Hoger algemeen voortgezet onderwijs

The havo or hoger algemeen voortgezet onderwijs (literally: "higher general continued education") is a stream in the secondary educational system of the Netherlands. It has five grades and is generally attended from age twelve to seventeen. A havo diploma provides access to the hbo-level (polytechnic) of tertiary education.

The first three years together are called the Basisvorming (literally, "basis formation"). All pupils follow the same subjects: languages, mathematics, history, arts and sciences. In the third year pupils must choose one of four profiles. A profile is a set of different subjects that will make up for the largest part of the pupil's timetable in the fourth and fifth year, that are together called the Tweede Fase (literally, "second phase"). A profile specializes the pupil in an area, and some hbo and wo studies therefore require a specific profile. Students must also choose one to three additional subjects. Furthermore, Dutch and English, as well as some minor subjects, are compulsory. In all profiles mathematics is compulsory, but the level of difficulty differs for each profile. Pupils still have some free space for electives, which is not taken up by compulsory and profile subjects; they can pick two subjects from other profiles. Sometimes pupils choose more than two subjects, which can result in multiple profiles. In 2006 one pupil graduated cum laude in all profiles.

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