The Finnish Matriculation Examination is a national examination generally taken at the end of the Finnish upper secondary school. Its purpose is to discover whether students have assimilated the knowledge and skills required by the curriculum for upper secondary school and whether they have reached an adequate level of maturity in line with the goals of general upper secondary education. Passing the Matriculation Examination entitles the candidate to continue his or her studies at university and other institutions of higher education.
The Matriculation Examination Board is responsible for administering the examination, its arrangements and execution. The examination is held biannually, in spring and in autumn, simultaneously in all Finnish upper secondary schools. Around 35,000 candidates pass the examination annually, of which 30,000 pass it in the spring.
The examination is currently under a process of digitalisation. The first digital tests were held in the autumn of 2016, and the examination is scheduled to become fully digital by spring 2019.
The Matriculation Examination is regulated by Section 18 (766/2004) of the Upper Secondary School Act, the Act on the Organisation of the Matriculation Examination (672/2005) and the Government Decree on the Matriculation Examination (915/2005).
For more information about the Finnish education system and the position of the Matriculation Examination in it, please visit the web page of the Finnish National Agency for Education.
The Matriculation Examination Board
The Matriculation Examination Board issues guidelines on the contents, arrangements and assessment of the tests. The Ministry of Education and Culture nominates the chair of the Board and its members (about forty in number) at the suggestion of universities, institutions of higher education and the Finnish National Agency for Education. Members represent the various subjects covered by the Matriculation Examination. With the help of 330 associate members, the Board prepares and assesses the tests. Technical arrangement of the tests is taken care of by the Board’s secretariat which has circa twenty-five civil service employees.