Figures for both marks and national tests

As from December 2021 the two statistics Marks, lower secondary school and National tests are published together here as Marks and national tests, lower secondary school.

Marks and national tests, lower secondary school

Updated: 17 November 2021

Next update: Not yet determined

Average overall achievement mark in mathematics
Average overall achievement mark in mathematics
2021
3.8

Selected tables and figures from this statistics

Average lower secondary school points, by gender, county and parents' educational attainment level
Average lower secondary school points, by gender, county and parents' educational attainment level1
2021
All pupilsAll levels of educationParents' educational attainment level
Basic school or no completed educationUpper secondary educationTertiary education, 4 years or lessTertiary education, more than 4 yearsUnknown
All pupils59 07843.337.040.644.647.735.8
Boys30 06841.134.838.342.345.733.9
Girls29 01045.539.143.046.949.837.8
Viken14 60343.336.940.744.647.736.5
Oslo6 03545.038.241.945.948.737.9
Innlandet3 92042.936.140.544.948.135.3
Vestfold and Telemark4 67342.937.040.644.647.334.8
Agder3 56742.637.640.344.047.333.9
Rogaland5 63043.135.940.444.447.136.4
Vestland7 16443.537.040.644.847.736.0
Møre og Romsdal3 10943.036.741.244.347.136.4
Trøndelag - Trööndelage5 17942.735.339.643.847.533.7
Nordland - Nordlánnda2 65343.237.540.944.947.935.7
Troms og Finnmark - Romsa ja Finnmárku2 52842.737.740.643.546.535.8
10 points are not included
Due to the government's decision to cancel exams in lower secondary school, lower secondary school points in 2020 and 2021 are only based on overall achievement marks, and are therefore not comparable with lower secondary school points from other school years.
Explanation of symbols
Average overall achievement marks, by gender and parents' educational attainment level
Average overall achievement marks, by gender and parents' educational attainment level
2021
All pupilsBoysGirlsParents' educational attainment level
Basic school or no completed educationUpper secondary educationTertiary education, 4 years or lessTertiary education, more than 4 yearsUnknown
Written English4.13.94.43.53.94.34.63.3
Spoken English4.44.24.63.84.14.54.93.5
Arts and crafts4.54.24.94.04.44.64.84.0
Physical education4.74.84.74.24.54.95.04.2
Mathematics3.83.73.92.93.44.04.43.1
Food and health4.64.34.94.14.44.74.93.9
Music4.54.34.73.94.34.64.93.8
Natural Sciences4.24.04.53.53.94.44.83.4
First choice form of Norwegian4.03.74.33.33.74.14.53.0
Second choice form of Norwegian3.93.64.23.33.64.04.33.4
Spoken Norwegian4.44.14.73.74.14.54.83.5
Christianity, religion, philosophy and ethics4.44.14.73.74.14.54.93.6
Social Sciences4.44.24.63.64.14.64.93.5
Explanation of symbols
Distribution of pupils, by mastering levels in national tests in 5th grade, by gender and parents' educational attainment level. Per cent
Distribution of pupils, by mastering levels in national tests in 5th grade, by gender and parents' educational attainment level. Per cent
2021
Mastering level EnglishMastering level reading NorwegianMastering level Mathematics
123123123
Both boys and girls
All educational levels25.045.329.722.855.921.323.351.425.3
Basic school or no completed education29.248.222.742.850.96.345.445.78.9
Upper secondary education29.945.724.431.157.011.931.352.915.9
Tertiary education22.444.832.816.556.227.216.851.631.5
Unknown28.341.430.344.148.07.939.845.314.9
Boys
All educational levels22.146.131.825.655.319.118.249.931.8
Basic school or no completed education26.750.422.945.748.65.835.751.113.2
Upper secondary education26.946.926.234.954.610.525.453.321.4
Tertiary education19.445.335.319.156.624.312.948.538.6
Unknown29.643.626.848.144.67.333.246.520.3
Girls
All educational levels27.944.427.620.056.523.528.552.918.6
