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Apolyterio (Greek: Απολυτήριο; in demotike, 1976–present) or phased out Apolytirion (Απολυτήριον; in polytonic, katharevousa, up until 1976) is the official senior secondary education school completion Certificate (graduation qualification) in Greece and Cyprus, obtained after successfully completing the third grade of lyceum.[1] It is graded on a 20-point scale. Specific conditions and rules apply to the separate types of lyceum for the Pan-hellenic examinations which are in terms of the same or relevant Pan-hellenic examinations subjects of study as the General Lyceum type, such as the Vocational Lyceum (EPAL)[2][3] having its own four subjects for the Pan-hellenic examinations.

The types of lyceum (Λύκειο) in Greece are:

  1. Μουσικό Λύκειο (Mousiko Lykeio; Music Lyceum; 3 years, 1998–Present)
  2. Καλλιτεχνικό Λύκειο (Kalitexniko Lykeio; Art Lyceum; 3 years, 2003–Present)
  3. Πειραματικό Λύκειο (Peiramtiko Lykeio; Experimental Lyceum; 3 years, 1995–Present)
  4. Γενικό Λύκειο (ΓΕΛ; Geniko Lykeio; General Lyceum; 3 years, 1976-1996, 2006–Present)
  5. Γενικό Λύκειο Διαπολιτισμικής Εκπαίδευσης (i.e. comprehensive lyceum type; ΓΕΛΔΕ;
    Diapolitismiko Lykeio; General Lyceum of Cross-Cultural Education; 3 years, 2018–Present)
  6. Εσπερινό Γενικό Λύκειο (Esperino Geniko Lykeio; Evening General Lyceum; 3 years, 1976–Present)
  7. Eπαγγελματικό Λύκειο (ΕΠΑΛ; Epagelmatiko Lykeio; Vocational Lyceum; EPAL; 3 years, 2006–Present)
  8. Εσπερινό Επαγγελματικό Λύκειο (Esperino Epagelmatiko Lykeio; Evening Vocational Lyceum; 3 years)
  9. Ενιαίο Ειδικό Επαγγελματικό Γυμνάσιο-Λύκειο (Integrated Special Vocational Gymnasium-Lyceum; ΕΝ.Ε.Ε.ΓΥ-Λ)
  10. Γενικό Εκκλησιαστικό Λύκειο (ΓΕΕΛ; Ekklisiastiko Lykeio; Ecclesiastical General Lyceum; 3 years, 2006–Present)


Changes over the yearsEdit

The system and examinations accepted for entrance into Higher Education HE (Greek: ανώτερη εκπαίδευση) in Greece went through major changes since 1980. The below timeline of lyceum subjects and Pan-hellenic exams subjects are from the General Lyceum (GEL) only and it is not an exhaustive list of the all types of lyceum nor their subjects nor their subjects of Pan-hellenic exams, while should not be relied upon as a one.


The most common/known Lyceum is the General Lyceum (Greek: Γενικὀ Λύκειο, Geniko Lykeio).

In the first 2 grades, all students are taught the same subjects. In 3rd grade, students followed a core programme of general education and each Desmi (Α, Β, Γ, and Δ) followed a specialized program (Greek: Δέσμη, Δέσμες / Desmi (singular), Desmes (plural)).[4]

An Apolytirio of Geniko Lykeio included the GPA (scale 0–20), student's conduct information and consisted of:

General Lyceum (GEL)
General Education Desmi
Religion Modern Greek & Grammar
History Mathematics (A,Δ)
Democratic Regime Physics (A,B)
Philosophy Chemistry (A,B)
English Language Human Biology (B)
Gymnastics/Physical Education Ancient Greek & Grammar (Γ)
Greek Modern Literature History (Γ)
Latin (Γ)
Sociology (Δ)/Political Economy (Δ)

From 1984 until 1998 only the total score of the Panhellenic Examinations (Greek: Πανελλήνιες / Πανελλαδικές Εξετάσεις) was accepted for the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The total Score was calculated from the individual scores, with one of the subjects having a higher weight percentage. e.g. for A Desmi: Mathematics, B Desmi: Biology, etc.

