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Austria's high school diploma is not like it used to be

July 07, 2022

Original Article:

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It is the day on which the Matura begins this year with the written exam in Latin and Greek. Of the 1,990 candidates at the 30 schools in Vorarlberg that offer high school graduation, only those who can show a currently negative PCR or antigen test are allowed to start their first big academic adventure. “There is a safety phase before the start of the penultimate week of classes until the start of the exam. Pupils who are at the school must present a valid antigen or PCR test every day during this period, with at least one PCR test per week,” explains Elisabeth Mettauer-Stubler, Head of Communications at the Vorarlberg Education Directorate , the tough rules. The following applies: The PCR test must not be older than 72 hours, the antigen test must not be older than 48 hours.

It was with great relief that the candidates found out about the complete exemption from the mask requirement announced by Minister of Education Polaschek. For many high school graduates, wearing a mask during the exam was a big burden last year.

Of course, Corona is also putting its stamp on this year's matriculation exam in addition to the rigorous test regime. For example, the number of subject areas in the oral examination areas at the AHS was restricted. However, the wish of the student representatives for the oral examination to be canceled without replacement was not heard by the school authorities.

Because of Corona, however, the time to carry out the exam work will be extended by 60 minutes this year. Alternative dates are also available for those students who cannot take the matriculation examination due to an infection.

Overall grade also this year
The annual grade is also included in the overall assessment for the final certificate this year. This is generally weighted the same as the examination grade. In case of doubt, however, the exam grade counts more.

"We are well prepared for the Matura," says BRG/BORG-Schoren director Reinhard Sepp on behalf of his colleagues. However, he is not sure whether all candidates will take the matriculation examination under the same conditions. "It will have to be seen whether students who have been in quarantine for some time this year may have a disadvantage," says Sepp.

Opportunity for correction
If the written exam goes wrong, this does not mean the end for the candidates concerned. On June 1st and 2nd there is the possibility to correct a negative exam in the compensatory exams, before the oral exams then move on to the big final a little later.

"We will see if students who have been in quarantine for a long time this year have a disadvantage."

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