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The dates of the matriculation examination tests in humanities and sciences will be brought forward by one week due to the coronavirus situation.

Ministry of Education and Culture
Publication date 13.3.2020 12.16 | Published in English on 13.3.2020 at 16.12
Press release

The Matriculation Examination Board, together with the Ministry of Education and Culture, has decided to bring forward the tests in humanities and sciences originally planned for the third week of examinations of spring 2020, so that the tests in humanities and sciences will be held already in the second week of examinations, on Tuesday 17 March and Thursday 19 March.

The aim of this change in dates is to ensure that the matriculation examination can be organised in such a way that as many candidates as possible can complete it even when the coronavirus situation expands.

The timetable for the matriculation examination will be condensed so that, with the exception of the Saami mother tongue test, the whole matriculation examination it will have been organised by 20 March. This will be done by bringing forward by a week the dates for the tests in humanities and sciences (religion, worldview studies, social science, chemistry, geography, health education, psychology, philosophy, history, physics, biology), i.e. to be held on 17 March and 19 March.

New timetable for the remaining spring matriculation examination tests:

Monday, 16 March: second national language, long and medium syllabus

Tuesday, 17 March:  (brought forward from 24 March) religion, worldview studies, social science, chemistry, geography, health education
Wednesday, 18 March: mathematics, long and short syllabus
Thursday, 19 March: (brought forward from 26 March) psychology, philosophy, history, physics, biology

Friday, 20 March: foreign language, long syllabus (English, French, Spanish, German, Russian)
Monday, 23 March: Saami as a mother tongue

- By bringing forward the matriculation examination test days in humanities and sciences, we want to make sure that the spring matriculation examinations can be successfully completed while ensuring the safety of the students. If the spring tests were to be put on hold completely, a significant proportion of the general upper secondary school cohort would risk not being eligible to apply to university, in particular, which would have a significant impact on the functioning of society as a whole in the future, says Minister of Education Li Andersson.

- This solution will enable higher education institutions to organise their entrance exams as planned and to have access to the results of the matriculation examinations for those who apply based on their matriculation examination certificates,” says Minister of Science and Culture Hanna Kosonen.

The coronavirus situation is being monitored on a daily basis and the Matriculation Examination Board gives advice to general upper secondary schools on how to implement the arrangements.

Bringing the tests forward means changes for both candidates preparing for the tests and for the upper secondary schools arranging the tests. However, it can be a significant contributory factor in helping to ensure that students in this age group can complete the matriculation examination even if the coronavirus situation in Finland continues to expand.  Bringing the dates for the test forward means that students will have less time for revising for the syllabus. However, they have accumulated the skills needed for the tests over a longer period of time throughout general upper secondary school studies.

Altogether 19,788 candidates will be affected by the change in date of the test in humanities and sciences from Tuesday 24 March to Tuesday 17 March and 23,319 candidates will be impacted by the change in date of the test in humanities and sciences from Thursday 26 March to Thursday 19 March.

The change in the schedule for the tests makes the test week more compact for some candidates. Approximately 37 per cent of the candidates do not have tests on consecutive days even though the dates have been condensed. Roughly 32% of candidates have one consecutive test day, 22% have two consecutive test days and 8% have three consecutive test days. Only one per cent of the candidates have a test on each of the five test days.

The Matriculation Examination Board is requesting all general upper secondary schools to immediately contact all candidates who have registered for the tests in humanities and sciences on these days and to inform them of the change in the schedule. If a candidate is unable to take part in a test because the date has been brought forward, the general upper secondary school and the Matriculation Examination Board can give advice on alternative solutions, such as annulment of registration.

The Board has more information on the change in the dates of the tests and answers to frequently asked questions on its website at:

- Tiina Tähkä, Secretary General  (Matriculation Examination Board), tel. +358 295 338 201
- Robin Lundell (Matriculation Examination Board), Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 338 242
- Mika Tammilehto, Director General (Ministry of Education and Culture), tel. +358 295 330 308
- Director Tiina Silander (Ministry of Education and Culture), tel. +358 295 330,188

Education General education Hanna Kosonen Higher education and research Li Andersson