A total of 5,352 candidates on Monday started final exams in public schools that can be used to secure a place in universities of Cyprus and Greece.

Education Minister Athena Michaelidou visiting the Kykkos II lyceum in Engomi to wish the students luck called on them not to stress and that there would be more opportunities in life.

“We are here, on the first day of the entry exams for 2024 to give courage to the students,” she said.

Michaelidou added that “we want to give the message that the least possible stress helps and to say that this exam is never the end.

“There will be many opportunities in their life and other opportunities for exams,” she added, noting that “coming so far is a victory anyway.”

On Monday 2,142 graduates awere sitting the English exam.

Head of the examinations service, Dimitris Handriotis said that everything is ready and expected to go smoothly as in previous years.

Exams will conclude on June 28 with Maths, Handriotis added.

According to the statistics gathered from applications, this year 5,352 examinees are seeking entry into public universities in Cyprus and Greece compared with 5,250 in 2023, 5,202 in 2022, in 5,559 in 2021 and in 5,465 in 2020.

Current secondary school graduates sitting the exam this year amount to 4,939, while in 2023 there were 4,859, in 2022, 4,844, in 2021, 5,213 and in 2020, 5,136.

Older graduates amount to 413, while in 2023 there were 391, in 2022. 358, in 2021, 346 and in 2020, 329.

Candidates pursuing enrolment in military schools for 2024 amount to 482, while in 2023 there were 488, in 2022, 437, in 2021, 522 and in 2020, 653.

Those who requested facilitated procedures for 2024 amount to 564, while in 2023 requests amounted to 554, in 2022 to 540, in 2021 to 561 and in 2020 to 545.