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Quarter of high school students fail National Testing in Kazakhstan

13 july 2014, 14:04
During the United National Testing. Photo by Turar Kazangapov
During the United National Testing. Photo by Turar Kazangapov

More than twenty thousand graduates have failed the Unified National Testing in 2014, Tengrinews correspondent reports citing the National Testing Center.

The testing took place between June 2 and 8. It was attended by 87,593 graduates. Of them, 61,678 took it in the Kazakh language, and 25,915 took it in the Russian language. Almost a quarter - 20,236 graduates - was unable to overcome the threshold level and pass the test.

The testing consists of five subjects with 25 questions in each. The subjects are: Mathematics, Kazakh Language, Russian Language, History of Kazakhstan and one of the following subjects: World History, Foreign Language, Biology, Geography, Chemistry, Physics or Literature. The fifth subject should match the graduate's planned major in college. For example, a graduate has to take Biology as the fifth subject in order to be accepted to a program in Medicine.

The maximum number of points for the Test is 125. The threshold level is 50, but the second language doesn't count toward the threshold level. For example, for those who study in Russian, results of the Kazakh Language test are not counted towards achieving the threshold level. It is, nevertheless, considered if one wants to receive special grants from Kazakhstani universities and is attempting to be on top of their class.

No electronic devices or even calculators are allowed during the testing.

Almost since its inception the National Testing has become a matter of controversy. The sheer scale of information to be remembered has been called too overwhelming to be tested in one sitting. Indeed, the testing of all five subjects is squeezed into a three-hour frame. Grants and scholarships are distributed according to UNT results, making the test extremely important for rural students and those wishing to study in Kazakhstan.

Desperate times require desperate measures. The days of testing this year were not an exception. As a result of the testing several thousands of cellphones, thousands of cheat sheets, hundreds of calculators and several dozen cameras were seized. Several students attempted to use talkies during the testing. Who’s listening on the other side?

Some students brought flash drives (Did they also bring laptops?). Some of the more interesting ‘equipment’ worthy of a spy-movie included Bluetooth sets and a couple of handheld scanners. Apparently, a box cutter was also attempted to be brought by one of the graduates. The question as to how a box cutter was to help in passing the test is a matter of speculation.

The good news is that it is every second student who attempted to bring a cell phone - that means that another half did not attemp to do that. They relied solely on their knowledge and hopefully were rewarded.

Four students were able to achieve the highest possible result of 125 points this year. They are Aiganym Abdizhalar, Asiya Marat, Shahzoda Ahmetzhanova, and Ulpan Yerzhanova. These four girls are worth looking up to for their dedication and hard work. 

Also, almost 15% of the graduates (13,137) were able to score above 100. Good job, guys!

By Dinara Urazova

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