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Mainstream assessment systems - Hungary

National assessment tasks of Public Education

The national assessment tasks of public education are the following: the actuation of the national exam system, concerted action, determination and revision of the requirements of the basic and the secondary school leaving exams, development and modernisation of the national exam system, the development of assessment activities. Upon the request of the minister of education the National Institute for Assessment and Examinations and educational counselling services may co-operate in the national assessment tests and assessment tasks. 

The ongoing educational activities, especially the development of basic skills and abilities must be regularly assessed and evaluated in the frame of the national assessment tests. The national assessment tasks are determined annually by the Minister of education. The results of the national assessment tests and evaluations must be published in the official paper of the ministry of education and the data at institutional level for further use.

The annual assessment of the development in the native language and mathematics skills must cover Years 4, 6, 8 and 10 of public education in the case of all pupils.

The Output Regulation: exam system

The output regulation or the system of exams is not merely for pupil assessment, but it also determines the further paths and possibilities within the school system.

There are four types of state exams in Hungary regulated in the Act on Public Education: (i) basic exams, (ii) basic exam of arts (iii) school leaving exams of arts (iiii) secondary school leaving exam, which must be conveyed nationally according to central standards.

Secondary school leaving exam is traditionally and also at present the most important exam of the Hungarian public education system. The two level secondary school leaving exam was introduced in 2005. The detailed exam requirements are set in the ministerial decree (40/2002.(V. 24) and they urge the assessment of competences. The system of the two level secondary school leaving exam is common and based on public requirements, a two level state exam system functions in all school types ending with secondary school leaving exam and is able to fulfil the role of the content regulator.  The standard two level secondary school leaving exam makes it possible for senior pupils to take secondary school leaving exams at different levels in each subject.

The centralised requirement of the secondary school leaving exams are determined based on the exam regulation and the exam specifications of the secondary school leaving exam which may be completed by local exam requirements according to the local curricula of the school. 

The establishment and announcement of the central exam requirements and the regulation of the assessment is the state’s task. The examination is organised by schools. Oral exams are public. Publicity may be banned by the chair of the exam committee, if he/she finds it necessary in order to keep the order of the exam. The exam is conducted in the language of education, in Hungarian, in the language of the national  ethnic minority or other foreign languages.

According to the law Act on Public Education, the basic exam may be first required from the pupils who entered Year 1 on September 1st, 1998. This exam is not required for further studies or for entering the labour market. Its role lies in providing the chance for schools to assess their pedagogical work according to an external point of view; therefore it may become a part of the quality assurance system of education.

The exam system in case of pupils with special learning needs

Pupils with special educational needs or who struggle to fit in, with learning and behavioural difficulties, can get exemption from the assessment and evaluation in some subjects or parts of subjects, except practical education, this can be granted by the director on the opinion of the expert and rehabilitation committee or educational adviser. In this case, for the period determined in the Act on Public Education, individual teaching is organised for them  based on an individual development plan, helping the pupils in joining the others.

Pupils can choose subjects, from the ones defined in the exam specification, or another subject instead of the one included in the basic and matura exams. A longer preparation time for the different types of exams and the use of tools applied during the school studies, if needed, and changing the written exam to an oral one and vice versa must be ensured for them.

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