The exams are set by the Swiss Baccalaureate Commission (SMK) and organized by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation. Exams are held twice a year in the German, French and Italian speaking regions. Preparation for the Swiss baccalaureate is open, meaning it can be undertaken at a private tutoring school or autodidactically. In contrast to the cantonal baccalaureate schools, the Swiss baccalaureate is taken externally with external examiners. The certificates awarded for the two types of baccalaureate are equivalent.