Results of state exams for upper secondary school published

A majority of students achieved B2 level, while only B1 would be necessary to pass the state exams.
A majority of students achieved B2 level, while only B1 would be necessary to pass the state exams. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

This year, the reading and writing scores on the Estonian state exam declined, while the average scores on the broad and narrow mathematics exams rose. 108 of the 120 students who scored a spotless 100 on one of the three state exams were in mathematics.

The Education and Youth Board (Harno) has published the results of the spring state examinations given at the upper secondary school level. Deputy head of education policy analysis and research unit at the department of monitoring and evaluation, Aimi Püüa, said that this year's exams were the first national examinations for high school graduates.

"When this year's graduates finished basic school in the first year of the pandemic, this emergency prevented them from taking their final exams; they had no prior experience taking major exams. "Despite the difficult times, the results of the national exams demonstrate that our youth are eager to learn and is capable," Püüa said.

In the 27-year history of the national examinations, she added, there has never been a spring in which so many students earned perfect scores.

"A total of 120 high school students earned a perfect score on one of the three national exams, including 108 on the mathematics exam," Püüa explained.

Preliminary results of national exams

Graduates were permitted to sit the state examination in Estonian or Estonian as a second language, as well as mathematics and foreign language examinations.

This year, a total of 10,324 students took the national examinations, of which 8,418 are high school students, 1,524 are vocational school students, and 382 have previously completed high school. In 2022, there were 10,126 exam candidates, of which 8,227 were students in upper secondary school, 1,452 were students in vocational school, and 447 had graduated from upper secondary school.

These are the preliminary results of the national exam. The Education and Youth Board will disclose summary statistics and in-depth examination analyses in the fall.

Estonian language state exam

The average exam score this year is 55.7, and 7,220 candidates took the exam. On this occasion, just one examinee received a maximum score.

Initial analysis reveals a downward trend in both the reading and writing assignments. The evaluators have also mentioned this in their feedback.

Estonian as a second language state exam

A total of 2,483 young people took the exam this year, with an average score of 57.9; in 2022 it was 55.9.

In the national exam, 1,284 students or 51.7 percent, received 60 percent of the maximum possible score and will be awarded a B2 certificate. In 2022, 1,199 students, or 50.5 percent, obtained level B2. In the examination, nine candidates received 100 points. Both the average score and the number of B2 passes have grown since last year's exam.

While prior years' test results may have been influenced by distant learning, teaching in the 2022/2023 academic year took place under regular settings, i.e. similar to the pre pandemic period.

Mathematics national exam

It was possible to take a national exam in mathematics based on either limited or comprehensive math courses. The narrow mathematics examination had 3,993 candidates, while the broad mathematics examination had 4,879 candidates.

This year, the average score on the narrow math exam is 33.6, and the average score on the broad math exam is 59.6. Four individuals earned the highest possible score of 100 on the narrow math exam, while 104 individuals earned a maximum score on the broad math exam.

Over the previous academic year, the average score on the broad exam rose by 4,1 points, while the average score on the narrow exam rose by 1,4 points.

Foreign language exams

As a foreign language exam, students could take the national English exam, the international English exam, or the international French or German exam.

3,980 young people took the national English exam, with 29.5 percent scoring B1 and 50.8 percent scoring B2. The average exam grade is 68.6 percent. One test taker got a flawless score.

This year, the number of B1 and B2 pass rates increased; in 2022, there were 28.6 percent of B1 passers and 47.5 percent of B2 passers.

The Cambridge C1 Advanced international English examination was taken by 4,892 students during the academic year. Level C1 or higher was reached by 83.1 percent of those who passed the exam, or 4,065 students.

The large proportion of C1 and C2 achievers suggests that a significant percentage of students will exceed the curriculum-based target of obtaining level B2 in a foreign language by the end of upper secondary school, which is an excellent result.

Nonetheless, 827 students took the C1 Advanced exam at the same time, assessing their language skills as higher than they actually were, and should have taken the national English exam.

The international foreign language exam, which is equivalent to the national foreign language exam, was taken by 231 students in French and 60 students in German.

On the national exam, 120 pupils received flawless scores. Harno will organize a "100 points party" on June 27 to celebrate those who received the highest grade on the national exams.

Appeals must be received by the Ministry of Education and Research within five working days of the exam result notification date.


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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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