Structure of the examination

Updated on February 24, 2022

The Matriculation Examination consists of a minimum of five tests; one of them, the test in the candidate’s mother tongue, is compulsory for all candidates. The candidate then has to complete four other tests which have to belong to at least three different groups: mathematics; second national language; foreign language; humanities and natural sciences. At least one of the tests must be the test of the advanced syllabus level of the subject.

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

The structure of Finnish Matriculation 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 as many time as they wish. 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 or the entire examination

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 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 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.