The academic year begins in September and is over towards the end of June or in the first half of July. As a general rule, it comprises 40 weeks of lectures, seminars and practical work and is mainly divided into 2 semesters. In some faculties students also have to undergo practical training in summer. Students are enrolled on one of various courses offered.
Latvian credit point is defined as a one-week full-time study workload. An average workload of a full-time study year in most HE programmes is 40 credit points. Latvian credit point system is compatible with ECTS. The number of ECTS credits is found by multiplying the number of Latvian credit points by a factor of 1.5.
Examination sessions take place at the end of each semester (i.e. in January and in June - July). Students are usually given 3 - 5 days to prepare for each examination.
Students are examined separately in each subject and the total number of examinations in a semester is usually between four and six. Candidates who fail in a course (semester) examination can generally try to sit again* during the session or afterwards. In principle, an examination cannot be repeated more than twice. In the case of failure, the student has to repeat a study year. The student is given a deadline to pass the examinations before the beginning of the next academic year.
* The Faculty keeps the right to collect the fee from exchange students for retaking the exam. See: Pricing list.
Final examinations are usually arranged as joint examinations covering several subjects, which are relevant to the main field of study.
Assessment of Knowledge
Theoretical examinations are held in a written or oral form. In some fields e.g. in medicine, practical examinations are important. Students are examined by a single examiner or by an examination board. If the student is successful in all the examinations of the session, he/she is allowed to continue the following semester.
An examination board chaired by an outstanding academic or a professional person from outside the institution conducts the final examinations. In some cases, especially if the programme prepares an individual for work in a regulated profession, the final examinations may be arranged as State examinations.
In Latvia's higher education a ten-point grading system prevails, where 10 is the maximum and 4 is the pass mark (In some cases where studies lead to a qualification in a regulated profession, e.g. in medical specialities, the universities may consider mark 4 as a failure). Explanation of the grading system and approximate comparison to ECTS grades are given here.
|Grade||Meaning||Comments|| Estimated |
|10||izcili (with distinction)||Knowledge of the student is substantially higher than the estimated normal level.||A|
|9||teicami (excellent)||Knowledge of the student is higher than the estimated normal level||A|
|8||ļoti labi (very good)||Knowledge corresponds to the highest expected level.||B|
|7||labi (good)||The student has mastered the subject deeply and with understanding, is progressing within the expected limits, but makes minor mistakes.||C|
|6||gandrīz labi (almost good)||The student has generally succeeded in the course within the required limits, but he or she is either merely reproducing the knowledge rather than actively using it, or making more substantial mistakes.||D|
|5||viduvēji (satisfactory)||Awarded to students, who are progressing within the limits of their individual abilities, generally are not behind the appropriate age group, but make substantial mistakes and reproduce the facts rather than analyse them.||E|
|4||gandrīz viduvēji (almost satisfactory)||The very last positive grade. Awarded to students, who do their best but still make grave mistakes and just reproduce most of the relevant material.||E/FX|
|3-1||neapmierinoši (unsatisfactory)||Marks of different levels for students whose records are below the expected.||Fail|