Basic school or no completed education31.546.122.440.253.06.754.640.54.9
Upper secondary education32.844.622.627.459.213.437.252.510.3
Tertiary education25.444.330.313.955.830.321.054.924.2
Unknown27.139.533.440.551.28.446.444.19.5
Explanation of symbols
Distribution of pupils, by mastering levels in national tests in 8th grade, by gender and parents' educational attainment level. Per cent
Distribution of pupils, by mastering levels in national tests in 8th grade, by gender and parents' educational attainment level. Per cent
2021
Mastering level EnglishMastering level reading NorwegianMastering level Mathematics
123451234512345
Both boys and girls
All educational levels8.017.742.621.010.79.717.241.321.89.98.322.238.421.110.0
Basic school or no completed education18.025.640.312.33.824.130.435.18.22.122.136.031.08.72.1
Upper secondary education11.022.644.316.25.913.122.544.715.64.211.229.539.815.04.5
Tertiary education4.914.242.424.513.95.812.740.926.813.74.816.938.925.813.7
Unknown21.426.031.313.28.234.929.426.56.92.423.633.628.210.83.8
Boys
All educational levels8.216.941.821.711.411.819.042.319.77.37.018.836.924.213.1
Basic school or no completed education19.524.740.411.83.727.831.333.66.21.119.034.133.111.12.7
Upper secondary education11.321.644.116.66.415.724.744.112.52.99.625.440.618.06.4
Tertiary education5.113.641.225.514.77.514.642.924.810.24.113.535.828.917.7
Unknown22.725.330.713.77.538.827.625.46.61.719.731.430.513.94.4
Girls
All educational levels7.718.543.520.310.17.615.340.324.112.79.625.939.917.96.7
Basic school or no completed education16.526.540.212.93.920.529.536.610.23.125.438.028.96.21.5
Upper secondary education10.723.744.615.75.310.420.345.218.65.412.933.839.011.82.6
Tertiary education4.814.843.723.613.14.110.738.828.917.55.620.442.122.59.4
Unknown20.126.631.812.78.831.431.027.57.13.027.235.726.07.93.2
Explanation of symbols
Distribution of pupils, by mastering levels in national tests in 8th grade, by gender and immigration category. Per cent
Distribution of pupils, by mastering levels in national tests in 8th grade, by gender and immigration category. Per cent
2021
Mastering level EnglishMastering level reading NorwegianMastering level Mathematics
123451234512345
Both boys and girls
Immigrants15.021.138.316.49.123.528.432.711.24.118.030.032.314.05.6
Norwegian-born to immigrant parents7.518.443.220.710.215.524.539.115.45.512.826.735.916.77.8
Other pupils7.317.243.021.511.07.815.342.423.510.96.921.039.222.310.6
Boys
Immigrants16.421.338.115.78.526.928.832.59.12.715.328.132.716.77.3
Norwegian-born to immigrant parents8.518.842.720.19.917.926.738.013.63.810.823.336.319.610.0
Other pupils7.416.342.022.511.89.817.243.721.38.15.817.437.425.414.0
Girls
Immigrants13.621.038.617.19.720.228.033.013.25.620.832.032.011.24.0
Norwegian-born to immigrant parents6.518.043.721.310.512.922.240.317.27.414.930.335.513.85.5
Other pupils7.218.344.020.510.15.913.341.025.913.98.024.841.119.07.1
Explanation of symbols
Distribution of pupils, by mastering levels in national tests in 5th grade, by gender and immigration category. Per cent
Distribution of pupils, by mastering levels in national tests in 5th grade, by gender and immigration category. Per cent
2021
Mastering level EnglishMastering level reading NorwegianMastering Mathematics
123123123
Both boys and girls
Immigrants25.843.231.041.548.410.236.547.516.0
Norwegian-born to immigrant parents17.247.635.233.854.112.133.449.217.4
Other pupils26.045.128.920.056.723.320.952.027.1
Boys
Immigrants26.245.428.444.845.89.429.248.122.7
Norwegian-born to immigrant parents17.149.733.236.952.410.725.251.623.3
Other pupils22.545.731.822.856.320.816.549.933.6
Girls
Immigrants25.441.233.438.350.710.943.747.09.3
Norwegian-born to immigrant parents17.445.637.030.855.713.541.446.911.7
Other pupils29.744.525.917.157.025.925.554.220.3
Explanation of symbols

