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Over 8,000 pupils sit exams across Cyprus (PICTURES)

Over 8,000 pupils got their joint school leaving and state university entrance exams underway on Tuesday with Modern Greek the first subject tackled.

As of the 2019-2020 school year, the process will be divided into separate school-leaving and university-entrance tests after parliament earlier this year approved an Education Ministry proposal to the effect.

While most of the 8,137 people taking the Pancyprian exams from this week are in their final year of lyceum or technical school, they also include people who did not get the place they had hoped for at state universities and polytechnics in Greece and Cyprus the first time they took the exams. They also include people who have returned to finish high school after previously dropping out.

Mobile phones and other devices, including smart watches, are banned from the exam halls, including for the adjudicators. Pupils caught with any device will be allowed to complete their exam once it is confiscated but will face disciplinary action, the examination service has warned.

Test papers are also being transported to and from examination centres under strict protocol and particular care has been taken to avoid the intentional or accidental exchange of papers between candidates.

In a statement ahead of the start of the exam period, Education Minister Costas Kadis said, “Trust in what you know, trust in your strengths”.

“You are already worthy of congratulations for your path so far and for completing your secondary education. Now it is time for you to ‘deposit’ your knowledge and reap the rewards of your efforts over all this time, as you vie for a place in tertiary education”.

(Photos by Stefanos Kouratzis)

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