Growing number of science exam-takers at Latvia's schools

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This year, compared to last year, far more pupils about to graduate high school choose to take biology, physics, and chemistry as their elective exams, said the State Educational Content Center on April 26.

This year, the State Educational Content Center concludes the transition to a changed learning content and approach. Thus, for the first time this year, all Year 9 pupils will have to pass centralized exams in Latvian, math, and a foreign language. For the first time, the examination in Latvian will be uniform for both those who study in the basic education program and those who learn the Latvian language in the minority program.

For those in the final year of high-school, as usual, there will be exams in Latvian, mathematics, and a foreign language, and now students can choose whether to take it at the "basic" or "optimal" level. Students also choose an elective exam in either a foreign language, in-depth Latvian and literature, math, biology, social sciences, chemistry, physics, design and technology, or history. In this respect, there are positive trends regarding the choice of pupils, noted Liene Voroņenko, Head of the State Educational Content Centre.

Data collected shows that 2,355 final year students will take the top-level test in biology, whereas last year it was 1077; 958 students will take the physics exam and 970 chemistry, which is also about 50% higher than a year ago. Almost as popular a choice as biology is social sciences.

Exams in geography, culture and art, as well as programming, will take place online – in the national testing information system. In the past, this methodology has been tested in several schools.

The performance displayed by pupils will be expressed as a percentage in all exams. The bar to pass the exam is 10%.


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