The preliminary results of the 2018 state exams in Estonia indicate that while the results of the Estonian language exam remained stable on year, results from the math, foreign language and Estonian as a second language exams showed improvement over last year's scores.
The nationwide average Estonian language exam score this year was 62.2 points. The average score for the Estonian as a second language exam, meanwhile, was 63.4 points, marking an improvement of 3.3 points over last year's score.
The national average score for the narrow mathematics exam was 37.4 points, while the average score for the extensive mathematics exam was 55.6 points.
This year saw a marked increase in interest toward taking foreign language proficiency exams as well as the number of students achieving B2 (upper intermediate) language proficiency status.
According to Tallinn University of Technology (TTÜ) Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Hendrik Voll, the continued decrease in the number of high school students taking the extensive math state exam is cause for concern for the university.
"Over the past three years, this [figure] has decreased by 600," Voll said. "This means potentially fewer IT and engineering students, and, as a result, fewer promoters of the Estonian economy."
According to Voll, the Estonian state's needs call for nearly 2,000 new IT and engineering students in bachelor's degree programs per year.
"There are that many 12th graders who earn at least 50 points on the mathematics exam, but not all of them go on to choose technical majors," he added.
Editor: Aili Vahtla