Maturity Exam

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Instructions for students and readers of maturity examinations.

What is a maturity examination?

The maturity examination (in Finnish 'kypsyysnäyte' or 'maturiteetti') is a compulsory study attainment stipulated in the Degree Statute. According to the Statute, students have to complete a maturity examination in the field of their thesis. The maturity examination makes up part of the compulsory language and communication studies of both the Bachelor and Master Degrees. Once done for the Bachelor's degree, a controlled maturity is not needed in the Master any more, but the abstract of the Master thesis is acknowledged as the necessary maturity test. 

Note that all the students who enter master programmes with a foreign bachelor degree as their basis, must write the ordinary essay-type maturity exam at a controlled situation.

The ordinary maturity examination is an essay-type paper which assesses both the student's mastery of the subject and his/her language ability.

Those students whose school language has been other than Finnish or Swedish are entitled to take the maturity examination in other languages than those two. However, the language used must be one which the readers understand sufficiently well to be able to judge both the candidate's competency in its use, and the content of his or her essay. If you intend to take your maturity examination in some other language than Finnish or Swedish, please contact your department. In the faculty's international master's degree programmes the language of the maturity test is usually English, if the student's school language has been other than Finnish or Swedish. 

Taking a maturity examination

The maturity examination is written on the basis of a paper or thesis that you have completed as a part of your major studies. The paper can be either a so-called Bachelor's Thesis (a Proseminar or a Seminar paper) or a Pro Gradu Thesis. If you have already taken the maturity examination for the Bachelor's Degree you do not need to re-take it for the Master's Degree. If necessary, you can also take the maturity examination on the basis of something other than a Seminar paper or a thesis, provided that the subject is from the same field of study as your Seminar paper or thesis.


You can register for the maturity examination after you have submitted your Seminar paper or Thesis for assessment. (If your school language has been Finnish or Swedish, the compulsory courses in your mother tongue need to be completed, too, before registering for the maturity examination.) The examination is normally taken either on a Faculty examination day or as an eExam. Fill in the maturity examination form (available on the Faculty website and at the department offices) and register for the examination. The form should be left at the department one week before the examination day. If the examination takes place on some day other than a Faculty examination day, the department is responsible for supervising the examination.

Composing the maturity essay

In the examination your will be given one or more topics related to your Seminar paper or thesis. If you are given several topics, choose one according to your own interests. Because the maturity examination is written in the form of an essay, the topics should be such that they can be dealt with within the compass of a short, essay-type composition. The maturity essay is not a conventional examination paper, and the topics are not supposed to be formulated as examination questions. Instead, they should be fairly well-defined, and such as are likely to predispose the student to use language effectively and accurately. No reference material of any kind may be used. The examination time is four hours. The recommended length of the maturity essay is about one examination sheet of single-spaced handwriting.

The intended reader of the maturity examination is someone who is familiar with the way of thinking in the field of study in question, but not acquainted with the particular research question at issue. Thus, you cannot assume that the reader of your maturity examination has read all your previous seminar papers; instead, the maturity essay should be such that it can be read as an independent paper.

The text should form a coherent, essay-type ensemble. It should be fully comprehensible as a self-contained text, and not depend on material such as tables or charts which cannot be verified in an examination situation. Start your text by stating the topic; otherwise your reader may not be able to judge whether the text follows the subject. The text should have a clear beginning and an end. It will be easier for you to compose the text if you first make a plan about the main points and outline roughly the structure of your composition. Bear in mind that the final text is only one examination sheet long; apart from the beginning and the end you will not be able to treat many themes exhaustively. Use readable handwriting and make sure that small and capital letters are easily identifiable. Consider transcribing if you think that your handwriting is not readable enough.

Practical advise for writing maturity exam


The contents of the maturity examination are assessed and approved by a subject teacher, whereas the language use is assessed by a Finnish or foreign language teacher in the University's Language Center. Once completed successfully, the examination is recorded on your transcript system at the department. If you should fail the examination, you would be well advised to ask the readers for feedback before re-taking it. The appeal procedure which applies to the maturity examination is the same as for all written examinations taken at the University of Jyväskylä (see the University of Jyväskylä Examination Regulations).