Denmark: General upper secondary examination suite

New for 2016

  • Studentereksamen (STX): General upper secondary examination
  • Højere Handelseksamen (HHX): Commercial general upper secondary examination
  • Højere Teknisk Eksamen (HTX): Technical general upper secondary examination
  • Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF): General upper secondary examination
  • EUX: General upper secondary examination taken as a part of a vocational education.
Country
  • Denmark
Education context

Ten years of compulsory school consisting of one pre-school year (grade zero) and nine years in basic comprehensive school (Folkeskole) grade 1 – 9 (ages 7 –16). An optional 11th year is called grade 10.

English language as a subject is compulsory from grade 1.

Structure

The STX, HHX and HTX have a duration of three years.

The HF has a duration of two years based on 11 years of schooling (grade 10).

The EUX is taken by pupils attending vocational education. They can obtain an upper secondary qualification (EUX) along with the vocational diploma, by extending their studies with a number of general subjects from the STX/HHX/HTX programmes. The total duration of the general subjects correspond to the duration of the Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF). A separate diploma is issued.

Subjects can be taken at three levels: A (highest), B and C (lowest).

Subject areas

Studentereksamen (STX)

  • Including at least four subjects at A-level and normally three B-level and seven C-level subjects.
  • Compulsory subjects and levels: Danish A, English B, 2nd foreign language B or A, history A, classical studies C, physics C, physical education (PE) C, an artistic subject C, mathematics C, religion C, social science, and in addition at least two of the subjects biology, chemistry and natural geography at C-level.
  • As a main rule, each student must also complete biology, physics, chemistry or natural geography at B-level.
  • The compulsory artistic subject is chosen from among visual arts, drama, media studies or music.
  • The 2nd foreign language is chosen from among the following: French continued level B and A, German continued level B and A, French beginner level A, Italian A, Russian A, Spanish A or German beginner level A.
  • Apart from the compulsory subjects, each student chooses a specialised study programme and electives, and each student also writes a specialised study project (SRP) in the third year, combining two or three subjects of their choice.
  • Electives: Each student selects a number of elective subjects. The number varies according to the study field subjects taken by the student.

Højere Handelseksamen (HHX)

  • Including at least four subjects at A-level, at least three B-level subjects and at least one C-level subject.
  • Compulsory subjects and levels: Danish A, English A, 2nd foreign language B or A, business economics B, marketing B, international economics B, contemporary history B, mathematics C, commercial law C and social science C.
  • Two foreign languages are selected from among the following options: French at continued level B and A, German at continued level B and A, French beginner level A, Italian A, Russian A, Spanish A or German beginner level A.
  • As well as compulsory subjects, the students also choose their specialised study programme and electives, and, in addition, in the third year each student writes a specialised study project (SRP) combining two or three subjects of their choice.
  • Electives: Each student selects a number of elective subjects. The number varies according to the study field subjects taken by the student.

Højere Teknisk Eksamen (HTX)

  • Including at least three subjects at A-level, at least three B-level subjects and at least one C-level subject.
  • Compulsory subjects and levels: Danish A, technical science A, English B, physics B, chemistry B, mathematics B, technology B, biology C, communication/IT C, social science C and history of technology C. Teaching is partly conducted as multi-subject courses within the framework of the study programme.
  • Technical science A is selected from among the following options: construction and energy, design and production or process, food and health.
  • As well as compulsory subjects, the students also choose their specialised study programme and electives, and, in addition, in the third year each student writes a specialised study project (SRP) combining two or three subjects of their choice.
  • Electives: Each student selects a number of elective subjects. The number varies according to the study field subjects taken by the student. 

 Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF)

  • Compulsory subjects and levels: Danish A, English B, mathematics C, physical education C, practical/musical subject C, natural science group of subjects (which includes biology C, geography C and chemistry C), and the culture and social science group of subjects (history B, social science C and religion C).
  • As well as the compulsory subjects, the student must choose two to four electives, and each student must also complete a major written assignment during the second year within one to three subjects of their choice.
  • Electives: The students choose from among a number of electives at C-, B- or A- level offered by the schools.

EUX

  • Compulsory subjects and levels: Danish A, English B, mathematics C and social science C.
  • In addition to the compulsory subjects, the students must take a number of subjects at A-, B- and C-level including at least two subjects at B-level. The number of subjects depends on the specific vocational programme.
  • A written assignment.
  • Completion of a major written assignment combining two to three subjects, including at least one subject at B-level and a subject from the vocational programme. The assignment forms part of the final examination.
  • The total duration of the general subjects corresponds to the duration of the Hojere Forberedelseseksamen (HF).
Levels
  • EQF Level 4

European Qualifications Framework (EQF) Level 4. Satisfying general HE entrance requirements.

