Plan postponed to move basic school final exams up to May

Student in Estonia taking an exam. Photo is illustrative.
Student in Estonia taking an exam. Photo is illustrative. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

While Ministry of Education and Research plans initially called for basic school final exams to be brought forward from June to May starting next spring, the ministry has since nonetheless opted to postpone the change by another year.

To date, basic school final exams, which students take at the end of 9th grade have been held in June, only after other schools, including high schools, have administered their own entrance exams.

The Ministry of Education and Research, however, wants to move the basic school finals up to early May, which would allow those results to be used in the admission process for the next education level.

This change in the exam schedule was initially slated to be implemented next spring, but the ministry has since decided to postpone it.

"The changes will be coming a year later," ministry communications director Mari Annus told ERR. "Schools need more time."

Minister of Education Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200) said that according to the revised timeline, the basic school final exam system will be updated in spring 2025, and working groups will be set up in the near future tasked with handling the transition.

Following the planned change, basic school final exam results should be in by May 18, which is when high school admissions open for the upcoming school year. 9th graders' studies would then continue after their exams as well.

This update to Estonia's exam procedures is the first step toward the target outlined in the Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition agreement to raise the country's compulsory school age to 18, regardless of type of study.

Currently, school in Estonia is compulsory through basic school graduation at the end of 9th grade or age 17.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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