top of page

Is the end of national high school exams in sight?

The evaluation method for access to higher education for the next few years has not yet been decided

As the newspaper 'Público' reports, for now, the only certainty is that the final decision should only be known next week, and that the requirement to take national exams for the completion of high school is the subject that is generating more disagreement. Given this disagreement between the Ministers of Education and Higher Education, the final decision will be "sifted by the Prime Minister".

At the beginning of last January, the Government and partners in the sector were negotiating the new model for access to higher education that, supposedly, will come into force at the beginning of the next school year and, it seems, will include three national exams, one of them in Portuguese.

However, there is no certainty yet. The proposal by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education (MCTES) involves increasing the weight of the exams. High school grades, which until now had a 50% weight for access to higher education, will now have a minimum of 35%. In this way, national exams have more weight and contribute to avoid the disparity of grades that has been observed between public and private schools.

In this new model, all students who want to apply for higher education will have to take three exams, one of them in Portuguese.

For the Ministry of Education, under João Costa's tutelage, the newspaper 'Público' says that it wanted to put an end to mandatory national exams because it wanted to introduce "a distinction between what is the certification of secondary education and access to higher education". If this decision goes ahead, Portugal will be "one of the few European countries without a national evaluation at the end of this cycle", explained the newspaper 'Público'.

Recall that in the years before the pandemic, it was mandatory to perform four national exams.


bottom of page