The School Leaving Certificate, popularly abbreviated as SLC is the final examination in the secondary school system of Nepal. It is equivalent to GCE, the academic qualification in UK. Every student must take this examination for completing the 10th grade of their study before they join higher secondary or intermediate level education. The SLC examination is normally scheduled in April to June of every year. It is known as the “iron gate” in Nepal. In reality, however, there are indeed more obstacles regarding higher-level studies after the examination. Nevertheless, the SLC Examinations are the most important examination in the educational system of Nepal for building an academic career.
About two and a half months or even three months after the completion of the SLC, the results are published by the Examination Control Board. Students are categorized into five divisions according to their score:
- Distinction – above 80%
- First Division – above 60%
- Second Division – above 45%
- Third Division – above 32%
- Fail-Below 32%
Despite such a low percentage requirement to pass the examination, many students (more than 50%), mostly students of governmental schools in rural areas of Nepal, still fail it every year because of the difficulty level that the exam has. Since government schools are known for being less rigorous to students as compared to the private schools, government school students are reportedly more likely to be in the pool of students who do not pass the exam. Even if one fails to get above 40 marks in each subject, they are declared failed. The result of the SLC is very important to an individual student, since students with high percentage are able to obtain various scholarships for their higher secondary level education.