(in Albanian Matura Shtetërore
) is a recently created system regarding final exams that young adults (aged 17, 18 or 19) take in the end of their secondary education
.It was created by the Albanian Ministry of Education and Science in 2005, as a project that would avoid corruption, lack of control and favoritism., that had characterized the prior aptitude
examination system, Matura
Requirements of the State Matura
Unlike the previous system, which consisted of three two-part examinations (written and oral Literature, written and oral Mathematics, and written and oral Physics), State Matura consists of two compulsory exams (written Mathematics and written Literature) and two other exams. These last two exams are chosen by the student from a pool of subjects (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, English, History-Geography and Sociology-Economy-Philosophy). What two subjects they choose depends on their university preference. Each university's faculty chooses its own preferred profile (scientific or social) and its own preferred subjects. These preference are made known to the prospective students. A student must keep in mind these preferences stated by the various faculties when choosing the two subjects. The average grade of these exams will count as 80% of the points received. However these are not the only grades taken into consideration. The average grade from all four/five years of the secondary education will count as 20% of the points received.
However, this system has been much criticized for the high level of difficulty, subjectivity(in Literature) and strict grading, resulting in low scoring averages. For example, in the second Literature exam, which took place on Saturday, June 9th 2007, only fifteen 10s(the highest score) were taken in all the republic (out of 30000 students). It was also noted that very few 5(the minimal non-failing grade) were taken, while there were almost no failing students. The general grades were 6, 7 and 8, stirring a lot of disappointment and rage among students, who also claim they don't know where to complain and are worried about the effects these grades could have in their application in universities outside Albania.
Concerns have as been raised about the State Matura's rigorous security precautions. For example, the teachers who create the test are isolated for a whole week, without any means communication with the outside world. The exam papers and answer sheets are always accompanied by the police. They are distributed in DHL envelopes during different hours of the night, according to the distance of the school from the Ministry. All the envelopes are supposed to be opened at the exact same time, 10 A.M. All exams are double-checked to avoid any possible mistakes. However, teachers are chosen randomly, and most of teachers outside the capital lack proper academic level. So this may lead to wrong checking.