Everything important about high schools

When are admissions held? What are the types of secondary schools? What kind of education can a student get at these schools?

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More than 1,800 students of secondary vocational schools are repeating their grade this school year.

Important dates

  • submission of an application to the principal of the elementary school for secondary school departments where a talent test is required – until February 20, 2020
  • submission of an application to the principal of the primary school for secondary school departments where a talent test is not required – until April 10, 2020
  • talent tests for secondary schools: March 25 – April 15, 2020
  • entrance exams for secondary schools: May 11 and 14, 2020
  • secondary schools will publish the decision on the eventual conduct of the second round of entrance exams until June 6, 2020

Where talent tests are held

Verification of special abilities, skills or talents (talent tests) are required in the following fields or schools:

  • furniture and interior design
  • dental technician
  • paramedic
  • qualified physiotherapist
  • masseur
  • business academy – bilingual study
  • teaching for kindergartens and education
  • gymnasium – bilingual study
  • protection of people and property
  • study fields at the conservatory
  • group of study fields – art and arts and crafts

Basic division of secondary schools

  • gymnasiums
  • secondary vocational schools
  • conservatories


  • they provide complete secondary general education (upper secondary) in a four-, five- or eight-year educational program, completed by a matriculation exam
  • education is mainly focused on preparation for studying at universities, possibly for work in public administration, in culture or sports
  • in addition to a general focus, gymnasiums can specialize for mathematics, sports or a chosen foreign language (bilingual studies); graduates of the sports gymnasium usually obtain a third-class trainer’s certificate in the chosen sport
  • a gymnasium student is required to study at least two foreign languages
  • for exceptionally gifted students an eight-year high school is designated on Teplicka Street in Bratislava
  • in Slovakia there are a total of 235 grammar schools with 3,006 classes, where approximately 71,150 students study and more than 6,370 teachers teach
  • 145 gymnasiums are state, 39 private and 51 church
  • more than 54,000 students attend the state high school, about 4,500 private schools and more than 12,500 church schools
  • 136 gymnasiums are eight-year high schools attended by more than 22,400 pupils
  • the most gymnasiums are in Bratislava (45) and Prešov Region (38), the least in Trenčín Region (18) and Trnava Region (21)
  • Slovak is the language of instruction in 129 grammar schools, Hungarian in 16, Slovak with Hungarian in seven, and Ukrainian in one
  • 77 grammar schools are bilingual, most with English (50), German (7), French (7), Spanish (6) and Russian (6)
  • 228 students are repeating their grade this school year

Secondary Vocational Schools (SOŠ)

  • they provide professional education divided into theoretical and practical teaching
  • students are prepared in at least a two-year and at most a five-year educational program
  • education is primarily focused on preparation for the profession in the field of national economy, healthcare, public administration, culture or art, but students can also prepare for further studies
  • there are 438 secondary vocational schools in Slovakia with 5,560 classes, where over 122,000 students study and approximately 11,400 teachers teach
  • 334 of these schools are state, 85 private and 19 church
  • more than 105,000 students study at state secondary schools, almost 13,500 at private schools, and about 3,650 at church schools
  • the most secondary schools are in the Prešovský region (68) and the Košice region (61), the least in the Trenčín region (36) and the Trnava region (46)
  • Slovak is the language of instruction at 385 secondary schools, Slovak with Hungarian at 22, and Hungarian at 14
  • 17 secondary vocational schools are bilingual – 14 with English, two with German and one with French
  • more than 1,800 students are repeating a year this school year

Types of secondary vocational schools

  • secondary vocational school with an attribute (e.g. economic, woodworking, forestry, printing, veterinary, etc.)
  • secondary industrial school with an attribute (e.g. construction, transport, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, etc.)
  • secondary art school with an attribute (e.g. design, animation, scenic or applied art, etc.)
  • secondary medical school
  • pedagogic high school
  • business Academy
  • hotel Academy
  • traffic academy
  • technical academy
  • pedagogical and cultural academy
  • Pedagogical and Social Academy
  • police secondary vocational school
  • secondary school of fire protection


  • pupils they prepare for professional artistic application or for teaching art subjects
  • the educational program lasts six years – after the end of the fourth year, the student takes the matriculation exam and after the end of the sixth year, the student takes the graduation exam; dance is studied for up to eight years
  • student can get lower secondary education (if he completes four years of study), complete secondary vocational education (if he graduates) or higher professional education (if he completes the full six or eight years and successfully passes the graduation exam; he will receive a graduation diploma with the right to use the non-academic title “diplomatized art specialist” with the abbreviation DiS.art., which appears after the name)
  • a conservatory can be music and drama or dance
  • in Slovakia there are 17 conservatories with 161 classes, where over 3,000 students study
  • six conservatories are state, ten private and one church
  • the most of them are in Bratislava (4) and Košice Region (4), the least in Trnava (1) and Prešov Region (1); there is no conservatory in the Trenčín region
  • Slovak is the language of instruction at all of them
  • 58 students are repeating their grade this school year
Source: Center for Scientific and Technical Information of the Slovak Republic, Ministry of Education and Culture of the Slovak Republic

The student can get:

  • lower secondary vocational education (lower secondary) – usually lasts two years, ends with a final exam and obtaining a teaching certificate; an applicant who has not completed primary school can also be admitted to such an educational program; after fulfilling the conditions, graduates can continue their further studies within the SOŠ
  • secondary vocational education (secondary) – lasts at least three to four years, ends with a final exam and obtaining a teaching certificate
  • complete secondary vocational education (upper secondary) – lasts four to five years and concludes with a matriculation exam
  • higher professional education (post-secondary or tertiary) – lasts two to three years, after the final exam, the student receives a graduate diploma with the right to use the non-academic title “diplomat specialist” (abbreviation DiS., which is given after the name)
  • vocational secondary schools also provide subsequent forms of professional education: extension (completed with high school graduation) or post-secondary studies (aimed at deepening knowledge, or obtaining a specialization or qualification in another field)

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