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The 1st phase of the national secondary education exams starts this Friday at 9:30 am with the Portuguese test, which will assess nearly 41 thousand students in the 12th year, among the more than 150 thousand registered for this month's exams.
According to statistical data released by the Ministry of Education, there are 151,863 students enrolled to take 246,499 tests in this phase , which only ends on June 16th.
The first to show what they learned in secondary school are the 40,966 students from 12th grade enrolled in the Portuguese exam.
As in the past year, national exams are once again held with a set of exceptional rules introduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic , which are not mandatory for the completion of secondary school.
Therefore, the number of enrolled students is, once again, below previous years and almost 60% participate exclusively with the objective of applying for higher education.
Biology and Geology is once again the most popular subject, with 42,055 enrolled, followed by Portuguese (40,966), Mathematics A (39,398) and Physics and Chemistry A (38,372).
Contrary to what was decided last year, this year students will be able to take an exam to improve their internal classification, a measure imposed by the majority of the Assembly of the Republic.
Biology and Geology and Physics and Chemistry A are the ones with the highest number of students enrolled for this purpose, with 7,681 and 5,755 enrollments, respectively.
Portuguese and Mathematics A are the most used tests to apply for higher education, with 39,317 and 38,422 enrolled, respectively, with this objective.
In terms of test structure, the Ministry of Education also decided to keep a novelty from last year, in order to mitigate the negative effects of the months when students are in distance learning regime, with the introduction of a second set of questions , optional answer in which the best answer counts.
The measure resulted in a general rise in the average grades, which in the case of some subjects reached three values and, therefore, the Educational Assessment Institute (IAVE) changed the weight of the scale and there will be more questions that must be answered.
After Portuguese, there will be the test in Physics and Chemistry A, which takes place on the 8th of July, at 9:30 am; Mathematics A on July 13th, also at 9:30 am; and Biology and Geology on July 15th at the same time.
The 1st phase of secondary education exams ends on July 16, with the Geography A test.
This year, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the two phases of the national exams, following the two-week interruption of teaching at the beginning of the year, due to the worsening of the epidemiological situation in Portugal.
Students who are unable to take the exam in this 1st phase because they are infected with SARS-CoV-2 or in prophylactic isolation will only be able to take the exam in September, during the 2nd phase, and still apply for the 1st .th phase of the national competition for access to higher education.