In 2000, there was implemented the first MONITOR in Slovakia, a national test for students graduating from the higher secondary education (nowadays - ISCED 3); at that time Mathematics was the only tested subject. In the course of following years, there were also other subjects and foreign languages tested. The testing was voluntary with most of the schools involved. Since 2005 the new secondary school leaving exam (Maturita) has been approved by legislative changes as obligatory.
In 2003, Slovakia started in addition the monitoring of education quality for students graduating from lower secondary schools (ISCED 2) involving Slovak language and Mathematics. Since 2007 this testing has been compulsory for all students except students with special needs.
Actual Status of Educational Evaluation in Slovakia
In 2008, there was the new Education Act adopted defining national educational evaluation and bringing some changes into curriculum administrative.
The Maturita exam consists of two parts - external and internal. The external part of Maturita exam includes tests prepared and evaluated externally. It is NUCEM wherein these tests are being prepared. NUCEM does so for 10 subjects including mother languages (Slovak, Hungarian), Slovak language for schools with the Hungarian language of instructions, Mathematics, and foreign languages in two levels B1 and B2 of the European Reference Framework for Languages (English, German, French, Russian, Spanish and Italian). Furthermore, there are special adapted tests for students with special needs prepared.
The internal part consists of an essay to be written in mother and/or foreign language, and an oral exam processed by individual schools. The essay themes are announced by NUCEM. Both parts are obligatory for all students.
The whole external part is organized and prepared by NUCEM, and it is considered as a crucial instrument for the national educational evaluation. Not only do the final outcomes provide data for each individual student and school but also for the whole population. In addition, each student and school is getting an individual percentile in the testing to monitor the corresponding position in the population for the particular test. Regrettably, only a small number of universities accept results of the secondary school leaving exam in the entrance process.
NUCEM also runs pilot project of computer based tests in Mathematics and foreign languages.
The evaluation of the lower secondary education is implemented as the primary school leaving exam. It consists of two parts – a certified test in Mathematics and Slovak language which is compulsory for every student, and a testing of competencies in these two subjects, realised only with a representative sample. The first testing is considered as a secondary school entrance exam. All secondary schools accept the results in their entrance process.