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PAU (university entrance exams)

Once the general phase has been passed, it will be valid indefinitely. Qualification in the subjects of the specific phase is valid for the following two academic years.

Not in the general phase. Each of the exam subjects will be graded on a scale of 0 to 10, and the mark for the general phase is the arithmetic mean of these five exam subjects. Therefore, one mark can be compensated by another. To pass each subject in the specific phase, it will be necessary to obtain a mark of five or higher for each one.

On the website PAU you can find a formal description of the exams, a list of the evaluation criteria applied, and exam questions used in each subject area from recent years.

No. These representatives are not involved in the invigilation of exams. They may provide advice, clear up doubts or discuss correct answers with candidates, but this must be done before or after the exams, outside the examination room. They act as a liaison between student and examination board in the event of an incident.

Candidates who wish to do so must contact the university or the PAU administrative office where they want to take the exams and apply to take them there. 

Yes. The year of study abroad must be eligible for validation and relevant documents must be legalised through the correct administrative means, after which time the validation must be requested from and then submitted to the Ministry of Education. Finally, candidates may, within the open-registration deadline, register for and sit the PAU.

Yes. The university entrance mark is the weighted average of 60% of the student's upper secondary school qualification (Batxillerat) average and 40% of the general phase mark. In order to meet the average, the student must obtain a mark of 4  higher in the general phase, and the university entrance mark must be 5 or higher.

Catalan must be used for the Catalan Literature and Catalan Language and Literature exams, and Spanish for the Spanish Literature and Spanish Language and Literature exams. For the foreign language exams, the corresponding foreign language must be used. For exams in all other subject areas, the candidate may use either language (Catalan or Spanish).

Yes. Candidates may retake the exam as many times as they wish in order to pass, or improve their mark.

Yes. If after a second correction the mark differs by two or more points from the first correction, the exam will be checked by a third specialised teacher. The new mark will be the arithmetic mean of the three.

The moment that the marks for the general and specific phases are published, the University sends the university entrance mark (40% of the general phase mark + 60% of the average of the upper secondary school qualification (Batxillerat)) and the marks obtained, by subject, in the specific phase directly to the University Admissions Office, after which time it will be necessary to follow the indications provided at university pre-enrolment.

The Inspection Service of the Catalan Ministry of Education monitors the evaluation processes of different centres. If significant differences between upper secondary school qualification (Batxillerat) marks and PAU results are detected, a special follow-up is done of each case.

In these cases, candidates should contact the president of the examination board to determine whether the problem can be solved. If this is not possible, the candidate will have to wait until the next exam sitting.

Adhesive barcode labels unequivocally identify each student and are specifically produced for each individual. A secure computer programme and a strict procedure for encoding and decoding ensure that the system for maintaining anonymity is effective.

No. The university entrance mark (A) is calculated as a weighted average: A = 0.60 B + 0.40 P, where B is the average of marks from the upper secondary school (Batxillerat) transcript, and P, the general phase mark, which must be greater than or equal to 4. The mark for P the arithmetic mean of the marks for the five exams of the general phase.

No. The admission mark for access to a degree course incorporates the marks for subjects in the specific phase, weighing each one by their corresponding coefficient (0.1 or 0.2). A student obtains a different admission mark for each bachelor’s degree course and university towhich he or she has requested admission.
Admission mark = university entrance mark + a M1 + b M2
M1, M2 = two best marks for subjects passed in the specific phase ofthe PAU
a, b = weighting parameters of the subjects of the specific phase (0.1or 0.2)

Yes, as longas the subject passed (mark ≥ 5) is connected edge under which the undergraduate degree falls.

No, because in the new model these examination subject areas disappear, and therefore the correspondence between them and the bachelor’s degrees and universities. For these students, the admission mark will be calculated as:
Admission mark = QDA + a M1 + b M2 QDA = final marks from the previous university entrance exam
M1, M2 = two best marks for subjects passed in the specific phase of the PAU, if sat a, b = weighting parameters of the subjects of the specific phase (0.1 or 0.2)

The secondary school centres will provide all the necessary details regarding the exams (dates, places, timetable, etc.). Those students who are no longer attending school can find information at the university entrance exam (PAU) offices and at: PAU .

To respect the principle of equal opportunity and avoid any manner of influence related to the candidate’s identity.

The exams guarantee that future university students have gained a certain level of knowledge and ensure that education is imparted in a homogeneous fashion at very different centres. Admission marks make it possible to establish an order of preference for admission to course studies where applications exceed the number of places available.

The best mark obtained will be the one that counts, for both the general phase mark and the specific phase mark. A new attempt can never count against the candidate.

Yes. Examination board members responsible for invigilating the exams are authorised to expel any candidate who engages in unacceptable behaviour.

No. No teacher from a secondary school centre may mark the exams of his/her own students.

The majority of students pass the PAU (91.92% in the June 2014 sitting). Candidates should, however, strive not only to pass, but to get the best possible mark, given that this mark will be a factor in their choice of university programme.

