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Turkey’s Educational System

Turkey’s educational system consists of three stages, each lasting four years, making a total of 12 years of compulsory education.
It starts with the primary stage (first, second, third, and fourth).
Intermediate/middle school (fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grades).
This is the last stage (ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth).
There are three stages to the comprehensive education system (elementary education, intermediate education, and higher education).

Turkey’s educational system

Education at the primary level (İlköğretim)

  • In primary school, there are four compulsory years of elementary school, three years of middle school with elective and compulsory lessons, and four years of schools for imams and preachers.
  • Preparatory schools, imam schools, and preacher schools have optional classes designed to prepare students for secondary school by supporting and honing their talents, choices, and orientations.

Intermadiate Education (Ortaöğretim)

  • Includes all public, technical, and practical schools with a 4-year duration.
  • After graduating from these schools, students get an education certificate.
  • A school that specializes in one field while teaching others in a reduced form is an intermediate school. Depending on their specialization, these schools are called high schools, technical high schools, technical agricultural high schools, etc.
  • Here’s what middle education looks like in Turkey:

High School (Düz Lise)

  • You can go to these secondary schools if you’ve completed eight years of primary school. Upon finishing their 4-year studies, Turkish students take “Transfer to Higher Education YGS” and “Distribution to Universities LYS”.

Professional Secondary Schools (Meslek Lisesi)

  • Turkish students don’t have to take any exams to get into technical schools. There are five types of technical secondary schools: professional technical secondary, information, health, tourism, hotel management, education, and marine technical secondary.
  • These institutions may let you study for an extra year.

Anadolu Lisesi High Schools

  • Secondary schools that teach foreign languages or require students to study for a preparatory year in a foreign language. It has more study hours than regular secondary schools, and you can study in a second foreign language, like Galatasaray High School, Anatolia High School in Kadikoy, or Istanbul High School.

Technical Sciences High School (Fen Lisesi):

  • It’s a secondary school for students with technical skills aiming to qualify them for technical science universities like biology and chemistry.

High Schools for Imams and Preachers (İmam – Hatip Lisesi)

  • The Ministry of Education opened these secondary schools. Creating a generation that serves the Islamic religion in areas like public speaking and teaching the Qur’an, so students can prepare for jobs and school.

Fine Arts High Schools (Güzel Sanatlar Lisesi)
With it, kids who have demonstrated talent in fine art since childhood can develop their abilities.

Private Schools (Özel Lise)

  • As well as being referred to as Kolej, some of these institutions provide educational services in foreign languages in certain fields, such as mathematics and technical sciences, and their educational costs are considerably higher, and admission is more difficult than in other institutions of higher learning.
  • Among them are “Robert Koleji“, “Saint Joseph Lisesi“, and ”Avusturya Lisesi”.

Higher Education (Yükseköğretim)

  • After they finish secondary school and their equivalent school, students can go to universities, and in order to get into universities, they have to take the YSM, YGS, and LYS tests at the Turkish Higher Education Institution, and they have to get a certain score to get in. In some universities, students have to take the special talent test, but this varies from university to university. After the Turkish Higher Education Institute distributes students based on their points and choices, some universities require them to take the special talent test.
  • When it comes to foreign students, it’s a little different since there are special seats, and admission depends on their central countries’ exams, as well as international tests like QAT and AST. Foreigners have to take a special test called Yus to get into Turkish universities, too.

In Turkey, higher education is divided into universities, high technology institutes, and other higher education institutes (like the Military Academy and Police Academy).

First Degree in Licentiate Degree (Ön Lisans Derecesi)

  • After graduating from technical secondary school, students can go to universities / technical institutes without any exams, but in order to get into technical universities, high school students need to take the Transition to Higher Education Test (YGS) and get a certain score.
  • In universities / technical institutes, education lasts two years, and some have a foreign language prep year. Students can get a college degree after just two years of study by taking the DGS after obtaining their first degree from these institutions.

Bachelor’s Degree (Lisans Derecesi)

  • A bachelor’s degree requires four years at a university. It varies between 5 and 6 years in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine.

The Master’s Degree / The Higher Bachelor’s Degree (Yüksek Lisans Derecesi)

  • Students who finish two years of education – some with a graduate search, some without – get a master’s degree.

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