Arithmetic in secondary education

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Reference levels for arithmetic were introduced in 2010. The reference levels provide a clear and uniform description for each educational sector of what pupils should be able to know and know about math at different points in their learning career. From the 2013-2014 school year, a math test is part of the final exam for students in secondary education, to see whether students are at the set reference levels.

In the 2014 exam year, the calculation test was introduced as a compulsory part of the final exam. The figure was not included in the pass-fail scheme. In the 2016 exam year, the grade on the VWO calculation test did count in determining the exam result. In 2017, the VWO arithmetic test was part of the core subjects rule, which means that for the subjects Dutch, English, mathematics and the arithmetic test, the candidate was allowed to obtain a maximum of one 5. These regulations will no longer apply from the 2018 exam year. Therefore, the math test does not count for obtaining the diploma in VWO either. The graph below shows the average grade for the math test of the past 5 school years.

The students in VMBO take the 2F test and the students in HAVO / VWO take the 3F test. There is numerical differentiation in VMBO: the different learning paths in VMBO make the same test, but are assessed differently. Compared to pre-vocational secondary education, one digit point is added to the pre-vocational secondary education BB and until the 2016 year, one digit point was deducted from pre-vocational secondary education. This should be taken into account when comparing the figures between different years. Under ‘Related graphs’ you will find the percentage of students who pass, the spread in the grades for the math test, the spread of the percentage of students with a pass at school level and the results of VSO students.

The average figures for the arithmetic test of the 2018 final examination candidates for VMBO-BB, VMBO-KB and HAVO are around 6. VMBO-GT and VWO score higher with a 7.1 and 7.5, respectively.

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