About the statistics

The statistics contain results from national tests as well as marks upon completion of compulsory education in Norway. National tests are conducted in the 5th, 8th and 9th grade. National tests assess the pupils’ skills in reading, mathematics and English. The statistics also contain data on overall achievement marks, examination marks and lower secondary school points in the 10th grade.

School county - Based on the school's address per 1.10 of the specific school year.

Ownership - Schools are either privately owned or public schools (i.e. owned by the state, municipalities or counties).

Marks, lower secondary school

Overall achievement mark - The overall achievement mark in a given subject is based on a broad evaluation of the pupil’s competence in the subject. The pupil shall be given the opportunity to improve their competence displayed through their classwork until the overall achievement mark is determined towards the end of the academic year. Marks are awarded on a scale from 1 to 6, where mark 6 indicates that the pupil holds exceptionally high competence, and 1 indicates that the pupil has attained little competence in the subject.

Examination mark - The examination marks are based on single tests, and are included on the school-leaving certificate awarded to all pupils when they leave the 10-year compulsory school. Normally, pupils are tested by a written examination in Norwegian, English or mathematics, and by oral examination in one subject. The scale used is identical to the one applied for overall achievement marks.

Lower secondary school points - Lower secondary school points can be viewed as a combined measurement for all marks. The lower secondary school point score summarizes the pupil’s results in all the different subjects, and is part of the admission criteria for upper secondary school. A pupil’s school points are calculated by adding up each individual mark attained (overall achievement or examination), represented by numbers. This outcome is then divided by the number of marks, resulting in an average mark. The final score is calculated by multiplying this average, with two decimals, by 10. If the pupil has attained marks in less then half of his/her subjects, the lower secondary school point score is set to zero. In these statistics, pupils with zero school points are excluded.

National tests

Mastering levels - The mastering levels follow the guidelines given by the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. There are three levels for 5th grade and five levels for 8th grade. The pupils are placed at the different levels according to their sum score at the tests.

Score points - From 2014, in addition to mastering levels, the results can be measured in score points. The average in the scale is set at 50, with standard deviation 10. The original points at the test are never comparable, and the degree of difficulty will differ from year to year. Therefore a new scale which describes the pupils’ skills has been developed in order to compare between different tests and years. Item response theory (IRT) has been used to create the new scale.

Read more about the mastering levels and what the national tests asses at The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training (only in Norwegian).

Parents’ highest level of education is derived from register information in The National Education Database (NUDB). The new definitions of levels are used.

Immigration category is coded according to Standard for immigration category 2008 . The term other pupils comprise the pupils in immigration categories A, D, E, F and G.

Grouping of countries is coded according to SSB's alternative grouping of countries:

  • Group 1: EU/EEA, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Group 2: Asia, Africa, Latin-America, Oceania except Australia and New Zealand, and Europe except EU/EEA.

The centrality of pupils' school minicipality is coded according to the definitions in Centrality 2020.

Name: Marks and national tests, lower secondary school

Topic: Education

Not yet determined

Division for Education and Culture Statistics

National and county level.

Statistics on school and municipal level are available from the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training online in Skoleporten .

Annual

Not relevant

All education statistics at Statistics Norway is stored in a proper, standardized manner in consultation with the Data Inspectorate.

Marks, lower secondary school

Overall achievement marks and examination marks aim to provide information about the pupils' competencies upon completion of compulsory education in Norway (10th grade in the lower secondary school). The purpose of the statistics are to provide an overview of the average level and distribution of marks in various subjects, and to assess variations in marks across groups of pupils categorised by characteristics such as gender, parental level of education, immigration category and school county.

Statistics on marks from lower secondary school are used for quality improvement and development purposes locally (schools, municipalities) as well as at the national level (Ministry and Directorate).

National tests

The purpose of national tests is to assess to what degree the school has been able to develop the pupils’ skills in reading, mathematics and English. The tests are intended as instruments for improvements and development activities locally (school and municipality level) and centrally (government level). The tests are part of the formative assessment and are conducted by autumn in 5th, 8th and 9th grade.

National tests in 5th and 8th grade have been conducted annually since 2007. The tests reflects the competence objectives of the curriculum in 4th and 7th grade. Since 2010, identical tests to those in 8th grade in mathematics and Norwegian have also been conducted in 9th grade. Starting in 2010, both the tests in mathematics and reading English are conducted electronically.

Important users of the education statistics are public administration, special interest organisations, the media, researchers, business and industry. Key users are in particular the Ministry of Education and Research and the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on www.ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

The statistics can be viewed in connection with education statistics covering pupils in primary and lower secondary schools.

There are some variations between the results in this statistics and the one published by UDIR because the selection criteria is different.

Act of 21 June 2019 No. 32 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway § 10.

Not relevant

Marks, lower secondary school

The statistics cover overall achievement marks and examination marks all main subjects and lower secondary school points (combined measurement for all marks) awarded upon completion of lower secondary school in Norway. External candidates and pupils in Steiner schools, Norwegian schools abroad and special schools are not included in the statistics. A pupil who has a school point score set to zero is not included in the statistics.

National tests

National tests are conducted in 5th and 8th grade in primary and lower secondary schools. The tests are obligatory for all pupils at these grades. Each school can give exemptions according to specified conditions.

The statistics include pupils in 5th and 8th grade who have completed national tests in English, reading and mathematics. Pupils who are exempted or who have not participated in the tests are not included. Statistics about exemption and non-participation in the national tests are available from the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training (in Norwegian only).

