First phase of national high school exam successfully wraps up

August 10, 2020 - 20:41
Some 867,000 high school students finished the multiple-choice test on foreign languages on Monday afternoon, wrapping up the first phase of the national high school exam of the 2019-2020 academic year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


Students do the test on the second day of the national high school exam on Monday. VNA/VNS Photo  

HÀ NỘI — Some 867,000 high school students finished the multiple-choice test on foreign languages on Monday afternoon, wrapping up the first phase of the national high school exam of the 2019-2020 academic year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The exam marking process would be implemented across the country from Tuesday, August 11. 

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyễn Hữu Độ, who is also head of the National High School Graduation Examination 2020, said the ministry has agreed to assign localities to establish two committees in charge of scoring the multiple-choice and essay tests.

Essay tests would be scored twice by two officials from two different teams. After the tests are scored twice, at least 5 per cent of total tests would be scored again as a way of ensuring the scoring quality of the committee.

For multiple-choice scoring, a very clear standard of equipment including the paper standard and the scoring software has been issued. The committee would be required to score a number of tests as a trial before doing it on a mass scale to avoid any issues.

Độ said two inspection teams from the ministry and the locality have been established to supervise the scoring process in localities.

On the second day of the exam yesterday, the students sat for foreign languages and either a major in social sciences or natural sciences depending on each student’s choice.

Natural sciences are a combination of Physics, Chemistry and Biology and social sciences include History, Geography, and Civic Education.

Most candidates said the tests on natural sciences were not too difficult and were based on information the students learned in their high school textbooks.

Nguyễn Dương Trung Kiên, a 12th grader at Trương Định High School in Hà Nội, said he didn’t feel pressure as the test was easier than last year.

About 70 per cent of questions were easy and didn’t take much time to complete. The rest were either difficult or really difficult, which helped to classify advanced candidates.

Đào Xuân Minh, a 12th grader at Việt Nam-Poland High School in Hà Nội, said he found Physics the most challenging, followed by Biology.

Minh said it was easy to earn a score of 7.5 but quite hard to get 10. He spent 15 to 20 minutes completing 75 per cent of the exam questions and spent more than half of the time on the difficult questions.

However, he couldn’t do them all.

In the meantime, many candidates taking tests on social sciences said the test on History was quite long and they needed more time to complete it.

Trần Minh Anh, a 12th grader at Việt Đức High School said it was easy to give the wrong answers as most of the answers looked nearly the same.

Exam for quarantined students remains unknown

Minister of Education and Training Phùng Xuân Nhạ said the ministry has prepared a plan for quarantined students and those from locked down localities, who would take the second phase of the national high school exam later.

However, the date for the exam remains unknown.

The ministry was forced to divide the high school students into two phases due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students in safe localities would take the exam from August 8 to 10 while those in high-risk areas or in quarantine would take the exam later.

Figures from 20 localities showed that the number of candidates in the second phase is more than 26,160, accounting for 2.91 per cent of the total number registered for the exam.

Of that, nearly 11,000 students are from Đà Nẵng City, more than 9,000 children from Quảng Nam Province, 5,400 from Đắk Lắk, 355 from Quảng Ngãi, 280 from Lạng Sơn, 52 from Quảng Trị Province, and 18 from Thừa Thiên-Huế.

Associate Professor Mai Văn Trinh, Director of the ministry’s Department of Quality Management said the test questions of the second phase would have the same difficulty level.

In order to ensure the interests of the second phase’s candidates in university admission, the ministry has asked universities and colleges to consider allocating a quota of admissions for these candidates.

Many universities have reacted to the request. FPT University, for example, has allocated 800,000 admissions to these candidates.

The ministry would build the exam structure from a bank of questions with the same difficulty, he said.

The exam is considered the most important exam after 12 years of study as it not only awards a high-school certificate but also decides admission to universities and colleges. — VNS