Friday, February 17, 2012

This is how Finns prepare for tests

kids see parade 2


truck 5

I'm not joking even a little bit.

truck 4

And, there's more.

There's candy involved. They are throwing candy from those trucks.

truck 6

How much fun is this?
I got candy 2

This is Penkkarit, a tradition for third year (12th grade, final year) students in Finland.

truck 3

Yesterday was the last day of school for third year students. For the next month, they will prepare for final exams.

Joey see parade

Nobody warned us about this day...we literally walked into the midst of the celebration taking place when we decided not to wait for the bus that was stuck in the traffic jam caused by truck after truck after truck of screaming, cheering, chanting, candy-throwing teenagers.

parade line up 2

Of course, I have no idea what they were chanting, but what I learned at home after experiencing "Fourth of July Part II" (Sam's description), is that they are chanting slogans that either make fun of, or show pride in their school.

parade line up

I noticed that all of the signs have the letters A B I in them. I can only assume that these letters refer to the actual test called "Abitur."  (Update:  see reader comment below which explains what ABI stands for.)

kids see parade

Plus, a reference to LMFAO never hurt anybody.

I'm not sure who was happier...the students in the trucks...

guy in truck

Or the children on the streets below running after candy!

I got candy

candy haul


  1. Abi is short for abiturientti which is the name used of the third (or last - it is quite common to extend your high school to 3,5 or 4 years either to study more or to study with a more relaxed pace that allows more life outside school) year students. Abitur is the German word for "ylioppilaskokeet", the matriculation exam/A-levels.

    These tests are really important as the universities give some points for the well-performing students from their A-level results even though most of the points still come from the entrance exams.

    The standardized tests on the 9th grade were not that big a deal (at least when I was a 9th grader in 2003) - in fact I can't remember any other standardized tests than a maths test from that time. These instead are something you'll never forget. I remember even the snacks I had with me ;) And the certificate is something nearly divine and holy, it's kept in my mum's file of important papers and only taken out in Very Special Circumstances.

  2. How bizarre! But just look at that stash of candy - your kiddies certainly benefited from the craziness! :)


  3. The next day you should have came across the 'oldies' day. The students from year below are now the oldest at school and dress to vintage clothing. They have practised dancing for months in advance and have a ball at night. It is a black tie event where the female ball gowns are in the wedding dress budget

  4. I believe the majority of student aren't standardized . Sometime most of us carry the particular testing like a jock and also it’s something very important for the foreseeable future. We must tough for every subject for you to cross the particular testing.