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Portugal national exams keep questions optional this school year

January 18, 2022

Original Article:

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The national exams for the 2021/2022 academic year will keep the optional questions , similar to what happened in the last two years. The model will combine mandatory questions with some optional ones, the Institute for Educational Assessment (IAVE) reported this Tuesday in a document published on the official website.

Working as a way for students not to be harmed by the pandemic and homeschooling , IAVE decided to continue with this measure . Students can answer all optional questions, bearing in mind that only answers to items in which students obtain the best score will be counted towards the final classification.

The remaining questions consist of a “set of items whose answer must be counted towards the final classification” , focusing “on skills and knowledge developed and consolidated throughout the school career”. Similarly to what has happened in recent years, the evaluation objects of each discipline have already been published on the IAVE website for each national exam.

This information published by IAVE contradicts what the Secretary of State and Assistant for Education, João Costa, defended in September. “Unless we have some exception again – we hope not and everything indicates that we don't – some exceptionality, the path is to return to normality also in terms of external evaluation” , he said at the time.

The organization has not yet announced how many optional questions each exam will have. In the last academic year, after the inflation of grades that occurred in 2020, IAVE decided to increase the mandatory answers in order to not allow students to evade all subjects they do not master . The difference for 2020 was noticeable , as in some cases it was necessary to answer up to three times more mandatory questions.


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