Approximately half of the continuing students choose upper-secondary school and half choose vocational education. Students applying to upper-secondary school fill out an yhteiskaku, an application based on their marks from school and also lists their preferences for upper-secondary school.
Enrollment in both sectors of upper-secondary education have increased in the past few decades. 97% of students completing compulsory education continue on to upper-secondary school. Students completing the vocational track sometimes enter the academic track after the completion of their course, and vice versa.
In both sectors, students have both mandatory and elective subjects. In general upper-secondary school, students have compulsory courses and choose at least ten advanced courses for the three-year duration of school.
Much like compulsory school, local authorities have responsibility for general upper-secondary schools.
A matriculation examination takes place after the completion of upper-secondary general education. The National Core Curriculum provides the basis for the examination, which has a minimum of four tests: the compulsory mother tongue examination, plus three assessments chosen from the second national language, mathematics, foreign language, and general studies. The matriculation certificate gives eligibility to enter tertiary education.