- April 24, 2013
Matura exams are around the corner
On Tuesday, April 23rd, Lithuanian minister of education and science Dainius Pavalkis visited National Exam Center (Narodowe Centrum Egzaminacyjne). He was interested how the preparation for this year’s matura exams are going.
„The assignments are almost ready, right now we are just conducting some preliminary work which is a usual occurrence at this time.” acting director of the Center Terese Blazeviciene told BSN Agency.
The exams will start at schools on the 25th of May. The first one is an English language exam. High school graduate students will take the compulsory Lithuanian literature and language exam (at a national level or at a school level) on the 3rd of June.
On March 25-25, all high school graduates have taken Lithuania literature and language test during which they have had to give a speech about an earlier prepared topic.
According to the NEC’s data, 95% of all registered students passed the test, and the average grade oscillates around 8. The results are very similar in all schools, both the ones with Lithuanian language and schools of national minorities. Topics that were chosen by the students indicate that three the most popular ones from Lithuanian literature and language weren’t that different in Lithuanian schools and national minorities’ schools.
High school graduates have to sit for two matura exams to obtain a school-leaving certificate. One of them – Lithaunian literature and language – is obligatory. Students themsleves choose the type of the exam – at a national level or at a school level. To be able to sit an obligatory Lithuanian literature and language exam, the student has to have a sufficient yearly grade (C) from this subject and has to pass the language test. In general, high school graduates can take no more than six exams.
This year, for the first time matura exam from Lithuanian literature and language will be the same for all students, regardless of the language of instruction at their schools.
Terese Blazeviciene informed „Kurier Wileński” that they envisioned different criteria of grading and assigning points for answers on tests written by students from Lithuanian schools and national minorities’ schools.
„While grading essays, we differently grade language correctness and expressiveness of the text, its uniformity. For instance, Lithuanian school students can obtain max. five points for expressiveness of the text, its style and logic under the condition that there will be between 0 to 6 mistakes made in the essay. Students attending national minorities’ schools can also obtain max. five points but they can make between 0 to 10 mistakes in their essays. If a student write an essay that is shorter than required, they will receive less points. The extensive grading criteria are avaliable on the website www.nec.lt. The instructions on how to gread Lithuanian language matura exam at a national and at a school level were apporved by the NEC director on the 15th November 2012.”
All matura exams will be evaluated by given criteria, not in a normative way like it was last year. Students will be evaluated on how well they mastered the level of knowledge defined by the state. The essential difference between this system of evaluation and the previous one is the fact that students will not only be compared to the other students taking the exam, but their real achievements, whether they correspond to the defined criteria of the given level of knowledge, will also be included. In other words, the best grade will not be given necessarily to 1% of all high school graduates like it was done so far, but to all of students who perfectly solved a problem.
„Tests of all high school graduates taking a national Lithuanian language matura exam will be coded – a bar code with a student’s data will be placed onto their answer sheet during the exam. When the high school graduates finish with their tests, all the exam papers will be gathered and send to NEC, registered and prepared to the evaluation. All the papers will be distributed in the data base according to the bar codes and the criterion of division (graduated from Lithuanian language as a mother tongue programme or as a national tongue one). Then, according to the bar codes, the exam papers will be filed to separate groups.” Terese Blazevicienc said.
Only students who had a serious reason not to take an exam during the first try will be allowed to re-sit a matura exam. If a student doesn’t take a Lithuanian literature and language exam at a school level or at a national level during the first try, they will be only able to take a matura exam at a school level during a retake.
The results of matura exams at a school level during the first try are announced within five work days since the date of the exam. The results of Lithuanian Literature and language exam and native tongue exam are announced within nine days.
The results of national matura exams are announced within three work days since the sitting of the Commission that evaluate these exams. The Commission needs to approve the results first, though.
It is predicted that the results of the matura exams will be announced before July 12th.
If a student doesn’t agree with the received grade, they can lodge an appeal within three days since the announcement of the results to the school principal to re-grade the exam.
According to the data of Ministry of Education and Science, this year almost 40 000 students will take matura exams. It is 10% less then last year. Their exam papers will be evaluated by almost 2 000 examiners.
Tłumaczenie Justyna Kaczmarek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Justyna Kaczmarek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.