Is the entrance exam getting tougher?
Starting in the coming school year, a new grade point average will be required in the entrance examination for high school aka Gymnasium: Candidates must achieve at least a 4.75 in the final examination instead of the previous 4.5. Yet, according to the cantonal secondary school and vocational training office (MBA) this will not result in changes in overall pass rates. How so?
Up to 2022, exam candidates needed to achieve an overall average of 4.5 to get accepted into the six year Gymnasium course. This overall average is made up of 50% preliminary grades and 50% exam results. For students with a preliminary grade point average of 5.25, an examination grade of 3.75 was sufficient to pass (final grade 4.5). In the future, the same exam performance would result in a 4.25 (final grade 4.75). This would imply that prospective exam candidates should not have to worry that the exams are getting tougher.
Changes for entry into the Kurzzeitgymi
The biggest chance will be for entry after secondary school: From 2023 onwards, preliminary grades will be taken into account and cont 50% towards the final grade. Many students will be relieved to learn that French is no longer an examined subject in the entrance exams!
Good exam performance is not enough!
What will not change though is the fact that the Gymi exam remains challenging. Students will still need excellent school grades to have a realistic chance to enter Gymnasium.
A look at last year’s exam grade point average illustrates this: Whether looking at language (3.4), mathematics (3.4) or essay writing (3.7) – the average performance in all examined subjects was well below a pass.
Parents waiting for changes in the overall admittance rate should not get their hopes up! In spite of a sustained population growth in the last years, the overall number of 12-year old students entering Gymnasium after primary school has changed very little with around 15% cantonwide. In 2021, over 4,600 primary school students took the exam for the long-term high school , and more than one in two did not get in.
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