Marks from lower secondary schools are reported from the schools to the counties' own administrative data system for upper secondary education, VIGO (marks from lower secondary schools are used in upper secondary enrolment procedures). The results from the national tests are collected through the test administration system (PAS), which is owned by the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training.

Data for marks, lower secondary school is collected from administrative registers from the counties' main enrollment system, VIGO. Data from National Tests are collected from the test administration system (PAS).

The data are subject to various controls such as deletion of duplicates, comparisons with former data sets and a control of correct and valid values for each variable. All Personal ID-numbers are checked for errors.

Marks, lower secondary school

The statistics are based on enumerations of pupils by marks, and calculations of average marks and simple distributions of pupils by marks in various subjects. The calculation of lower secondary school points is described in 4.1. below.

National tests

The statistics for each national test (the three subjects) are based on calculating simple distributions of pupils across the various mastering levels.

Not relevant

The general rule is not to publish data if less than 3 pupils are found within a cell or unit in a table. This is to prevent identification of individuals within the statistics and follows The Act of 21 June 2019 No. 32 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway § 7.

The following criterias are applied in the statistics on marks, lower secondary school:

  • Distributions are not published for a group of pupils if there are less than five pupils with a single mark (e.g. four pupils with the mark 5 ) and the total number of pupils in the group is less than 30.
  • Distributions are not published for a group of pupils if all these pupils have obtained the same mark.
  • Average marks based on fewer than ten observations are not published.

Marks, lower secondary school

Due to the Knowledge Promotion reform introduced in 10th grade in the academic year 2007-2008, there is not a direct correspondence with subjects prior to the reform, but most subjects are very similar. One should however be cautious when comparing marks prior to and after the introduction of the Knowledge Promotion reform.

The calculation of lower secondary school points has also changed over time as a result of the Knowledge Promotion reform, and comparisons should thus not be made between school points prior to and after the academic year 2007-2008.

At county or national level there are rather limited changes in average marks and distributions from one year to the next, whereas longitudinal shifts for small sub-groups of the pupils will be closely linked to random variations in the mass of pupils from one year to the next.

When comparing average results across counties, it is important to consider geographical variations in the composition of the population (e.g. with regards to characteristics such as educational attainment and income). When comparing results between small groups of pupils one should also consider the impact a few single pupils may have on the group averages/distributions.

When comparing marks with results from national tests in 8th grade one should keep in mind that the competencies covered by the national tests do not directly overlap those in the lower secondary curriculum for a given subject.

Due to the government's decision to cancel exams in lower secondary school, lower secondary school points in 2020 are only based on overall achievement marks, and are therefore not comparable with lower secondary school points from other school years.

National tests

Until 2013 the score intervals for each mastering level were set every year. From 2014 and onwards, the intervals for each level are definite for the tests in English and Mathematics. This means that from 2014 and onwards, it will be possible to compare the results over time. This is also added to the Reading test from 2016, making it possible to compare results in reading over time from 2017 onwards.

In addition, from 2014, a representative population of six per cent of the pupils will be given so-called anchor items, which will serve to link the tests from year to year, and thus makes it possible to compare the results over time. At the present stage comparison over time will be possible from 2015 in English and Mathematics.

For more information about what is new in national tests 2014, please consult the website of the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training.

In 2007 the percentage distribution of the mastering levels were set according to certain criteria and statistical analyses. Each year until 2013 the mastering levels were set with the aim to achieve approximately the same average and distribution nationally as the previous years. The intention was to give best possible data for comparison at the local level.

When analyzing the national tests from 2007-2013, changes over time for a given group of pupils (e.g. county results) should primarily be interpreted not as absolute improvement/decline, but as relative changes compared to other groups (e.g. other counties) or compared to the distribution at the national level. Even though the distribution at the national level is maintained at an almost fixed level from 2007-2013, there are some variations that one should take into account when comparing results over time.

Since 2010, the results in 8th grade can be compared with the same pupils' results in 5th grade three years earlier. For some pupils (that didn't take part in the 5th grade test or came to the country after 5th grade) such a comparison is not possible. One should also note that the mastering level scale in 5th grade contains three levels, whereas there are five levels in 8th grade. These levels are thus not directly comparable.

National tests in English in 5th grade were cancelled in 2011, therefore no results are presented for this test.

When data is compiled from administrative registers, typical errors like measurement, non-response and sampling errors do not occur in the same sense as compared to statistics compiled by forms. Errors in data collected from administrative registers can be caused by uncertainties in the definition of variables and values between those responsible for the registers and others responsible for data collection from the registers.

Even though the statistics are not based on samples, one should be precautious when comparing results based on small groups.

Not relevant

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