Matriculation (Bagrut)

Te'udat Bagrut (Hebrew: תעודת בגרות‎‎) is a certificate which attests that a student has successfully passed Israel's high school matriculation examination. Bagrut is a prerequisite for higher education in Israel. A Bagrut certificate is awarded to students who pass the required written (and in some cases oral) subject-matter examinations with a passing mark (56% or higher) in each exam. The Bagrut certificate however should not be confused with a high school diploma (te'udat g'mar tichon, Hebrew: תעודת גמר תיכון‎‎), which is a certificate awarded by the Ministry of Education attesting that a student has completed 12 years of study.

65.5% of Israeli high school 2014 graduates or other individuals studying for the 2014 exam (usually post-compulsory military service persons completing Bagrut requirements later in life in order to apply for higher education) had passed the requirements to be eligible to receive a Bagrut certificate. Of the overall population who was of high school graduation age in 2014, 52.7% were eligible to receive a Bagrut certificate.

Bagrut examinations assess knowledge on subjects studied in high school. They are frequently compared to the New York State Regents Examinations, the College Board's Advanced Placement (AP) tests, the British A-levels, and the German Abitur. Bagrut scores are one of the criteria examined in applications to elite military units and Israeli academic institutions. Other criteria include students' high school grades and the Psychometric Entrance Test.

The process of matriculation in Israel is supervised by the country's Ministry of Education. The exams of all compulsory subjects and most elective subjects are designed and written by the Ministry, thereby creating a standard measure of the students' knowledge throughout the country. In academically oriented high schools, the last two years of studies are geared to preparing students for the bagrut exams.

Compulsory subjects
Tanakh or the Scriptures of Christianity or Islam, in the relevant sectors of the population
Hebrew or Arabic grammar
Hebrew or Arabic composition
English language (written and oral)
Knowledge of the nation and state
Civics and Minorities studies
History of the Jewish People
World History
Hebrew/Arab and world literature
At least one elective, such as geography, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, Arabic, French, social sciences etc.
Physical Education (only for students who studied in a traditional high-school setting, i.e., not those studying under the "external" track)

Most exams are available indifferent levels of difficulty, expressed in "units of study". In most subjects, students may choose the number of units in which they are tested. In order to receive a "full" matriculation certificate, the student must take and pass at least one subject matter exam at the 5-unit level of difficulty and earn a total of at least 21 combined study units in all bagrut exams taken. Correspondingly, the make up of a student's classes during his or her high school years is matched to the student's expected units of study they will test in their bagrut exams. So for example, a student who is planning to take the 5-unit mathematics exam will take mathematics courses specifically designed for a 5-unit level of difficulty all throughout their high school career.

A copy of the 2010 mathematics exam (in the four and five units levels) was leaked to students, but a teacher reported it to authorities and all tests were replaced.

In 2011, the percentage of 17-year-olds who passed the matriculation exams rose to 48.3 percent and the number of students sitting for the exams in both the Jewish and the Arab school systems increased.

High schools in Israel prepare students for the Israeli matriculation exams (bagrut). These are exams covering various academic disciplines, which are studied in units (yehidot limud) of one to five on an ascending scale of difficulty. Students with a passing mark on the mandatory matriculation subjects (Hebrew language, English language, mathematics, scripture, history, state studies and literature), who have been tested on at least 21 units, and passed at least one 5-unit exam, receive a full matriculation certificate. In 2006/7, 74.4% of Israeli 12th graders took the bagrut exams while only 46.3% were eligible for a matriculation certificate. In the Arab and Druze sectors, the figures were 35.6% and 43.7% respectively.

A Bagrut certificate and Bagrut scores often determine acceptance into elite military units, admission to academic institutions, and job prospects.

Below is a table illustrating the percentage of matriculation certificate recipients in Israel's largest cities, according to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (graduation year of 2002).

The Adva Center, a social issues think tank in Israel, says that about 15% of the matriculation certificates issued do not qualify the recipient for admission to Israel's universities.

Christian Arabs tend to have had the highest rates of success in the matriculation examinations, both in comparison to the Muslims and the Druze and in comparison to all students in the Jewish education system.

Recipients (%)
Jerusalem 36
Tel Aviv 60.3
Haifa 64.3
Rishon LeZion 59.2
Ashdod 55.9
Ashkelon 58.5
Bat Yam 49.5
Beersheba 51.5
Holon 55.3
Netanya 52
Petah Tikva 57
Ramat Gan 65.3