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Secondary education exams and access to higher education in 2024

March 18, 2024

Original Article:

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Every year, the future of thousands of young people begins to be shaped during a couple of weeks at the beginning of summer. The national secondary education exams, which this year begin on the 14th of June, are decisive in defining the conditions under which every young person can apply for higher education. And to find out if you have the average to enter the course you want.

In addition to studying – which cannot only begin when the exams are already in sight – there are some moments of the year that students must pay attention to in order to prepare for entry into a university or polytechnic institute. Starting with registration for the final exams, which this year runs from February 26th to March 8th.

On April 14th, the vacancies available in the 1st phase of the national access competition are announced, which can help guide students' choices. After that, the exams arrive: the 1st phase of secondary education exams runs until June 27th.

If the results were not as expected, there is a second opportunity, between the 18th and 23rd of July. But be careful: taking the 2nd phase exams may prevent you from applying to the 1st phase of the national access competition, when the largest number of places in higher education are up for grabs.

Applications this year run from July 22nd to August 5th. On August 25th, students will know which course they have been placed on. Until the end of September there are still two more admission phases to place those who want to find a place in higher education.

In order not to forget any important moments, here is a summary of the higher education access calendar:


On February 26th, registration for national exams began. As has happened in previous years, the process will be entirely online. Students register on the Electronic Registration Platform for Tests and Exams (PIEPE), and the school administration services are then responsible for validating them. The registration period runs until March 8th.


The available places in each higher education course are made public in the first phase of the national access competition. The calendar has been brought forward in recent years to give students more time to study the best course options that adapt to their future options and also to the grades they have in secondary education. There are more than 50 thousand places available in public universities and polytechnics.


The 1st phase of national secondary education exams begins, taken by students in the 11th and 12th years. Students take tests between the 14th and 28th of June.


On July 15th, the guidelines for the 1st phase of secondary exams are published. Anyone who needs to repeat the tests, for example to improve their final grades, can do so from the 18th to the 23rd of July. On July 22nd, applications for the 1st phase of the national competition for access to higher education begin, which will continue until August 5th.


On August 5th, the grades for the 2nd phase of the national exams are released. That same day, the 1st phase of applications for the national access competition ends. The results of this process are known on August 25th. The following day, registrations begin at universities and polytechnic institutes, which continue until the 29th.


There are still two more opportunities to enter public higher education. The 2nd phase of the national access competition takes place between August 26th and September 4th, with the results known on the 15th of this month. Students can compete for the 3rd phase between September 21st and 24th. On the last day of the month they hear the verdict regarding their immediate future.


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