The school and the community
Menntaskólinn in Reykjavik (Reykjavik Collage) offers a 3 year track, attended by age-groups 16-19 is comparable with a British 6th form College or the first year and a half of College in the U.S.A.
The school is the oldest school in Iceland, it traces its origins to the Bishopric seat at Skálholt in 1056. It has been in its current location since 1846 and has been called the Reykjavik School of Education since 1937. The school is known to be one of, if not the most academic school in the country. It is known for its traditional and classic education and has always made every effort to prepare students for university studies.
Students are mostly from the capital area, a small percentage come from other parts of the country. The school is in the center of Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland.
The school-year is divided into two 14.5 week terms of teaching, followed by 3-6 weeks of examinations. There are two exam-grades (Mid-term and Term exam) plus the teacher ́s grade (Term mark) covering the students class work through the school year. The average of these three grades is the final yearly grade in a respective subject. The lowest final passing exam grade is 4 and the weighted average of the averages must be 5.00 or higher. MR operates on a year-based system, not semester, thus students must complete a full year in a course to receive a final, transferable grade and pass to the next year.
MR Student matriculation certificates have two columns. The first column is the Term mark given by the teacher based on the student’s work in class through the last year, the second column is the Term exam mark given by the teacher and the external examiner jointly. The final exams in each subject are comprehensive and cover 1, 2 or 3 years of material depending on the subjects. The finals are 2-3-hour written examination, plus oral in the languages and math.
The average of each column is the final grade in the respective subjects and the weighted average of all averages is the final GPA. Students matriculate either from Ancient Languages I or II, Modern Languages I or II, Physics Line I or II or Natural Sciences Line I or II.
Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculation
- Grades 9.00-10.00 are Prae Ceteris or Excellent
- Grades 7.25 –8.99 are a First Grade
- Grades 6.00 –7.24 are Second Grade
- Grades 5.00 –5.99 are Third Grade
- Grade below 5.00 is a Fail Grade
To matriculate a student may have a grade under 4.0 in two subjects. A student with a grade under 4 in three subjects may retake one exam and can matriculate if he obtains 4.0 or higher and has an overall GPA of 5.0. Grades are recorded on the transcript, GPA is computed in May. The average of each line is the final grade in a respective subject and the weighted average of all averages is the final GPA for the year. A directive from the Ministry of Education requires a minimum of 200 credits for graduation,but in Reykjavik Collage the students graduate with between 209 and 216 credits.
There were 202 graduates in the Class of 2017. No national statistics on the outcome of the matriculation exam exist. A quick survey of the outcome in this school during the last ten years reveals that 3-6% of the graduating class obtain final marks in the highest category, about 40% First, about 20-35% a Second and 10-15%a Third. This is a very rough estimate but can be used as a guideline.
The “Stúdentspróf” (Certificate of Matriculation) qualifies students for entrance to the Universities of Iceland, but they must also fulfill the requirements of the divisions, some such as nursing and medicine have limited placement and numerus clausus and require students to take exams.
Our school traces its origins to the year 1056 and we count among our alumnae two Nobel Laureates and multiple Prime Ministers and 5 of our Presidents. Many of our students go abroad to study and are known to be excellent students and well prepared for rigorous academic programs. Schools such as Stanford and Oxford increasingly visit Reykjavik Collage to promote their programs to our students.
In the past three years,students who have finished Certificate of Matriculation from Reykjavik Collage have been accepted into both highly academic universities, art and universities with strength in sports. For example Harvard University, Stanford University, Brown University , AADA, University of Chicago, MIT, Yale, Brown and Amherst College.
The students at Reykjavik Collage have a lot of social activities they can participate in. Students lead their own clubs, there are two theater clubs and a science club to name a few. The students manage their own school paper and organize dances throughout the year. Our students also participate in debate forums and quiz competitions with other schools in Iceland. Also our students do well in the biology, mathematics, chemistry and physics Olympiads well as in German and French language competitions.
Older students, under supervision of the career and guidance counselors, act as peer tutors for younger students and organize classes to assist those students who need help in specific subjects. During the admissions period the students act as guides to future students and their parents.