In Italy at the end of High School students have to pass the final exam, which is evaluated by the school, and the INVALSI test, which is a national standardized test.

By comparing the scores in the INVALSI test and the ones in the final exam it can be seen that schools in the North of Italy give much lower marks in the final exam with respect to the schools in the South, but the scores in the INVALSI test are the opposite.

In detail, Friuli (which is the region where I live, in the North East of Italy) has only 0.37% of students with the highest grade in the final exam (while Puglia has 2.12 % of them), it is the region with the least number of graduations with the maximum grade and it is placed at the lowest levels for all the grades over 90/100; conversely, it is at the top in the INVALSI scores, which are standardized.

Even published a report about the final scores of high school students in Italy:

in the article they state that in the North of Italy less students get high grades compared to the South even though their preparation is generally better.

This is confirmed by an article published on my school’s website, in which INVALSI scores and the final exam scores are compared: (

In this article there is the following table:

Liceo Copernico High schools of the same type (Licei) in Friuli High schools of the same type (Licei) in Italy

average mark in Italian

74.4 69.0 65.3
INVALSI average mark in


73.3 57.0 48.3

The following table is based on the data published by the MIUR (Ministry of Education, Universities and Research) in the paper

Marks in the final (non standardized) tests (percentages) – Year 2014/2015
Region 60 61-70 71-80 81-90 91-99 100 100 e lode Total
Friuli V.G. 6,7 29,9 32,6 19,3 7,5 3,7 0,4 100
Puglia 7,8 26,7 27,6 19,3 9,5 6,8 2,3 100
Italy 8,6 29,3 29,2 18,7 8,4 4,9 0,9 100

These tables show that while the schools in Friuli give low marks in the final exam, their students are among the best in the INVALSI test, which is standardized.

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