The ongoing debate about the Common Entrance Test has once again raised questions about the feasibility of our entrance exams. Contrasting our education system with that of other countries is startling in its revelations, take a look
United States Of America
The United States offers the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and the American College Testing (ACT), which are standardized tests, that all students (domestic or international) must take to be eligible for admission into any American college irrespective of which subject they wish to study– medicine, engineering or the liberal arts. While these tests factor into admission decisions, colleges also consider essays, extra-curricular activities, a student’s academic performances through secondary school and teacher recommendations. Unlike India, admission into American colleges is not based on test scores alone but instead on a range of criterion.
The U.K only accepts applications through the Universities and College Admissions Services (UCAS) website. All students (domestic and international) must apply through UCAS for admission to any college in the country. Every student applies through the online website, listing their top 5 subject choices. Students are admitted into particular subject areas and not into the college as a whole, like in America. The primary factors effecting admissions are grades and the personal statement (essay). The U.K accepts the General Certification of Secondary Education (GCSE) or any Standard Grade examination to assess a student’s academic ability. As applications to U.K universities are due before final exam scores (exams at the end of secondary school or “plus two”) are released, they consider “predicted” scores submitted by teachers. All students are accepted on a “conditional” offer that can be revoked if admitted students fail to secure their anticipated scores.
All states in Australia use the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR), which is a percentile ranking that compares students and the score secured in the International Baccalaureate (IB) that is an international educational curriculum. Students complete these requirements at the end of year 12. For those who do not have a recent ATAR score, the scholastic aptitude test – Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) is offered for admission into undergraduate programs. Test scores, high school performance, essays and English proficiency play a role in admission decisions.
Upper Secondary education (an undergraduate program) in Finland is not mandatory. Secondary school students can opt to undergo occupational training and work. Those who decide to attend college are admitted based on their Grade Point Average (GPA), academic tests and interviews. Admissions are solely based on a student’s academic ability and do not include essays or extra-curricular activities, which is similar to the Indian education system. The most staggering difference between Finland and other countries in the world is that education in Finland is free!
India has several entrance exams for admission into colleges. The All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) is a competitive test offered to student applying to engineering institutions. The National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) is a common entrance examination offered to those who want to study medical sciences. The Common Entrance Test is a computerized exam administered to test students interested in business management. One of the most competitive exams, Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination or the popularly known IITJEE, is an annual national level test offered to all students applying to any of the sixteen Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). The IIT’s admit one in fifty students.