Entrance examinations

  • entrance exams are mainly required for Bachelor's level admission
  • polytechnic/UAS Master's may also have entrance exams
  • please check all the entrance exam -related details with the institution you're applying to

An important feature of student selection

It is common practice in Finnish higher education to have entrance examinations, especially on undergraduate entry level. Entrance examinations are as a rule also required of international applicants. Most commonly they are required for Bachelor’s level entry.

Those applying for Master’s programmes offered by the universities are usually selected on the strength of their earlier academic merits and may not need to take actual entrance examinations. Some exceptions are however possible e.g. in visual arts, drama, or performing arts Master’s degree programmes, and polytechnic/UAS Master's programmes.

In some Master's you may be expected to take the GMAT exam. you can find information on the Master's level entry requirements on the institutions' own Admissions pages.

What are the Finnish entrance exams like?

The entrance exams are subject specific, they test your skills in the subjects required for the field of study you're applying to - so for example applicants for Engineering and Nursing will have different entrance exams.

The most common form for an entrance exam is a written test, but when applying to subjects like visual arts, drama, or music, you may need to prepare a portfolio of your work, or you may be invited to an audition.

Are there any sample exams available?

You should turn to the Admissions Office of the institution you are interested in for detailed information on the entrance exams, possible sample tests, pre-reading material etc. Please note that CIMO/Study in Finland does not have any detailed entrance examination info or sample test material available - you need to turn directly to the institutions for this kind of information. You'll find all the institutions' Admissions pages listed at the section 'Where to study?'.

I need to ask about the entrance exam. What should I do?

Entrance exams are arranged and coordinated by the higher education institutions themselves. Therefore, detailed information on the entrance examinations is only available directly from the higher education institutions - so please visit the web pages and contact their Admissions Offices if necessary.

Please prepare well for the entrance examination, following the instructions provided by the Admissions Office of the institution you're applying to. Remember that even if your school certificates are up to the required standards, you may not be granted a study placement if you score less than adequately in your entrance examination. The final student selections can be quite competitive and entrance exams play major role in the selection process.

You should also carefully read the section on visas and FAQ on admissions and exams.

When applying to Polytechnics / UAS:

  • in all questions relating to entrance examinations, please contact the UAS you are applying to.
  • in most cases, the polytechnic/UAS entrance examinations are held in Finland, and those who are invited to the exams must personally travel to Finland to take the test
  • some UAS's may also offer an option of taking the entrance examination abroad. On the FINNIPS network website you can find a list of the countries where the network arranges Bachelor's level entrance examinations. The FINNIPS test locations may vary from one application round to another. Additionally, some individual UAS's may arrange their own entrance exams abroad, outside the FINNIPS network exam locations. Remember however that the UAS's decide independently on whether they offer this option, and where; so if you're uncertain about your entrance exam options, you should contact the Admissions Office of the UAS you're applying to.
  • if the UAS offers an option for taking the entrance test on-line (this is not a common option, but some individual programmes *may* offer it as an alternative), then the UAS will advise you further.

When applying to Universities:

  • in all questions relating to possible entrance examinations or other required tests (GMAT etc.), please contact the university you are applying to.
  • the Finnish universities -as opposed to polytechnics/UAS's- mainly only offer English-language study programme options on Master's level and beyond. This means you may not need to partake in any entrance exam; however depending on the Master's programme you may need to do a GMAT exam for example.
  • there are only a few Bachelor's level options available in English at university level, however, and in those programmes entry may be based on other criteria than entrance exams (SAT test scores etc.) Check the requirements directly with the Admissions Office of the university in question.

Very important

  • we recommend that, if you require a temporary visa to enter Finland for entrance examination purposes, you check well in advance with the Finnish Embassy in your countrywhether they grant visas to Finland for the purpose of attending entrance exams, and what the requirements and conditions are. Note that Finland may also be represented in visa matters by some other Schengen country's embassy, if there is no Finnish embassy in your home country.
  • if the Finnish embassy informs you that they do not award entrance exam visas to Finland, then you should contact the Finnish higher education institution you're applying to and find out whether they can offer you possible locations for taking the entrance exam abroad.
  • if it should happen that you are only offered the option of taking the entrance exam in Finland, but it is not possible for you to obtain a visa to Finland on the basis of taking part in an entrance exam - then we at Study in Finland do not unfortunately have any alternative solutions to offer; we do not have any authority to decide on entrance exam locations or visa policies of the Finnish embassies. If you wish to send feedback concerning possible difficulties regarding the entrance exam visa policies, please do so by contacting the Finnish immigration authorities directly - either the Finnish embassy in your home country or the Ministry for Foreign Affairs for Finland.
  • Please also see the 'FAQ on admissions and exams' section for information on this issue.

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