Exam series

Each year, the VM is held in three exam series: in Spring (May–June), in Autumn (August–September) and in Winter (February). In March, Year 4 students sit the mock exam where they – alongside their teachers and members of exam offices – become acquainted with the technical side of sitting the exam and can also assess their level of knowledge in individual subjects. The dates of individual written exams, of the publication of exam results, etc., are determined by the Key Dates Calendar for the Vocational Matura.

Compulsory and optional parts

Candidates sit the VM in four subjects. Note: Examination materials for the Vocational and the General Matura are compiled by different national exam committees and the question papers are not the same (e.g. there are two different Slovene exams, two different Mathematics exams, two different English exams etc.).

Subjects in the ‘core’ or compulsory part of the exam are:

  • the so-called ‘first’ subject is the mother tongue: either Slovene or, in ethnically mixed areas, Hungarian or Italian;
  • the so-called ‘second’ subject is the theoretical part of a qualification-specific exam.

Optional subjects are:

Grade boundaries

Achievement in all parts of each exam is expressed in marks and in the proportions as defined by subject and exam specifications and marking schemes. A candidate’s total score in each VM exam is the combined sum of marks achieved in individual parts of the exam. The highest score in any individual subject is one hundred percent (100%).

According to the proposals drawn up by each national exam committee, the National Committee establish criteria for the conversion of marks into grades (i.e. how many percent are required in any individual subject for each grade). These criteria are the same in all three exam series (Spring, Autumn and Winter).

For all other second subjects for which examination materials are not developed by the Centre and for all fourth subjects, criteria for the conversion of marks into grades are determined by exam offices based on proposals from the relevant subject teachers or other test developers. These, too, are the same for all three exam series.

Achievement in the VM is expressed by the standard five-grade scale comprising the following grades: Insufficient (Grade 1), Sufficient (Grade 2), Good (Grade 3), Very Good (Grade 4) and Excellent (Grade 5). Candidates pass the exam if they achieve at least Grade 2.

The conversion of marks into grades for all VM subjects is carried out in accordance with the established criteria by the exam office and for all candidates.

Additional points for exams in first subject

In exams in a mother tongue (Slovene, Hungarian and Italian), Grades 3, 4 and 5 are split into two parts, i.e. the lower interval and the higher interval. Additional points are awarded in the following manner:

  • 1 point is added to the higher interval of Grade 3 and the lower interval of Grade 4 (3+1=4 and 4+1=5);
  • 2 points are added to the higher interval of Grade 4 and the lower interval of Grade 5 (4+2=6 and 5+2=7);
  • 3 points are added to the higher interval of Grade 5 (5+3=8).

As a result, there are eight grades in exams in a mother tongue (as opposed to five in all the other).

General achievement in the VM

Candidates pass the VM if they achieve a positive grade in all VM exams. There is one exception, however: candidates are awarded a Near Pass (Grade 2) if they achieve at least 80% of marks required for Grade 2 in the subject in question and at least Grade 3 in all other subjects.

A candidate’s overall achievement is expressed in points and is the sum of grades awarded in all exams. In the first subject, a candidate can achieve the pass grades 2–8, and in all other subjects grades 2–5: this means that the highest possible score is 23 points (1x8+3x5=23).

Candidates pass the VM with outstanding achievement if they reach or exceed the number of points determined by the National Committee for any individual academic year. To date, the so-called ‘Golden Matura Candidates’ have had to achieve at least 22 points.

Protection of candidates’ rights – access to scripts and review of results

If they believe that during the administration of any of the parts of the exam (written, oral or practical) the required procedures were not followed, candidates are allowed to submit a request for a review of results to the exam office in accordance with the rules and the Key Dates Calendar for the Vocational Matura.

Candidates are allowed to access their papers within three days after the issuing of the results in their schools. If candidates believe that their papers have been marked incorrectly or the marks awarded on the paper were counted incorrectly or that the marks awarded are not sufficient, they may request a review of results in writing (a clerical re-check or a review of marking) no later than one day after they have accessed the scripts.

The decisions of exam offices regarding all requests are final.

Resitting exams and improving grades

Candidates who pass the VM but wish to improve their grade in one or more subjects are entitled to a single resitting of the exams up to two years after their first sitting of the VM. The better of the two grades is awarded.

Candidates who fail the VM are entitled to resit no more than two failed exams: resitting is thus allowed only for candidates with at least two passes. Candidates are entitled to resit the failed exams up to two years after their first sitting of the VM in the same school. If candidates fail to pass the exam(s), they have to resit the entire VM.

Resitting the entire VM is not limited and can be done several times; however, the previously achieved results are disregarded. The only exception is a pass for a product or service, which is final. Candidates are allowed, however, to resit the fourth exam if they wish.