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Final tests raise anxiety levels for over 200,000 Dutch students

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTERDAM — The month of May, when government mandated tests occur, is a stressful time for many Dutch secondary students. Broken down by educational programs, there are 115,000 students in the vmbo program, 52,000 in the havo and 38,000 in the vwo. Total number of about 205,000 participants, represents an increase of 4,000 over last year. The authorities have strict rules for the testing, which usually attracts wide media coverage. Student union LAKS mans a complaints centre while it is also possible to register grievances at a dedicated website: When all the test are done, graduated students may finally hang their school bags in trees or on flag poles.