinations are:
- Czech language and literature
- Foreign language and mathematics
The selection of the combination is done by the pupil.
The optional tests provide the following languages: Spanish, English, Russian, French, and German.
The second part of the examination comprises of school subjects which varies between schools and are specific to each school.
The state part of the exam is administered by CERMAT (In Czech: Centrum pro zjisťovani vysledků vzdělavani; In English: "Centre for Detection of Education Results"). CERMAT is a state managed company and issues final tests for the state part of the examination. It also carries out the training for teachers who correct essays, conducts documentation and practical tests, and supervise the pupils during the exams.
The examination is also split up into two parts:
The state part of the written exam is set to 1 day in which pupils all around write same tests. Though different tests are issued on the day the exam is conducted. The school part of the written exam is always different and is based on the requirements of the school.
The oral part of the maturita exam is conducted in a classroom in which a commissioner, class teacher, and either a principal or a representative principal are present. The oral exam is split up into two parts 15 minute each, except Czech language and literature where the preparation time is 20 minutes. In this part, students at first get a number of his/her question and then starts with preparation for which 15 minutes are given. This is known as potitko ("sweat lodge"). After preparation time, oral exam begins. The student is examined by the examiner and an assessor. The examiner and the assessor decided on the grade to be given to the student. If they both can not reach to a conclusion, then the commission takes a vote for the grade. Students are graded on a scale of 1-5, where 1 is regarded as the “best”.
Students with disabilities are given more time for oral as well as written exams, and preparation time.
If student fails in a single subject, in that case, student has the option to repeat that subject.
If the student fails in more than one subject, in that case, student is required to repeat the complete set of exams including the written part.
All pupils are given three chances to succeed in the exam. If they fail to pass, then they are not eligible to apply for university studies.