In LatviaYesterday, 15:423VIDEOIn the secondary school centralized exams, the lowest performance was shown in mathematics

By RockedBuzz 9 Min Read

Every fifth high school student scored 10-19% in the optimal level centralized exam in mathematics, while the average performance of students was estimated at 35%, which is the lowest result among all exams, informed Liene Voronenko, director of the State Educational Content Center (VISC).

The image is illustrative.
The image is illustrative. Photo: AimPix/Shutterstock

Every fifth high school student scored 10-19% in the optimal level centralized exam in mathematics, while the average performance of students was estimated at 35%, which is the lowest result among all exams, informed Liene Voronenko, director of the State Educational Content Center (VISC).

Eksāmenu rezultātu tendences sola rūpīgi analizētEksāmenu rezultātu tendences sola rūpīgi analizēt

12,609 students took the mathematics exam at the optimal level, of which 8.71% did not pass the exam, but every fifth or 19.01% exceeded the 20% barrier in the exam, obtaining 20-29% in the evaluation.

Voronenko pointed out that the result of the optimal level exam is 3-4% lower than last year, which is explained by the fact that a large number of students with a high level of competence in this subject took the higher level exam.

This year, 2,591 students took it, whose average performance is estimated at 60%.

She pointed out that we should think about how to further increase the number of students who choose to take the mathematics exam at a higher level, as some students may have been deterred from taking the exam by concerns about their performance.

The performance of high school students was better in the Latvian optimal level exams. The performance of every fifth or 20.74% of students in the exam of the optimal level of the Latvian language was evaluated with 50-59%, 19.39% of students passed the exam with 60-69%, and 18.19% – with 40-49%.

Out of 12,185 exam takers, 3.48%’s performance was evaluated with a score of up to 20%, including 1.03% of students who scored up to 10% in the exam or did not pass the exam.

The results of the exam show that the biggest difficulties for some students are caused by insufficiently strengthened text literacy – reading and understanding the conditions of the tasks, using appropriate reading strategies.

“Performance is often lower for those students who approach tasks with a more general approach,” noted Voronenko, noting that the review strategy does not work in the exam.

It can also be concluded that some students do not have adequate skills to describe cultural facts or have an insufficiently wide vocabulary, which could be more applicable to minority students.

Voronenko admitted that the necessity of the oral part in the optimal level exam is still an actual issue.

The students also showed a similar performance in the higher level Latvian language exam – out of 2579 examinees, 23.77% scored 50-59% in the exam, and 20.74% achieved 60-69%.

The evaluators’ observations show that the students did not always understand what they had to do in the higher level exam – there were works in which the retelling of the content dominated or each text was analyzed separately and a wider understanding of the culture and history of Latvia was lacking.

Problems with reasoning have also been observed in those students who chose to take the exam in history and social sciences. Exams in these subjects also show some of the lowest average performance among all higher-level exams – in history, the average performance of 540 takers was rated at 38%, and the performance of 1,603 takers in social sciences was rated at an average of 39%.

Voronenko also noted that students with weaker knowledge of the Latvian language had difficulties in the social sciences exam, which prevented them from finding answers in the text or understanding the context.

The evaluators have an assumption that the students chose to take these exams based not on individual interests or knowledge, but on stereotypes that they will be easier than math or science exams. “This strategy has not always been justified, because the higher-level exam requires more in-depth knowledge,” Voronenko said.

Pupils have shown good performance in optimal and higher level foreign language exams.

One in five or 19.67% scored 80-89%, while 16.61% of students scored 70-79% in the Optimum Level English exam taken by 11,010 students. On the other hand, 23.17% of the 5,642 examinees scored 70-79%, 21.75% scored 60-69%, and 18.21% scored 80-89%.

In the optimal level exam, the average score was 81% in French and 49% in German. On the other hand, in the higher level exam, the average performance of students in French is rated at 69%, and in German – 68%. In the higher-level exam in Russian, students scored an average of 75%.

Voronenko explained that a small number of high school students choose to take these exams, so each student’s performance affects the average performance.

Among the higher-level exams in natural sciences, the largest number of exam takers was traditionally in biology and chemistry – 2106 and 804 students. 747 students took the physics exam.

The largest number of dropouts was in the geography exam – out of 401 test takers, 1.25% did not score at least 10% in the exam. The head of the VISC explained that this could be related to the delayed learning of the geography information system – a large number of students learned it only in the last school year or even half a year. 0.8% of students did not pass the physics exam, 0.33% in biology, and 0.25% in chemistry.

Voronenko is sure that more students will choose to take higher-level exams in one of the natural sciences subjects if the requirements for entering a university increase.

This year, the highest level exam in programming was also held online, which was taken by 310 students. The evaluators have recognized that the use of many programming languages ​​has affected individual performance, and in the process of evaluating individual content elements, the achievable results included in the standard will be evaluated.

Voronenko emphasized that it would not be correct to compare the performance of this year’s high school graduates with the results of previous years, because this year the transition to the new examination session, where students choose between three different level exams, has ended.

In order to obtain a certificate of completion of general secondary education, this year it was necessary to pass the Latvian language, mathematics and foreign language exam at least at the optimal level and two exams out of 14 offered at the highest level.

In total, approximately 54,000 certificates of completion of the secondary education program have been issued, but approximately 1,000 secondary school students have not passed the exams.

To pass the centralized exam, the student had to get at least 10%. By the 2024/2025 school year, this evaluation threshold is planned to be increased to 20%.

The exam session for high school students took place from May 15 to June 19.

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