For further information on the qualification level you may wish to refer to UK NARIC, which is the UK body responsible for providing comparability of overseas qualifications.

Grading

7-point grading scale. Pass level is 2:

7-point grading scale Expected distribution of grade* Relation to the ECTS-scale
12 10% A
10 25% B
7 30% C
4 25% D
2 10% E
0 - Fx
-3 - F

 

The student’s performance or proficiency is assessed according to academic targets set up for the specific subject or course (absolute grading method). The relative grading method must not be used. It is nevertheless expected that the overall distribution of grades over a certain period of time should reflect the distribution of grades mentioned.

Relation between the new and the former grading system:

7-point grading scale Former 0  13 scale
12 13, 11
10 10
7 9,8
4 7
2 6
0 05, 03
-3 0

 

Pass level is 6 (former scale) and 2 (new scale).

Further information on grades and distribution of GPA:

http://ufm.dk/en/education-and-institutions/the-danish-education-system/grading-system/karakterer_gym_en.pdf

Assessment

Marks are awarded on a 7-point scale from -3 to 12. In STX, HHX and HTX each student regularly receives term marks in all subjects, and the teacher also gives final marks when a subject is completed. In addition, all students receive marks when they sit for a final examination. The examinations are state controlled and written examination papers are marked by two external examiners. Oral examinations are marked by the teacher and one external examiner, who has the ultimate say in the assessment. Previously they were graded by both the teacher and external examiners.

Certain examinations are compulsory for all students in the upper secondary education programmes. In addition, the Ministry for Children, Education and Gender Equality annually decides which subjects form part of the examination for the individual student. Towards the end of the education programme, all students must submit a major written assignment or project, which forms part of the examination.

The examinations can be written, oral, case-based and project tests, or take mixed forms. At most of the examinations, the students have full access to all types of aids, including IT, but they are not allowed to communicate with other persons during the examination. Some examinations grant students full internet access and the exam formats are designed accordingly.

The Ministry formulates all written examination questions and appoints external examiners for all examinations, both oral and written.

The examination average is crucial to the pupil’s future opportunities in the education system, as it forms an important part of the basis for admission to higher education. The examination average is raised for students who have taken more subjects at A-level than the education programme requires.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

An examination certificate is issued when the student has achieved a minimum of 02 (pass) in weighted average of the concluding term marks and examination marks. When the examination average is calculated, the marks are weighted differently depending on the level of the subject completed.

The examination average is based on terminal marks awarded by the school and the examination marks.

Guided / notional learning hours notes

STX and HHX: A minimum of 2,470 60-minute lessons. In addition, students must allocate time for unsupervised homework with written assignments, preparation of texts, research etc. as well as for examinations.

HTX: A minimum of 2,630 60-minute lessons. In addition, students must allocate time for unsupervised homework with written assignments, preparation of texts, research etc. as well as for examinations.

HF: A minimum of 1,625 60-minute lessons. In addition, students must allocate time for unsupervised homework with written assignments, preparation of texts, research etc. as well as for examinations.

EUX: The total duration of the general subjects corresponds to the duration of the Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF).

Key issues for UK HE admissions

HEPs may wish to consider setting subject requirements in addition to the overall result.

Timing of assessments and results

Final year exams are taken in May or June.

Certificates are issued by the end of June.

Qualification dates notes

This qualification is current.

Certification information

Two average grades are reported on the certificate:

Temporary weighted average mark (Foreløbigt eksamensresultat): The average is weighted on the basis of subject levels and types.

Weighted average mark (Eksamensresultat): This final average mark is the one used for admission to higher education in Denmark. It is calculated by raising the temporary weighted average mark by a factor of 1.03 for students who have taken one more subject at the highest level than required by the programme, and by a factor of 1.06 for students with two or more extra subjects taken at the highest level. For students who have not taken more subjects at the highest level than required, the temporary weighted average mark and the weighted average mark are identical.

Further information about the GPA distribution: http://ufm.dk/en/education-and-institutions/the-danish-education-system/grading-system/karakterer_gym_en.pdf

Progression information

The five examination programmes outlined above are the usual university entrance qualifications in Denmark. Access is granted on the basis of the GPA. In addition to the GPA, the applicants must meet the specific subject demands set by the HEIs.