One of the main aims of SEC was to attract a larger population of students to sit for examinations. While about 20% of students in each age cohort used to sit for the English GCEs, the SEC examination was intended to cater for about 80% of the cohort of school-leaving age. This target has been reached and maintained since 2005. MATSEC has continued to evolve along these years. Some notable changes at SEC level were the: introduction of a September Supplementary session replacing December/January session; choice between Paper IIA and Paper IIB; introduction of coursework component; increase in number of subjects along the years; and introduction of vocational subjects.
The Matriculation Certificate is the general entry requirement into the University of Malta. It is based on the International Baccalaureate model that maintains that students develop into more mature individuals if their studies cover both the areas of the Humanities and the Sciences. In the Matriculation Certificate qualification, subjects are divided into four groups and students must choose one subject from each of Groups 1, 2, and 3 and any other two subjects. This structure ensures that candidates choose subjects from both the Humanities and the Sciences areas. In addition, all students are obliged to sit for Systems of Knowledge, a pass in which is obligatory in order to be awarded the certificate.