Zermatt: Schoolchildren did worse in the unified mathematics entrance exams

Zermatt: Schoolchildren did worse in the unified mathematics entrance exams

Zermat: In the uniform entrance exams in mathematics, š

Entrance exams. Disciple. Ruler. Illustrative photo.

Prague – The results of the unified entrance exams in mathematics, which were taken by applicants for four-year high school courses with a high school diploma and multi-year gymnasiums, worsened this year compared to 2022. In Czech, the schoolchildren were similarly successful as their peers a year earlier. This follows from Cermat's data on the results of the unified exams, which were provided to ČTK today by the spokeswoman of the state organization, Jana Patáková. It is not clear from Cermat's data how many pupils passed the entrance exams and what result was sufficient for admission. Acceptance or rejection is decided by the principals of the individual schools to whom Cermat handed over the exam results today.

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Examinations for four-year courses were held on April 13 and 14, and for multi-year gymnasiums on April 17 and 18. This year, a record number of applicants applied for high school graduation courses. According to data from Cermat, 116,031 children want to study matriculation subjects at secondary schools, multi-year gymnasiums and extension schools this year. This is a quarter more than six years ago, when centrally administered exams were held for the first time. Many education experts point out that there will be more applicants than accepted.

The uniform entrance exams consist of a test in mathematics and the Czech language. Ukrainian refugees, of whom there are now around 40,000 in all grades of Czech elementary schools, took exams in a modified form. For example, the Czech language test was not mandatory for asylum seekers.

This year, 86,488 people signed up for the unified Czech language exams for four-year courses, of which 85,063 took the tests. 89,563 study applicants applied for the math test, while about 1,500 of them ultimately did not come. According to Cermat, applicants got an average of 55.6 percent correct in the Czech language test and 39.9 percent in mathematics. Compared to last year, this year the average in Czech is 0.1 percentage points worse and in mathematics 5.6 percentage points worse.

Those interested in studying at six-year gymnasiums, of which 7,285 were registered, achieved an average result of 60.3 percent in Czech and 44.4 percent in mathematics. In eight-year high schools, where 18,778 candidates would like to go, the success rate was 53 percent and in mathematics 38.4 percent. Compared to their peers in the previous year, the children did less well, especially in mathematics, where the success rate was lower by 9.1 percent for six-year-olds and by 6.4 percent for eight-year-old grammar schools.

According to Patáková, some test tasks were evaluated by artificial intelligence. A spokeswoman for ČTK previously said that the computer replaced one of the two evaluators for some tasks that had a clear solution. The director of Cermat Miroslav Krejčí told Czech Radio today that “the artificial intelligence did not decide whether the task was good or bad, it only helped to read what the students wrote”. He also added that for simple tasks the artificial intelligence had a lower error rate than a human. I think that in the coming years it will take over most of the human work on simple tasks,” said Krejčí.

Experts have long pointed out that the average number of points in entrance exams cannot be compared from year to year. The difficulty of these exams can vary every year because their task is not to verify the level of knowledge, but to classify applicants. Some education experts also encourage the abolition of uniform exams. According to them, they are not fair, because some children's parents pay for preparatory courses before taking the exams, which gives them an advantage over other applicants, whose families don't have that much money. Daniel Münich from the Institute for Democracy and Economic Analysis stated, for example, that the chance for children's education in the Czech Republic significantly affects the economic and social status of parents.