Structure of the examination

Updated on July 14th 2021

The Matriculation Examination consists of a minimum of four tests; one of them, the test in the candidate’s mother tongue, is compulsory for all candidates. The candidate then chooses three other compulsory tests from among the following four tests: the test in the second national language, one foreign language test, the mathematics test, and one test in the subjects of humanities and natural sciences. One of these three compulsory tests has to be of an advanced syllabus level. Advanced syllabus level is offered in the second national language test, the foreign language test, and the mathematics test.

As part of their examination, the candidate may include one or more additional tests. Additional tests are of equal value with compulsory tests.

Candidates choose their compulsory tests when they first enrol in the Matriculation Examination. The choice is binding and cannot be altered later without a cogent reason. The candidate may take only one test in the same subject during the examination.

The examination languages are Finnish and Swedish.

The Matriculation Examination is held biannually, in spring and in autumn. Candidates must complete the examination during not more than three consecutive examination periods. The examination may also be completed in one examination period.

After passing the examination, candidates can later supplement their examination with additional tests or retake a test once. There is no time limit for supplementing the examination or retaking a test once passed.

The examination is organised digitally. The first digital tests were held in the autumn of 2016, and the examination became fully digital in spring 2019.

Supplementing the examination

A person who has passed the Matriculation Examination can later supplement it by taking a test that they have not previously taken. The examination may also be supplemented by taking a test in a subject that one has already passed but at another level of difficulty. Supplementing the examination is possible only after the examination has been passed. If a candidate fails the examination, they have to retake the failed tests and pass the examination before being able to supplement the examination with new tests.

Tests taken to supplement the examination are of equal value with the tests in the original examination. Candidates receive a separate certificate (brown in colour) of the tests that they have taken to supplement their examination, and together with the original Matriculation Examination Certificate (blue in colour) it is as valid as the original examination certificate.

Retaking tests

A candidate who has passed a test may retake it as many times as they want. There is no time limit for retaking a test that has been passed. If the candidate retakes a test before they have been awarded a Matriculation Examination Certificate, the better grade will be entered on the certificate. If the candidate has already been awarded the certificate, and then retakes a test and receives a better grade, they are given a separate certificate of the retaken test. Tests that have been retaken are of equal value with the tests in the original examination. Together with the original Matriculation Examination Certificate, the separate certificate of a retaken test is as valid as the original examination certificate.

A candidate who fails a compulsory test may retake the test three times in the course of three examination periods immediately following the examination period of the failed test. The candidate is allowed to change the failed test’s level of difficulty from advanced syllabus level to intermediate/basic syllabus level, but only after it has been verified that their examination still includes at least one compulsory test at an advanced syllabus level. If the candidate does not pass the failed test within the prescribed time limit, they must retake the examination in its entirety.

A failed additional test may be retaken as many times as wanted without a time limit. The level of a failed additional test cannot be changed.