Selectividad-Spanish University Admission Test

Selectividad is a Spanish University Access Tests (In Spanish: "Prueba de acceso a la Universidad ", PAU). It is a national exam taken by students in the 2nd year of Bachillerato or after secondary school, to gain admittance into Spanish University. The PAU comprises of a series of exam that are conducted in the months of June and September.  These exams are set by the Public Universities of each independent Community. The exam is conducted in Spanish and you can sit for it as many times as you want. 

Purpose of PAU

The PAU is needed to gain admission to Undergraduate University program in Spain.

Prerequisite for PAU

To appear fort the Selectividad exam, you should possess a high level of proficiency in Spanish language. Apart from Spanish, Catalan can be used. 

Format of PAU

In the year 2009-10, the PAU exam patter changed. The total duration of the PAU exam is 90 minutes over 3 days in the months of June or September. The PAU encompasses 2 portions-
  • General or Common Portion
  • Subject/Specific Portion

General/ Common Portion (Compulsory)

This portion is compulsory to attempt. The Common portion comprises generally of four compulsory tests. In areas like Galicia, Valencia, Catalonia, Basque Country and Balearic Islands, there are five compulsory tests. The topics of the common/general exam are taken from the subjects taught in the 2nd year of Bachillerato. This portion tests the basic language and understanding skills and knowledge of the students. The four compulsory tests are-

Spanish Language and Literature: This consists of text analysis tasks. In this 2 text in Spanish language would be given to the candidates. They are required to select one out of the two texts given and answers questions based on that text.

First foreign language: You can select from the following foreign languages- English, French, Italian, German or Portuguese

History or Philosophy: While registering for the PAU exam, choose either of the two subjects and questions would be based on the chosen subject.   

Other School Subject: This one is of the student’s choice. Choose between the subjects mentioned below (Any one)-

Subjects related to Arts, Fine Arts, Music and Dance: Audiovisual Culture, Artistic Drawing I, Artistic Drawing II, Technical Drawing I, Technical Drawing II, Design and Art History, Graphics techniques-Plastic expressions, Volume, Musical Analysis I, Musical Analysis II, Performing Arts, Language and Music Practice, Applied Anatomy, History of Music and Dance, Universal Literature, Economy, Business Economics, Greek I, Greek II, Contemporary History, Latin I, Latin II, Mathematics applied to the social sciences I, Mathematics applied to the social sciences II, Art History, and Geography

Subjects related to Science and Technology: Biology and Geology, technical Drawing I, Technical Drawing II, Physics and Chemistry, Mathematics I, Mathematics II, Industrial Technology I, Industrial Technology II, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Electrical.

Other Common subjects in different areas are-
  • In Galicia- Galician 
  • In Catalonia and Balearic Islands- Catalan
  • In Valencia- Valencian
  • In the Basque Country- Basque 

Subject/Specific Portion (Voluntary)

This portion is optional. In this portion, students can take up to 4 subject exams, but only the 2 highest grade subjects will be considered. The students in this portion can take subjects related to the desired University program/course. This portion tests the knowledge and logical thinking capabilities in areas of study related to the University degree program the pupil likes to take on.

Scoring and Results

The marks gained in the Common/general portion are considered and an average score up to 10 points is given. The marks received on the exam are combined with the overall average score from both year of Bachillerato and then used for the University admittance procedure. For admissions to University, 40% of the general portion scores and 60% of the average of the Bachillerato marks is considered. 

For Specific portion- Other Subject section, each University sets different criterions. 

Score validity: The General/Common portion results do not expire, while the subject specific portion results are valid for 2 years only.

Registration and Fees

You are required to register for PAU-University Entrance exam at your secondary school. 
Fees vary from year to year. Contact the official website for details.
For registration and latest updates log on to

Test Day Essentials

You are allowed to carry the following items along with you depending upon your exam-
  • A ruler, a set of triangles and a compass for Technical Drawing
  • A scientific, non-graphic, non-programmable calculator for Applied Math, Industrial Technology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Economics, and Physics, 
  • Latin Dictionary for the Latin Exam
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