Higher Business Examination or HHX

For accessing college education in Denmark, students must have completed 12 years in school along with one of the following upper secondary school leaving examinations:

  • Studentereksamen-STX-Upper Secondary School Leaving Exam
  • Hojere forberedelseseksamen-HF-Higher Preparatory Exam
  • Hojere handelseksamen-HHX-Higher Business Exam
  • Hojere teknisk eksamen-HTX-Higher Technical Exam
Apart from this, students can also opt for comparable qualifications. Those who have taken up around 3 to 4 year vocational programmes are often suited for short cycle college courses within exactly the same field.

The HHX is the Higher Business or Commercial Examination. It is one of the popular choices for students who want to specialise in management and business studies. To pass the HHX examination or the  Hojere handelseksamen, students must complete a vocational upper secondary education special preparatory study programme.

This exam qualifies students for admission to higher education as well as for employment within trade and industry sectors in Denmark. The special prep programmes are for 2 years each. Most business and technical colleges offer these courses for admission and successful passing of the HHX exam.

Format and Overview of the HHX Programme and Exam

The HHX special programme consists of compulsory subjects such as Danish and English as well as a foreign language along with subjects pertinent to commerce namely business studies, sales, marketing or economics. Students also have to select a total of 5 to 6 electives from relevant subjects in their course. Students must also complete a comprehensive written assignment in the final year of the programme.

Certain commercial colleges offer the HHX course in an HH format of one year to students who have passed an upper secondary school leaving exam. Those who sign up for the HHX must be clear which business school they are applying for. Business schools offer different types of courses depending upon individual student needs.

The HHX programme is oriented towards business and socioeconomic disciplines along with foreign languages and general subjects. Subjects are places in levels A.B and C depending upon their level of depth and complexity as well as scope. Each level is alloted certain periods of study hours. Marks for the programme are awarded on a 7 point scale. Term marks and teacher assessments make for the complete grading.
  • Level A Subjects: Marketing, International Finance, IT, Mathematics, Corporate Finance, German Beginner or Continuation, Spanish, Russian, Italian, French Beginner of Continuation.
  • Level B Subjects: Financing, IT theory, Math, French Continuation, Intermediate German, Design Philosophy, Psychology, Innovation and Cultural Understanding.
Those with beginner A level as second foreign language should select its continuation at B level. Elective subjects are chosen from C level. There is also a study project.
The HHX exams ensure that students are assessed in all the subjects they have studied in the preparatory course. Students are also assessed on the basis of verbal as well as written communication in class. On the 13 point scale, students must score 6 or more to pass. The Danish Ministry of Education is responsible for administration of the exam. According to the Ministry, over 60 colleges and schools offer HHX programmes.

Fee for the HHX Exam

For this programme, teaching cost is paid by the state and students do not have to pay for this. But the Danish ministry estimates that around 2,500 kroner can be required for students to buy equipment such as calculators and dictionaries. Students who are Danish as well as Non Danish can opt for educational support from the Danish Education Support (SU) if they are 18 years of age or above.

Application and Eligibility for the Exams

Within a school year, there are written as well as oral examinations. Once students have passed the HHX exam, they get the diploma which also includes the average of these examinations. To be eligible for the HHX exam, students must have completed studies up till the 9th grade in elementary school. They can also apply for this upper secondary education programme if they have received training corresponding to the 9th grade.

Students should also had training in a second foreign language (German or French) and passed compulsory public school leaving exams. Differences in test requirements are based on whether the application for the HHX is being made after the 9th or the 10th grade. More details about this can be found from the individual schools.

Students should have already been assessed in terms of readiness in training for the exam. Those who have not may be required to appear for a professional test in one or more subject and admission will then rely on the test scores. Students may also have to prove their capabilities if they have missed one/more compulsory final exams.

Students who have attended non Danish schools will only be admitted into the HHX programme following stringent assessment of their qualifications so that they can match the level of the Danish school. To apply for the HHX programme, the student must fill out the application starting March 1 each year, 15th March is the final date of application deadline and students receive notification regarding admission by June. The programme begins in the month of August and completes  in either 4 or 2 years. Following the completion of the programme, students must then give the exam.

Acceptance of Scores

HHX is accepted by all higher educational institutions in Denmark. The levels and subjects chosen by the students can have a vast amount of impact on the type of Bachelor's degree programmes or courses you can apply for.

HHX exams are crucial for qualifying for higher education studies in Denmark. Those who do not wish to go through this training can qualify through secondary training. However, it is recommended that students who want to study commerce or business pass the HHX exam to secure admission into business schools and colleges.
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