The 4 Desmes (A,B,Γ and Δ) were:[5]

General Lyceum (GEL)
Desmi (Main) Subject 1 (higher % weight) Subject 2 Subject 3 Subject 4 Undergraduate Courses
A Desmi Mathematics Greek Language Physics Chemistry -> Polytechnics, Physico-Mathematical, Agricultural-Forest
B Desmi Biology Greek Language Physics Chemistry -> Medical, Dental, Pharmaceutical, Biological
Γ Desmi Ancient Greek Greek Language Latin History -> Theological, Philosophical, Law Sciences
Δ Desmi Mathematics Greek Language History Civil Economy (/Sociology) -> Political Sciences, Public Administration, Economics, Sociology

Students had to preselect their choices in a numerical order of preference—using the bases of last year's Panhellenic Examinations' only as a guide—and submit them to their school on a given deadline, using a 4-pages machine-readable document (Greek: μηχανογραφικό δελτίο, michanografiko deltio). The results of the National Examinations determined not only who will pass into highest/higher education but also next year's bases.

The total individual score for every subject was 0–160[4] which was the sum of the 2 examiners' scores based on the scale 0–80 each. A remarking by a 3rd examiner would determine the final score if there was a large difference between the first two scores.

General Lyceum (GEL)
Panhellenic National Examinations[5] Coefficient Score (scale)
Main Subject (higher % weight) 1.15 0–160
Other 3 Subjects 0.95 0–160

Maximum total score = ((160 x 1.15)+ (160 x 0.95) + (160 x 0.95) + (160 x 0.95)) x 10 = 6400 units

  • Units: (Greek: μόρια, moria (plural)), same numeric format with the bases.

First, the scores for every student and later the bases for each course were published in every school across the country, directly from the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. Bases were also being broadcast on Greek TV during the day.

It was allowed to keep the individual subjects' scores (up to 3) and resit on exams to increase the total score, but only for 2 more examinations.[5]


There are three grades in Eniaio Lykeio and each grade is divided in classes.

The 1st grade of Eniaio Lykeio operates as an orientation year with a general knowledge programme.

The 2nd grade includes three directions: Humanities (Θεωρητική Κατεύθυνση), Science (Θετική Κατεύθυνση) and Technology (Τεχνολογική Κατεύθυνση).

In the 3rd grade we have again the three directions but the Technology direction operates in two courses: i) the Technology and the Production course and ii) the Information Science and Services course.

In Eniaio Lykeio, there is the Support Teaching Programme. This programme can be attended by those pupils who wish to do so, regardless of their performance.

Right of entrance have only the holders of the Apolytirio lyceum certificate.[6]

The written examinations in the subjects, either at school's level or at national level, count equivalently towards the Apolytirio's GPA.[7] On the contrary, for entrance in highest education only the subjects examined nationally in written form are being considered.[7] The Apolytirio is detached completely from highest education's entrance.[8]

Integrated Lyceum
Elective Subjects (2 Hours)
Philosophy Issues History of Art Statistics
Principles of Economic Theory 2nd Foreign Language Computer Applications
History of Science and Technology Modern Hellenic Literature Logic: Theory and Practice
Integrated Lyceum
General Education (17 Hours)
English (2) Biology (1)
Physical Education (1) History (2) Physics (1)
Religious Education (1) Modern Greek Language (2) Sociology (2)
Ancient Greek Language and Literature (1) Modern Greek Literature (2) Mathematics and Statistics (2)
Integrated Lyceum
Humanities Direction Science Direction Technology Direction A. Technology and Production Course Technology Direction B. Information Science and Service Course
Ancient Greek (5) Mathematics (5) Mathematics (5) Mathematics (5)
History (2) Physics (3) Physics (3) Physics (3)
Latin (2.5) Chemistry (2) Chemistry-Biochemistry (2) Development of Applications in Computer Environment (2)
Greek Literature (2.5) Biology (2) Electric Technology (2) Principles of Organisation, Business Administration and Services (2)


Panhellenic National Level Examinations involve 6–7 subjects of the General Lyceum (3rd grade).[9] Besides the Lyceum Diploma (Apolytirio) the achievement score on a certificate awarded (Βεβαίωση, Bebaiosi) takes into account final year school grade (school level evaluation) and the grades on 6 subjects of the National Examinations.

2014 - 2020Edit

For the General Lyceum (GEL) are 4 orientation groups[10] including 4 subjects[11] each :(I) Humanities, Law and Social Sciences (II) Sciences (III) Health Sciences (IV) Economic and Computer Studies.