The university teaching staff who wrote the exams.

The PAU exams are co-ordinated by the PAU Coordinating Committee through the University Admissions Office of the Inter-university Council of Catalonia.

University specialists formulate the questions in accordance with the evaluation criteria set by the PAU Coordinating Committee. They also provide the scorers with instructions and marking guidelines.

For the June sitting, a Special Examination Arrangements Committee is set up for those people that, due to having a certified disability (they need to be in possession of the resolution by which the level of disability is classified, issued by the Ministry of Social Action and Citizenship, with a degree of disability of 33%), have special needs in taking the exams.
As special needs are requested beforehand, it is possible to create specific solutions that enable the exams to be taken (questions written in Braille, PC for typing the answers, special tables, etc.).

University and secondary school teachers acting as board members are responsible for the examination process and for marking.

If an appeal is made, the exam is formally reviewed to check that all sections have been marked, that the sum of points obtained is correct,etc.
In the case of a second correction, the exam is completely re-marked and the new mark, obtained by averaging the first mark and the correction, replaces the first mark. In this case, the new mark may be lower, higher or the same as the original mark.

The university entrance exams (PAU) are based on upper secondary school (Batxillerat) content, so the best way to ensure good results is to work hard throughout upper secondary school. It also helps to have a look at previous PAU exams, to get an idea of what they are like and todo better in them.

If you lose the card before the month of November in the same year that the exams were taken, you can request a new one from the PAU offices. After that time, new cards must be requested from the university affiliated with your upper secondary school centre.

It is obligatory to bring your national identity card (DNI or similar) and the documentation listed on the registration form, duly filled out. For Latin or Greek, a dictionary. For subjects in the Sciences, a scientific calculator; however, the use of calculators with stored or transmittable information is not authorised. For Technical Drawing and Arts, you should bring the specific material stated on the PAU website. A pen and having prepared well for the test are also a must.

Consult the evaluation criteria for each subject area. Spelling mistakes, etc., may also lead to points being deducted. You should also read the relevant recommendations in the PAU information pamphlet.

In the case of any kind of incident of this sort, contact the president of the examination board. He or she is responsible for solving any problems that come up.

If you are not enrolled at any secondary school centre, you must contact the corresponding PAU office during the registration period (February-March and July) and go through the necessary procedures. You may also do this online at: https://accesnet.gencat.cat/.

Your centre can provide you with all the necessary information about procedures and deadlines regarding pre-registration, registration and picking up marks, all of which you can also do online at: https://accesnet.gencat.cat/.

Entering the examination room always implies the obligatory delivery of a duly labelled exam answer booklet, even if it is left blank. Failing to turn in an answer booklet in the general phase is equivalent a mark of FAILURE TO ATTEND in the subject and a mark of INSUFFICIENT as the university entrance mark. In the specific phase, failure to turn in an answer booklet results in a mark of FAILURE TO ATTEND being given, and it will not be used in calculating the admission mark.

In the general phase, yes. All five exams must be taken at each sitting; partial marks are not kept. The general phase mark is a global exam, and therefore all five subjects must be used to calculate the weighted average.

No. Admission to university requires that you pass the general phase. The specific phase is voluntary and serves to improve the mark obtained in the general phase.

Yes. The new university entrance exam model is more open and flexible. Each student defines the type of exam they would like to take, but only with those PAU exam subjects listed in Order EDU/340/2009 of 30 June relating upper secondary school subjects by area of study to the university entrance exams (Official Journal of the Government of Catalonia (DOGC) 09/07/2009).

No, each university’s bachelor’s degree is associated with a branch of knowledge, and this will be taken into account when calculating the admission mark.

Yes. Each student chooses the subjects in which they would like be tested, depending on the bachelor’s degree for which he or she wishes to study.
Students with their upper secondary school qualification (Batxillerat) under previous Spanish law (LOGSE) or university orientation course qualification (COU) who would like to sit the university entrance exam (PAU) will have to adapt themselves to the PAU of the revised upper secondary school standards under new Spanish law (LOE).
The regulations stipulate that these students can take both the general phase of the PAU and the specific phase. When the marks for the general phase have improved, the marks obtained at this new sitting will be those taken into account, as long as they are higher than the previous marks.
For those students who passed the university entrance exam (PAU) under previous regulations, their admission mark shall be calculated as follows:
QDA + a M1 + b M2.
QDA = final marks from the previous university entrance exam
M1, M2 = two best marks of the subjects passed in the specific phase (greater than or equal to 5), which, once weighted, will give a better admission mark
a, b = weighting parameters of the subjects of the specific phase

Yes. The subjects by area of study must only be different if the student is sitting the general and specific phase in the same exam sitting.

Students who have coinciding timetables for two or three subjects to be sat will sit these exam subjects without interruption, that is, without leaving the examination room, and with the same examination board and on the same scheduled exam day.

Update:  15.12.2015