Universities need to organize standardized tests and apply specific methods to enroll students instead of relying on the high school finals to select students.
The high required benchmarks for entry to universities have been blamed on the easy exam questions at the high school finals. Some students failed admission in universities even though they got a 9 score for every exam subject.
However, a former senior official of Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) said high school final exam questions must be easy, because the purpose of the exam is recognizing the students’ completion of the general education program. Students just need to have basic knowledge to finish high school.
“High school final exam is obviously different from university entrance exam and high school final exam questions must be less difficult than university entrance exam questions,” he said, adding that it would be a blunder for universities to rely on high school finals to select students.
Le Truong Tung, President of FPT University, agreed, saying that the current enrollment method based on the results of the high school finals plus priority scores is unreasonable.
Priority scores are the scores given to special groups of students.
If exam questions are easy, many students will have high scores on the exams. If so, the students with priority scores will have an advantage over others, and excellent students may lose opportunities to enroll in schools and would be done an injustice.
According to the official, universities need to learn a lesson from this year’s enrolment season and change their enrolment method in coming years.
They will need to recalculate the proportion of students to be selected by considering high school final exam results, high school learning records, standardized tests, and achievements at national competitions for excellent students.
“Schools have the right of self-determination. Of course, autonomy is always associated with taking responsibility,” he said.
When asked if each university should organize university entrance exam itself to select students, as was done in the past, the official said he doesn’t think this is a good idea.
“It would make things difficult for students. We saw that university entrance exams caused disturbance in society,” he said.
He warned that it would be very costly for schools to organize exams and prepare exam question banks themselves.
Some educators have proposed the establishment of independent exam centers, saying that this a trend in the world. The centers would organize exams all year round and universities can select students based on the information to be provided by the centers.
However, the centers must be independent and prestigious. Therefore, MOET’s management will play a very important role.
The required benchmarks for admission to universities this year have been described as "abnormally high" by some.
Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son said 2022 will be a transitional year when the educational sector prepares for more comprehensive reform of the organization of high school finals.