Are SLC and SEE the Same?


SLC and SEE are the most important examinations in the education system of Nepal for building an academic career. SLC, also known as the School Leaving Certificate, is the final examination of the +2 course in Nepal which is generally pursued after completing SEE, also known as the Secondary Education Examination (Class 10 final exam).

Until 2016, SLC was the Grade 10 final examination, which is also known as the “Iron Gate”. However, the Grade 10 examination was replaced by the SEE after 2016.

As SLC was compared to an iron gate a few years back, it used to be such a big deal when the exam came near. But nowadays, after the introduction of SEE as a Grade 10 final examination, it has lost its significance. It is taken as any other examination by the students and schools.

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History of SLC in Nepal

With the beginning of the Rana Regime in Nepal, the trend of SLC is believed to have started in Nepal. Before that, members of the royal family and Rana family used to go to India to pursue SLC equivalent study which was known as metrix.

Khadga Shamsher Rana was the first person to attend the SLC equivalent examination from Nepal although he couldn’t pass the exam but received the medal anyway as he was from the Rana household. Chandra Shamsher Rana was the very first Nepali to pass the SLC equivalent examinations from India. In this way, only people from the royal family and Rana household could attend SLC equivalent examination.

After the fall of the Rana Regime, Durbar High School was opened to the general public. The School Leaving Certificate (SLC) examination was first launched in Nepal in 1934 (1990 AD), and the Durbar High School, which was solely dedicated to educating the children of Nepal’s ruling authoritarian Rana dynasty, was the first school to take part in the SLC examination.

Since then, SLC has been a significant form of evaluation in the education system of Nepal. SLC after Grade 10 was considered a benchmark for pursuing higher education.

Please check History of SLC Examination of Nepal for detailed information.

Transition from SLC to SEE

As of the new Education Act of 2016 (2073 BS), the SLC examination will be held in Grade 12 as a national-level examination, while the Grade 10 examination will be known as the Secondary Education Examination SEE).

With the reintroduction of SLC as SEE, the education system of Nepal has also shifted from the traditional Percentage-based evaluation system to a Grade/GPA-based evaluation system. The grading system gained popularity when the HSEB (Higher Secondary Examination Board) introduced Letter Grading alongside the GPA (uses values as 4.0 to 0.0).

A GPA-based grading system determines the result of each course. GPAs range from 0 to 4. Students that receive an A+ are outstanding while those who receive an A are excellent. Similarly, a B+ score denotes very good, while a B represents good. Students getting C+ are satisfactory, while those receiving C are acceptable. Similarly, students who score D are classified as Basic. Finally, the students’ NG score is not graded.

SEE was introduced as an equivalent to the GCSE or GCE examination of the Western education system. This initiation of the Nepal Education Board (NEB) was both criticized and praised. However, due to the need for change in the education system of Nepal, SLC was changed into SEE.

Since 2016, school education has been categorized into two levels: basic level education from Grade 1 to 8 and secondary level education from Grade 9 to 12. After this transition, it has developed a new benchmark in secondary-level education.

The main reason for the transition of SLC to SEE in Grade 10 is with SEE, schools will have more control over their curricula and evaluation methods. Similarly, A less centralized examination method can result in faster evaluation and result sharing. This change has allowed schools to develop curricula based on the needs of their students.

For more information, please check this website: Proposed Changes in Nepal's School Education Bill

Is SEE Still Considered as an Iron Gate as SLC?

The SLC exam was considered an iron gate due to its importance, which was considered the most important and difficult evaluation in Nepal. Also, students used to prepare for months before appearing in the final examination taking a lot of mental pressure. That’s why it was compared with the large iron gate. Now, the glory days of the Iron Gate are long gone. The SLC, once called an iron gate, isn’t even a threshold now.

Ever since the new Education Act (2016 AD), formed according to the new constitution, has been implemented, the SEE has lost its charm. Previously, the government gave the School Leaving Certificate (SLC) after Grade 10. However, after the 2016 Act, this has been pushed up to Grade 12.

Though SEE might not be the most important exam of someone’s life, it is still an iron gate that opens a door to many opportunities for students but is not as difficult as SLC.

Impact of SLC and SEE on Nepal’s Education System

The impact of the transition of SLC to SEE can be viewed in both positive and negative ways. By developing a Western equivalent education system, the education system of Nepal has also been globalized. This has reduced the anxiety among students due to the high pressure of the previous Grade 10 SLC examination to some extent.

Since the SLC examination is administered in Grade 12, students, particularly those attending private institutions, can easily pass it because there is stream-based learning in +2 and only exams for specific subjects of the course are taken.

For a few years after the introduction of SEE, the SEE examination was sincerely given by the students. But nowadays it has lost its significance. There are high rates of cheating in SEE exams. The students have taken SEE for granted these days.

Previously, when there was a traditional evaluation method in the education system of Nepal i.e. percentage and division, there used to be high competition among the students. However, the grading system does not exactly provide the rank of the students. So, there is a lack of transparent competition among the students.

After the new Education Act (2016 AD), schools have the power to control the academic curricula as per the needs of the students of their respective schools. So, SEE doesn’t feel like an iron gate like the previous SLC for the students.


The education system of Nepal observed a major shift with the transition from SLC to SEE. Formerly, SLC was a crucial milestone, known as the “Iron Gate”, marking the completion of Grade 10. SEE, however, has replaced SLC as the Grade 10 final exam, changing perceptions and priorities. While SLC was one greatly anticipated, SEE is now viewed with less significance, just as another exam. The transition of SLC to SEE highlights Nepal’s changing education situation, showing both significant progress in the education field and the challenges of maintaining academic standards and integrity.

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