Social selection step by step

The case of the Early Selective Grammar Schools in Hungary


  • Eszter Berényi

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secondary school, school choice, tracking, self-exclusion, entrance exam, educational inequalities


The article scrutinises the application process and its consequences in terms of educational inequalities in early selective grammar schools in Hungary. The focus is on the almost one-year-long process of preparation for the entrance exams to these grammar schools. Its main aim is to depict how the gradual nature of getting into secondary education intensifies social selection within the educational sector. The analysis is based upon the findings of a mixed method research, of which the results of the two waves of the survey and the consecutive interviews will be analysed.

The article provides evidence of successful practices during the preparation process to these schools, as well as evidence of self-exclusion mechanisms for socially disadvantaged families. Overall, the results suggest that the most important selection factors are not the written or oral entrance exams themselves, but the decision to enter and remain in the preparation process, as well as the strategic decisions made by the parents during the preparation process.




How to Cite

Berényi, E. 2022. Social selection step by step: The case of the Early Selective Grammar Schools in Hungary. Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics. 8, 2 (Jul. 2022), 59–79. DOI:



Social mobility