Ranking schools: the covid-19 effect on secondary exams

The year 2020 was strongly marked by the covid-19 pandemic in all sectors of society, and education was one of those that suffered most from the various restrictions imposed by the Government to control the circulation of the virus.

With about half of the school year done with distance classes, students ended up having very different national exams, which ended up resulting in the best results ever in secondary education.

Student grades rose in 2020 due to new rules imposed by the covid-19 pandemic: on the one hand, tests had mandatory and optional questions, allowing students to choose the questions they felt most secure in, with only the best answers being counted .

On the other hand, the tests were only required for those who wanted to go to higher education, because they only counted for the average access to universities and polytechnics, having ceased to be mandatory for the completion of secondary school.

The result was an increase of about two values ​​(on a scale from zero to 20) in the average grades of public and private establishments, taking into account the more than 217 thousand exams carried out in the summer of 2020.

The pandemic effect is noticeable in all analyzes, and schools have raised the averages considerably. To understand, the country’s worst school in 2020 had a better result than the 10 worst in 2019.

In the same sense, any of the 10 best schools had a better result than the best school in the same period.

Only two schools, one public and one private, had a negative average in the national secondary exams in 2020, according to an analysis made by Lusa, which reveals that the schools continue to have better results.

The Escola Secundária José Cardoso Pires, in Lisbon, and the Externato Académico, in Porto, are the only educational establishments with a negative average result in tests held in the summer of 2020, according to data from the Ministry of Education treated by Lusa taking into account the 512 schools with at least 100 tests taken.

The national average of students in colleges was 14.39 points (in the previous year it was 12.69) and in public schools it was 12.89 points (10.95 in the previous year), according to an analysis by Lusa, which reveals that the slight upward trend of the average of notes registered in recent years is maintained.

The grades of the 1st phase of the exams improved in all subjects, with the exception of Mathematics Applied to Social Sciences.

In this average rise, disciplines such as Biology and Geology or Geography A stand out, in which there was an increase of more than three values ​​(on a scale from zero to 20).

For the ‘ranking’ of secondary schools with the best averages, the Lusa agency selected only those where at least 100 tests had been carried out.

In order to arrive at the averages of the classifications achieved in the different disciplines, as well as the averages by district, all the tests carried out were counted. The analysis includes 225,307 exams performed.

The covid-19 pandemic led the Government to suspend, in the academic year 2019/2020, the national tests of the 9th year, which is why this year there are no pieces about results in that teaching cycle.

In secondary school, for the first time, the data sent by the Ministry made no distinction between internal and external students.

Also this year, Lusa did not analyze the data related to the students’ internal grades (CIF) since the data provided by the Ministry were provisional and their validation was still in progress by the services.


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