Reader feedback: Trust new maturita

Re: University students profited from exam scam, Volume 11, Number 26, July 4 - 10, 2005

There isn't much to say about this scam than what was covered in the article.

Many university exams are conducted orally. In this case the cheating candidates wore tiny radio transmitter-receivers in their ears and their helpers outside in a car listened in on the exam and provided the correct answers.

I expect that most tests for university entrance are measured objectively but that doesn't make them fair.

The most popular courses are so over-subscribed that the entrance tests, based on memorizing facts, have to be absurdly difficult to admit only the requisite number.

The tests often include questions on things taught only in the third and fourth year of a university course. Aspiring students can take special crammer courses to learn this information before the entrance exams.

The students have to pay for these courses and as often as not they are taught by the very people who set and assess the entrance tests.

University entrance exams are so widespread because the old maturita (school- leaving) exam was incredibly inconsistent.

Someone with a full batch of "ones" [the top mark] from one school was not necessarily at the same level as someone with a full batch of "ones" from another.

The new national standardized maturita aims to provide a more objective assessment of students but so far universities don't seem to want to rely on it.


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