Regulation and Guidelines
The Matriculation Examination Board issues guidelines and instructions for the examination and its execution, for the various tests, and for the hard of hearing or deaf, dyslexic, for those who fall ill, are handicapped or whose mother tongue is a language other than Finnish, Swedish or Sami.
The official regulations and guidelines are available in Finnish here: Määräykset ja ohjeet.
Below are some general instructions.
Right to participate
The following people have the right to participate in the Matriculation Examination:
- students of upper secondary school after completing the compulsory courses in the subjects that they wish to take a test in
- if the syllabus of a subject in humanities and natural sciences does not contain any compulsory courses, students may take part in the test after completing two courses of the subject in question
- if the syllabus of a foreign language does not contain any compulsory courses, students may take part in the test after completing three courses of the language in question
- in some cases, the headmaster of the upper secondary school may permit the student to participate in a test without the student having completed the above-mentioned courses (the reason may be, for example, the student having learned a language abroad, or a prolonged illness that has restrained the student from completing the necessary courses)
- persons who have completed the syllabus of the Finnish upper secondary school
- persons who have completed the syllabus of an upper secondary education abroad
- the syllabus completed abroad must be similar to the syllabus of the Finnish upper secondary school; the candidate must have completed 12 years of education
- persons who have completed or are studying for a vocational qualification
- if the vocational qualification requires at least two and a half years of studies, extra studies are not required
- if the vocational qualification requires less than two and a half years of studies, candidates must in addition complete upper secondary school courses according to instructions from the Matriculation Examination Board
- persons who wish to retake a test that they have taken before
- persons who wish to supplement their examination with a test that they have not taken before or have taken before but at another level of difficulty
The headmaster of the upper secondary school will check to see whether the candidate fulfils the requirements laid down concerning participation in the examination and in the tests that are part of it.
Enrolment for the Matriculation Examination
Enrolment for the spring examination must take place at the latest 1st of December and for the autumn examination at the latest 5th of June. Candidates leave an enrolment application to their upper secondary school’s headmaster. Enrolment is binding and cannot be altered later without a cogent reason.
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 of the tests that they have taken to supplement their examination, and together with the original Matriculation Examination Certificate it is as valid as the original examination certificate.
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.
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 from the beginning. The candidate may include tests that were succesfully completed in the failed matriculation examination, in the new matriculation examination.
Restarting the examination
If a candidate is currently taking the examination but wishes to restart it, they must make a written petition to the Board. The Board may permit the procedure if the candidate has a cogent reason for restarting the examination. In this case, the candidate is not allowed to include earlier tests that were successfully completed.
Annulment of enrolment
Enrolling for the Matriculation Examination is binding. If a candidate has enrolled for a test and meets the requirements to participate in it but does not turn up on the day of the test, this is interpreted as a missed attempt. The Board may annul a candidate’s enrolment only if they have a cogent reason for the annulment of which the Board agrees.
The candidate’s petition for annulment must include a medical certificate of illness, or a certificate proving that the candidate is studying or working abroad or that their military service causes an impediment to participation. Studying or working in Finland or military service without an explicit impediment does not form enough cause for annulment. Annulment of enrolment does not extend the time that a candidate has for passing the examination as a whole.
Enrolment to the mother tongue test may be annulled if the candidate has a cogent reason that prevents them from participating in one section or both sections of the test during one examination period.
Medical certificates, statements of dyslexia, accounts of the candidate’s first language being a foreign language, and other official statements
The Board has issued decrees on how medical certificates, statements of dyslexia, accounts of the candidate’s first language being a foreign language, and other official statements are taken into account in the Matriculation Examination. Certificates and applications are to be sent to the Board according to a set schedule. Detailed information in Finnish can be found here: Erityisjärjestelyt.
Candidates must obey the Board’s rules and regulations while taking the Matriculation Examination. Should a candidate deceit in a test or otherwise break the Board’s rules, all of their tests in the prevailing examination period will be considered failed.