(Greece) – The Panhellenic Exams, which are Greece’s University entrance exams, began on Monday, May 16, 2016 all over Greece. Each year, students from all over the country take exams in order to compete for open slots to study at University. This year, there are 70,000 spots at either a state run university or a technical institute are up for grabs across the nation. Just under 104,000 students are estimated to compete in order to enter post-secondary education.
There are a few rounds of testing.In the first round, their proficiency in composition, mathematics, economics, and history. One of the tasks students perform is that they are asked to read a 500-word piece and then develop a response essay. In the second wave of testing, they will be assessed on specialty topics, such as foreign languages, architecture, music, and other profession-specific topics.
All told, the process to take these exams takes about three weeks and there are multiple parts. If students score high enough, they will be insured spots at a university or technical college. Those who don’t perform well on the tests will miss their opportunity. As a result of this, there is a lot of pressure to perform well. Most students take these exams soon after they finish high school. Because of how important they are, students often have a hard time with the pressure. Those who excel at the school are able to continue their education.
Although the majority of students who take the exams are much younger, there is a woman in her 70’s who has been making headlines. Her name is Efthymia Stergiou and due to her life situation at the time that the exams are normally taken, she wasn’t able to participate. This year, she seeks to achieve her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher. However, whether or not she is able to achieve this dream will depend on her performance in the exams. Each student has his or her own story as to why passing the exams is important. What makes or break their success is whether or not their results were strong enough to secure them a spot at one of the post-secondary education institutes located throughout Greece.