UPDATE Students applying to universities outside of Cyprus in 2022 will not be required to sit the Pancyprian examinations, as they become optional from next academic year.
At present, all Cypriot students are required to sit for the Pancyprian examinations upon completion of upper secondary. This differs from Greece, where only those looking to pursue university study are now obliged to sit the corresponding Panhellenic examinations.
However, a new reform stipulates that the Pancyprian examinations are to be decoupled from the school-leaving examinations and will thus no longer be compulsory, mirroring the set-up in Greece.
In future, only those looking to pursue public university education in Cyprus or Greece will be required to sit the Pancyprian examinations. Meanwhile, there will be separate school-leaving examinations in each of the final semesters.
The first cohort of pupils affected by the changes will graduate secondary school in the 2021-2022 academic year. The changes were originally due to come in from 2021, but will now happen in the following year.
The new reform follows on from recent amendments to the upper secondary curriculum. Students attending the more academically-oriented lyceum now follow one of six directions (streams), each with certain compulsory subjects. Last year saw the first cohort of students graduate under the new system, which ensures that pupils are assessed in subjects perceived to be more rigorous.
Since the summer of 2018, the Pancyprian examinations have assessed students in Greek and four direction subjects, including all mandatory direction subjects.
Further details on academic upper secondary education in Cyprus [member log-in required] can be found on our International Comparisons (IC) database.