In the first week of April, all fourth-grade high school students participated in the second piloting of the state graduation exam
From April 5 to 8, 2022, all fourth-grade high school students took tests similar to those taken in 2024 by the first generation to take the state exam. Piloting was organised in more than 500 educational institutions - high schools, secondary vocational and art schools, and tests were taken by students at the Petnica Research Station at the time of piloting. All three matura exams were piloted - general, vocational, and art matura. The quality of exam tasks and tests and procedures prescribed for the organisation of exams were checked.
- The organisation and implementation of the state matura is a severe and demanding endeavour, an exam for both students and the system. Every segment of the system is involved in this process, from the preparation of assignments and tests, through student applications and the printing of materials, to the distribution of materials and the organisation of work in schools. The impression is that everything is working well and that our schools are already ready when we talk about procedures. We have two more years to prepare teachers and students; I believe this is enough time and that in 2024 everything will be implemented smoothly - said Mr Miloš Blagojević, Assistant Minister for Secondary Education, on the first day of piloting.
About 50,000 students participated in the piloting, including nearly 2,000 students who took the tests in their mother tongues, one of the eight languages of national minorities in which classes are held in Serbia. Only the mandatory part of the matura exam was piloted, so the students took a maximum of three exams. All students took their mother tongue and Mathematics (except for a few educational profiles in which Mathematics is taught for only one or two years). Grammar school students took the third subject of their choice from the List of general education subjects; vocational school students, if they are studying for some of the 62 educational profiles involved in this piloting, took the vocational-theoretical test as the third exam. Instead of the practical part of the vocational exam, demonstrations of practical exams were organised, in which the procedures and the manner of conducting the exam were presented.
For piloting needs, over 150 thousand tests were printed and distributed to 28 places at the beginning of April, when school principals took them over.
After piloting, an extensive analysis of the results is planned. Student achievements will not be the subject of analysis this time either because piloting does not check students' knowledge but the quality of tasks. It is checked whether the tasks are understandable, clear and well defined, whether the exam measures achievements appropriately, and whether the obtained results are reliable. The piloting aims to improve the way of making tests and get students and teachers used to this type of exams and tasks, because this practice has not been common in secondary schools so far.
Standardised exams at the end of secondary education exist in most European education systems. They have significantly contributed to improving the quality of education.
Mr Martin Klaucke, Head of Operations II of the EU Delegation, said that the European Union supports the Ministry of Education in introducing the state matriculation exam in secondary education with more than 4 million euros.
- This reform has come to life in the countries of the European Union as a good practice that leads to a better and fairer education system. In addition to a more objective evaluation of students' knowledge and competencies, this reform also creates equal access to higher education for young people. I believe that this reform will pay off many times because it gives decision-makers feedback on student achievement and the quality of the education system. I wish a lot of success to students and teachers in this piloting - said Mr Klaucke.
The state matura will be the second national exam in the Serbian education system. One exam, the same for all students who finish secondary school, will enable an objective check of their achievements, and thus an accurate assessment of the quality of education. Based on the evaluation of results, a clear and comprehensive analysis will enable the quality of education to be harmonised first and gradually improved. At the same time, the state matura should contribute to raising the level of equality in the system and increasing the coverage for enrollment in higher education after the achievements from the state matura become part of the enrollment criteria of the faculties.
information on the state matura is available at https://matura.edu.rs.