Each year three exam sessions are held for the Vocational Matura, the Spring (May–June), the Autumn (August–September) and the Winter one (February). In March, students from Year 4 sit for the trial exam where they, their teachers, markers and members of the school committees for the Vocational Matura get acquainted with the contents and procedures of the administration of the written part of the Vocational Matura. The dates of individual written exams and the publication of results etc are determined by the Schedule of Activities for the Vocational Matura.
Compulsory and Optional Parts
Candidates sit the Vocational Matura in 4 subjects.
- the first subject is always the candidate's mother tongue – Slovene and either Hungarian or Italian in ethnically mixed areas;
- the second subject is a basic subject of specialisation.
- the third subject is either Mathematics, a modern foreign language (English, German, Italian) or a second language (Italian as a Second Language, Slovene as a Second Language);
- in the fourth subject candidates perform different forms of practical work in their chosen profession or branch (product, service, coursework, a project etc and its validity).
Achievement in written, oral or practical parts of the exam and a validation is expressed in marks and in the proportions as defined by subject syllabi and marking schemes. The final score in each Matura exam is the combined sum of points achieved by a candidate in individual parts of the exam. The highest score in any individual subject is a hundred percent (100%).
On each STCVM's proposal, the NCVM determines the criteria for the conversion of points into grades (i.e. how many percentage points are required in any individual subject for each grade). These criteria are the same in the Spring, Autumn and Winter Sessions. For the second and fourth subjects, the criteria for the conversion of points into grades are defined by school committees for the Vocational Matura based on the proposal of school faculty for different subjects or other developers of examination materials; they are defined for the Spring Session but are also valid for the Autumn and Winter Sessions.
Achievement in the Vocational Matura is expressed by the classic five-grade scale comprising grades Insufficient (1), Sufficient (2), Good (3), Very Good (4) and Excellent (5). Candidates pass the exam in each subject if they get at least Grade 2.
The conversion of points into grades in accordance with the defined criteria is done by school committees for the Vocational Matura for all subjects and for all candidates of a school.
Additional Points in the First Subject
For the grades expressed in points in Slovene (Italian, Hungarian) a different scale is used; it is determined by the Minister on the proposal of the NCVM. Grades 3, 4 and 5 are divided into two parts with regard to the scored points: the upper and the lower part, and extra points are awarded by adding:
- 1 point to the upper half of Grade 3 and lower half of Grade 4 (thus 3 + 1 = 4 and 4 + 1 = 5);
- 2 points to the upper half of Grade 4 and lower half of Grade 5 (thus 4 + 2 = 6 and 5 + 2 = 7);
- 3 points to the upper half of Grade 5 (thus 5 + 3 = 8).
The system of awarding additional points:
General Achievement in the Vocational Matura
Candidates pass the Vocational Matura if they get a positive grade in all Matura exams. Candidates also obtain Grade 2 if they achieve at least 80% of the points required for Grade 2 in the subject in question and at least Grade 3 in all other subjects.
General achievement is expressed in points and represents the sum of achieved grades (or grades expressed in marks) in all subjects. In the first subject of the Vocational Matura, positive grades are grades from 2 to 8, and in other subjects from 2 to 5, which means that the highest possible score is 23 points (1 x 8 + 3 x 5 points).
Candidates pass the Vocational Matura with outstanding achievement, summa cum laude, if they reach or exceed the number of marks determined by the NCVM for any individual school year. To date, the so-called 'Golden Matura Candidates' have had to achieve at least 22 points.
Protection of Candidates' Rights – Complaint, Inspection and Appeal
Candidates can file a complaint to the school if they think that during any part of the administration of the exam (written, oral or practical part) its rules or procedures determined by the Act or other regulations were violated.
In the three days following the publication of results, candidates may request the school grant them a free inspection of tests they took in one or more subjects. If the candidates think that their tests were not marked correctly or that the grade was calculated wrongly or is inadequate, they can file a written appeal no later than one day following the inspection.
In all the above cases, the school must carry out appropriate procedures. The decisions taken by the SCVMs regarding complaints and appeals are final.
Resitting of Exams and Improving Grades
Candidates who pass the Vocational Matura and wish to improve their grade in one or more subjects are entitled to a single resitting of exams up to two years after their first sitting of the Vocational Matura. The better of the two grades is awarded.
Candidates who fail the Vocational Matura are entitled to resit no more than two negative exams. This means that only candidates with a positive grade in at least two subjects of the Vocational Matura have the right to a re-examination. Candidates are allowed to resit negative exams up to two years after their first sitting of the Vocational Matura in the same school. If they fail to improve their grades, they have to resit the entire Vocational Matura.
The number of resittings of the entire Vocational Matura is not limited and can be done several times; however, the previously achieved results are not considered. The only exception is a positive grade for a product or service; this grade is permanent. Candidates can, however, do a service or product again; in this case, the better of the two grades is considered.