Facts about Slovakia

Central Europe


Parliamentary republic




49,035 sq km

CET / GMT+1.00


Education and School System in Slovakia

Secondary School

After primary school graduation students continue their study at secondary schools on which they were accepted based on study results or entrance tests.  There are a few types of secondary schools in Slovakia.

1. Grammar school, High School (Gymnazium): 4-8 years; provides general secondary education and prepares for further study at universities and other higher education institutions.
2. Specialized Secondary School: 4-5 years; provides specialized education and usually prepares students for further study at higher education institutions.
3. Conservatories: 4-5 years; special type of professional school providing specializing in fields such as Music, Singing, Dancing and Dramatic Arts.
4. Vocational School: 2-4 years; prepares students for careers that are based in manual or practical occupations.

Secondary Vocational School

There are two types of secondary vocational schools: secondary vocational schools and secondary specialised schools. Secondary vocational schools consist of general education and vocational training and students regularly attend practical classes, training centre and real working places to learn practical skills in the given profession. Vocational education is Slovakia is offered in two, three or four years of study.

Study at the three-year vocational schools finalized by final examination that qualifies graduates for performing workers' trades and vocational activities corresponding to the branch they were trained for. Based on study results students can continue their study at two-year vocational school to complete their secondary study with school leaving examination called maturita. Besides full-time two-year vocational school there are part time also called evening schools providing education for people who are already employed and cannot attend education day time. Vocational professions include professions such as builder, mechanic, cook, waiter, hairdresser, baker, butcher, etc. Four-year study finishes with school leaving examination. After graduation at the four-year study students obtain maturita certificate.

Secondary Schools and Grammar Schools

For most secondary schools students have to pass entrance examination. Secondary school education usually lasts for four years though there are schools that provide five-year education e.g. Hotel Academy. There are eight-year grammar schools (gymnazium) that pupils enter after finalizing the first stage of primary school.

Grammar schools are considered as prestigious schools as the study is formed in order to prepare students for higher education especially universities. Though gymnasia provide general education, many grammar schools have specialized classed specializing e.g. in languages, programming or mathematics. Secondary specialized schools specialize in branches such as health, economy, sport, art, agriculture, wood industry, pharmacy, chemistry, pedagogy, hotels, industry, hotel academies etc.

Learning system at secondary schools is similar to primary schools. Lessons last 45 minutes and there are breaks between the lessons though usually longer than at primary school. Students at secondary schools usually have 6 or 7 lessons per day. Study at secondary school finishes with school leaving examination and students obtain maturita certificate. School leaving examination consists of two parts, written and oral exam. After obtaining the maturita certificate, students can apply for higher education including University study.

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