Matura Ö

Current educational research (e.g. school performance studies) focuses very strongly on primary and lower secondary education. Accordingly, relevant study results can already be found in the literature for these school levels, which can be used for the further development of school and teaching. The same cannot be said for the upper secondary level. For Austria in particular, there are hardly any studies that shed light on this school level or the recent reforms of the Matura. This research deficit is to be countered in our project. Currently, two sub-projects are being carried out. Both examine the Matura from two different points of view.

In the first sub-project, the effects of the Matura reforms on grading are being examined in more detail. The Matura certificate, one of the most important documents of Austrian pupils, qualifies them for admission to all courses of study in Austria and abroad. The Matura grades attest to the performance in the examination subjects, whereby the introduction of the standardised Reife- und Diplomprüfung (sRDP) aims to make both the grade and the concrete content of the respective performance transparent and comparable.

Since the change in the composition of the Matura grade in the school year 2019/2020, teachers have a greater responsibility. It is no longer only the performance in the sRDP, but also the annual grades awarded by teachers that constitute the Matura grades. International research has shown: Annual grades are composed of a variety of academic and non-academic factors. The former relate primarily to subject-specific cognitive aspects, the latter include aspects such as active participation in lessons or the completion of homework. The type and mix of these different forms of performance can vary from teacher to teacher. In order to be able to attest transparency and comparability to the Matura grade, teachers are now required to adapt their grading practice to the new weighting of the annual grades awarded. Otherwise, the content of Matura grades must be re-declared in their current composition.

In this context, in the first sub-project of our research, we investigate whether (and if so, how) the grading behaviour of teachers has changed with the new composition of Matura grades in order to gain deeper insights into the grading practice of teachers and the resulting content-related meaning aspects of grades. These results will subsequently be linked to teachers' personal beliefs about grading in order to explore the extent to which these beliefs may be related to the yearly and Matura grades awarded.

In a second sub-project, which examines the sRDP in more detail, in-depth analyses of Matura results in the light of the heterogeneity of the student body are being investigated. In this context, the ACA reported that girls achieve lower grades in the mathematics Matura than boys and states a need for research here as well, so that corresponding effective measures can be taken in the education system. Few existing studies have been able to show that the differences in Matura grades in mathematics could result from the different selection processes of the two groups until they reach the Matura. We therefore analyse on the basis of PISA, BIST-Ü and Matura data in a multi-cohort study to what extent effects of this selection can be empirically shown.

Project Period10/2022 – 10/2028

 Additional information

Project staff at the University of Vienna
Cooperation partners
  •  Mag. Dr. Silvia Salchegger, IQS