General Lyceum (GEL)
Humanities, Law and Social Sciences Sciences Health Sciences Economic and Computer Studies
History (7) Physics (7) Biology (7) Mathematics (7)
Latin (7) Chemistry (7) Physics (7) IT Applications Development in Programming Environment (7)
Ancient Greek Language (7) Mathematics (7) Chemistry (7) Principles in Economic Theory (7)
Modern Greek Language and Literature (6) Modern Greek Language and Literature (6) Modern Greek Language and Literature (6) Modern Greek Language and Literature (6)

In 2019, the Ministry of Education under Kostas Gavroglou of SYRIZA, decided to replace Latin with sociology in the school curriculum. This decision was not met without opposition from academics related to classical humanist studies, who called the move "anachronistic" and the major opposition party, New Democracy.[12] In 2020,the Ministry of Education under Niki Kerameus (ND) reinstated Latin in the school curriculum, again with opposition from SYRIZA and academics related to Sociology.[13]

Since 2020Edit

For the General Lyceum (GEL) are 3 orientation groups[14] including 3 subjects each: (I) Humanities Sciences (II) Sciences and Health Sciences (III) Economic and Computer Studies

General Lyceum (GEL)
Humanities Sciences Sciences and Health Sciences Economic and Computer Studies
Sociology (until 2020-2021), Latin (2021-2022, onwards) (6) Biology (Health Sciences Choice only) (6),
Mathematics (Sciences Choice only) (6)
Computer Science (6)
Ancient Greek Language (6) Chemistry (6) Mathematics (6)
History (6) Physics (6) Economics (6)

Acceptance abroadEdit

Although the total score from the Panhellenic Examinations determined the entrance in higher education in Greece, the final mark GPA (Grade Point Average) of the Apolytirio is the entry qualification most often requested in order to be accepted in higher education abroad. The results of the Panhellenic Examinations are usually not requested or are referred by different names such as General Entrance Examinations.[15]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs - Greek Education System" (in Greek). Archived from the original on 2010-03-25. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  2. ^ "Vocational Lyceums (EPALs) of Greece, Orientation Groups, Specialties" (PDF). Ministry of Education (in Greek).
  3. ^ "Subjects of the Pan-hellenic Examinations for EPAL - Joint Ministerial Decree 153/79899/Α5 Government Gazette 1904/Β/28-5-2019" (PDF). Ministry of Education (in Greek).
  4. ^ a b "NARIC guide on Higher Education Systems in the European Union, Edition of 1999" (PDF). University of Marburg. pp. 1–595. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-11-16..
  5. ^ a b c "Entrance System for Tertiary Education in Greece 1964-2006" (in Greek). Archived from the original on 2011-01-12.
  6. ^ "Ministry of Education and Religious - New Examination System for Integrated Lyceum" (in Greek). Archived from the original on 2009-02-19.
  7. ^ a b "Ministry of Education Directorate of Organization and Examinations - General Lyceum Entry system into the Tertiary Education - Athens 2008" (PDF). Ministry of Education. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-06.
  8. ^ "7th General Lyceum of Kalamatas" (in Greek). Archived from the original on 2019-05-29. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  9. ^ "30 years Panhellenic Examinations the same story, class barriers, uneducation, extracurricular private classes at private centres" (in Greek). Archived from the original on 2011-06-25. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  10. ^ "Law 4186/2013 Government Gazette 193/Α/17-9-2013" (PDF). Ministry of Education (in Greek). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-02-24.
  11. ^ "Subjects of Orientation Groups of the General Lyceum, Law 4186/2013" (PDF). Hellenic Parliament (in Greek). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-10-22.
  12. ^ "Anger over scrapping of Latin classes". Kathimerini. Archived from the original on 2020-03-05.
  13. ^ "Latin returns and Sociology withdraws - dialogue between university academics". Kathimerini (in Greek). Archived from the original on 2020-05-06.
  14. ^ "Joint Ministerial Decree 74181/Δ2/2020 Government Gazette 2338/B/15-6-2020". Hellenic Parliament. E-Nomothesia. Archived from the original on 2021-04-11. National Curriculum of First, Second, Third Grade of the General Lyceum (GEL)
  15. ^ "The University of Western Ontario - Welcome to Western". University of Western Ontario. Archived from the original on 2019-05-29. Retrieved 4 May 2009.