General information

The General Matura exam (GM) is a school leaving exam required for the completion of secondary education and for admission to undergraduate university courses. It is not only a final exam but also an exam regulating the transition from secondary to tertiary education, similar to education systems in many European countries.

The GM is a national exam with equal conditions for all candidates, who sit the exam simultaneously following the same rules and procedures and are assessed in accordance with the same assessment criteria.

The GM is a school leaving exam. By passing the GM, candidates prove that they have achieved the standards of knowledge as determined by general upper secondary education programmes and by doing so have successfully completed secondary education.

The GM is a test of candidates’ abilities for academic studies. By passing the GM, candidates prove that they can be admitted to undergraduate university courses. Special talents or psycho-physical aptitude are not, however, evaluated in the GM, but can be assessed by entrance examinations set by universities.

A pass in the GM is a general admission requirement for any undergraduate university course and a minimal admission requirement for those undergraduate university courses with restricted admission. Regarding the selection of courses by candidates, in accordance with the Higher Education Act, achievement in the GM and achievement in the last two years of schooling are taken into consideration where there is restricted admission. There may also be other requirements.


Until 1960, the school leaving exam at the end of secondary education resembled the present-day GM. It consisted of five subjects – four compulsory (Slovene, a foreign language, Mathematics and History) and one optional. The fifth, optional, subject had to be selected from the three science subjects (Biology, Chemistry or Physics). All candidates sat the same question papers in Mathematics and a foreign language at the same time. Chairs of assessment boards were teachers who were not the candidates’ teachers during schooling.

In 1960, the school-based Matura was replaced by a final exam, the scope and contents of which changed continuously during the following years.

The 1967 Secondary Education Act provided the basis for a final exam consisting of two compulsory and no more than three optional subjects. The compulsory part of the examination envisaged candidates sitting exams in Slovene, modern history and the social and political order of the country. Optional examination subjects were set by schools in agreement with the National Education Institute.

In 1980, the Career-oriented Education Act abolished general upper secondary schools as well as school leaving exams. On completing secondary education, candidates were awarded a certificate stating that they had met all the requirements of the qualification in question.

Amendments to the Career-oriented Education Act in 1983, and to the Rules on Evaluation and Assessment of Knowledge in Career-oriented Education in 1988, allowed for the possibility of completing secondary education with a final exam, if so stipulated by the qualification in question. Thus in 1991, for the first time, candidates were obliged to sit the Final Exam in two subjects. In the following academic year, the Final Exam consisted of four examination units, i.e. Slovene, Mathematics or a foreign language, and two optional subjects.

After 1980, initiatives began to emerge from universities calling for a reintroduction of the Matura. Legislative changes in 1989 opened the door for its reintroduction, in the form of a school leaving exam at the end of four-year secondary education. In 1992, the National Matura Committee was set up and preparations for the present-day Matura launched. National exam committees were appointed for individual subjects. The Centre was established to oversee all activities relating to the organisation and administration of the Matura exams.

In 1994, a pilot Matura was carried out on a sample of secondary schools, and a ‘proper’ Matura was introduced in the 1994/1995 academic year.

2003 was marked by the Matura Examination Act in which the name Matura was changed into the General Matura, since another type of Matura was introduced, i.e. the Vocational Matura. The National Matura Committee was renamed the National Committee for the General Matura.