Higher Preparatory Examination – HF – with or without supplements

HF is a full-time 2-year general upper secondary programme comparable to Studentereksamen – stx

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Start Optagelse.dk – apply to upper secondary education

For admission to the 2-year HF programme, students should in principle have completed grade 9 or 10 in Lower Secondary School (Folkeskolen) as well as other requirements.

Students applying directly from grade 10 but who do not satisfy all the requirements for admission will instead be asked to take a centrally set entry examination and attend an interview at the HF centre (usually an Upper Secondary School – Gymnasium). Students who apply later will only be accepted on the basis of a standardised assessment that takes place at the HF centre.

Applications are made digitally on optagelse.dk.

The school and school counsellor will help students in grade 9 or 10 complete their education plans and application forms. The deadline for applications is 13 March and students will receive a written response by 1 June.

Students who have already left school can complete an application form on optagelse.dk. Applications submitted before 13 March, will allow Gymnasiums time to assess the application alongside students who are applying directly from grade 9 or 10.

Students can follow the link Course guide for HF  to find their local HF centre.

The main objective of the HF exam is to prepare students for Higher Education. In addition, HF is a general education programme, which means that students should learn to reflect and relate responsibly to their surroundings; people, nature, society and their own personal development  The programme is also designed to develop students’ creative and innovative abilities and critical sense.

The HF exam is also associated with scientific subjects and professional opportunities. Emphasis is placed on both theoretical aspects of subjects and their professional application in relation to employment and further education.

The 2-year HF programme has a specific job-oriented profile and is aimed primarily at the ‘professionsbachelor’ degree – a non-academic vocational education qualification. A HF exam without supplementary subjects gives access to these courses, while a HF extended programme (with advanced level electives) gives access to academic bachelor programmes at university.

Subjects are divided into academic C, B and A levels, where A is the highest. The programme is divided into 4 semesters where subjects are completed on an ongoing basis.

The HF examination programme comprises the following subjects:

  • Danish at A level
  • English at B level
  • mathematics at C level
  • either; physical education at C level or one of the following arts subjects at C level: painting, dance, design and architecture, drama, media or music
  • a humanities and social science group consisting of history at B level, religion at C level and social science at C level
  • a natural science group consisting of biology, geography and chemistry all at C level.

In addition, at least on elective from one of the subjects the institution offers as well as project and work experience elements.

All students must also choose a subject set from the subject sets offered by the institution. A subject set consists of 2 subjects at C and/or B level. These can either be new subjects or an increase in level.

Some institutions also offer an advanced subject set that qualifies the student for admission to academic bachelor programmes at Danish universities. An advanced subject set consists of 2 or 3 increases in level of which at least one is at A level.

It is also possible to supplement a standard HF examination up to an advanced certificate. This can be done either by taking a set of advanced subjects or by taking a HF programme of independent subjects.

It is also possible to study individual subjects at HF level. HF individual subjects can be used to supplement another academic Upper Secondary (Gymnasium level) qualification, in their own right or to take a full HF examination in the student’s own time.

Students can be accepted to a HF programme a year after completing grade 9 or 10 at a Danish Folkeskole and being accepted on the basis of an assessment of academic qualifications and other experience.

Students are not given continual assessment grades – or annual overall grades on the 2-year HF programme. Each subject is concluded with one or more examinations.

The humanities and social science group, and the natural science group all conclude their courses with 2 examinations: partly a multidisciplinary examination and partly an individual subject examination in one of the subjects in the set. This is chosen by selection. 

Finally, assessment of the HF examination includes a longer written assignment written on 1 or 2 of the subjects studied.

  • Individual subject students will have one or more examinations in each of their subjects.

Individual subject students that wish to study for a full HF examination take examinations the subjects in their subject set that are part of the 2-year HF programme. In addition to the longer written assignment, students also work on an exam project that forms the basis for an oral examination.

Students who are dissatisfied with the teaching, examinations, including grades, programme choices and electives, lack of special education or other educational support may address their appeals to the school Principal.

Students who are dissatisfied with a decision taken by the Principal may, in a number of cases, make a written appeal to the Principal who will pass this on to Styrelsen for the Ministry for Education and Quality with their own comments on the case.

Before the case is sent to the Ministry, the student also has the right to comment. Students’ comments will then be sent to the Ministry.

Last updated: 30 April 2024