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Students race to take the test to enter the 10th grade of a specialized school: Pros and cons

Although parents with children who have specialized exams are particularly interested, experienced teachers say that it is necessary to consider participating in mock exams, otherwise it will be “advantages and disadvantages”.

Confused about exam questions

Two schools that have announced mock exams early are High School for the Gifted in Foreign Languages ​​(University of Foreign Languages ​​- Hanoi National University) and High School for Gifted Students, Hanoi National University of Education. Both of these schools have fixed the time to organize 3 exams, with the same number of exams as the official exam.

Targeting the High School for the Gifted of Foreign Languages, Lan Anh (Hoang Mai, Hanoi) is determined to let her child take the 3 mock exams organized by this school with a budget of 450,000 VND/period. This money, according to Ms. Lan Anh, is worth it to help her children get acquainted with and approach the school’s new exam format and test-taking methods, thereby becoming more confident before the official exam.

Students race to compete in the 10th grade for specialized schools: Pros and cons - 1

Students at Gia Thuy Secondary School, Long Bien, Hanoi during class. (Photo: TG)

Her son completed the first mock exam online after more than 3 hours of hard work on all 3 exams (English, Math and Natural Science, Literature and Social Science).

“The test result was 26.5 points, not reaching the standard score in 2021, so I was quite confused. Hopefully in the next 2 rounds, the results will be better. In addition, I will also give my child a mock exam to enter the High School for the Gifted, University of Pedagogy on March 20.” Lan Anh said.

However, not all parents are as satisfied as Lan Anh after letting their children participate in mock exams. As shared by Mr. Nguyen Quang Tung, Principal of Lomonoxop High School, recently, he has received many concerns from parents with children in grade 9 of the school about the content of the test in some places exceeding the program; difficult exam questions, with content similar to university exams; the cost is quite high… making students bewildered.

From a teacher’s perspective, having attended a specialized school, teacher Nguyen Quang Tung pointed out some points that are not really appropriate. Accordingly, the level of difficult exam questions, some knowledge far beyond the standard curriculum of the Ministry of Education and Training, makes students who want to take the specialized exam have to study a lot more, waste money, waste time, and reduce their health. Students don’t have much time to relax or learn life skills. The students concentrated heavily in the cram schools, neglecting many other subjects.

This makes classroom teachers feel uneasy when they have difficulties in teaching. Facing difficult exam questions, not being able to do the test makes many students not confident in their abilities. The money collected from students’ parents is huge, especially during the current epidemic period, the income of parents of students has decreased. Not to mention, the reputation of the education industry is also affected, when parents think that some places that organize mock exams give priority to profit before the values ​​​​that the exam brings.

Do not participate too much

According to many teachers, for students wishing to take specialized exams, participating in mock exams at specialized schools has certain benefits; However, if you test too much, it will be beneficial and harmful.

The advantages pointed out by Ms. Nguyen Thi My Linh, Principal of Gia Thuy Secondary School (Long Bien, Hanoi) are that students have the opportunity to face exam pressure; trained in problem analysis and problem-solving skills; determine the amount of knowledge compared to the exam requirements, from which to have a review plan to ensure the desired results. However, too many mock exams will affect the study time; students do not have much time to review and practice skills that are weak and costly in economic terms.

Ms. Dinh Thi Thu May, a teacher at Nam Tu Liem Secondary School (Hanoi), acknowledged that participating in mock exams to enter specialized schools helps students experience the feeling of participating in a serious and regulated exam. . From here, they can gain the necessary experience during the whole exam process; have more grounds to evaluate their own ability through test results. In addition, Ms. Dinh Thi Thu May also pointed out concerns when students take mock exams at many schools, many times.

“With unsatisfactory results of the mock test, children with unstable psychology will be easily affected and cause anxiety; or vice versa, giving rise to subjective psychology. The mock test is sometimes just the type of question, the level of difficulty and ease is not necessarily similar to the real test. The practice test more or less affects students’ self-study time, physical and mental health. Not to mention, when taking these exams, families have to contribute a certain exam fee.” Ms. Thu May said.

Sharing his opinion on this content, Mr. Nguyen Quang Tung said that specialized schools only need to have illustrative topics such as international exams or the Ministry of Education and Training for the high school graduation exam; limit the current rampant mock exams. Students should not take too many mock exams at specialized schools; Take time to review, self-study and experience life skills activities. Parents should care about their children’s thoughts, aspirations and health, and should not force their children to take the mock exams of many schools, many times like today.

“Is it okay for some schools to specialize in using state facilities and to organize mock exams for students who are not from their own schools and do not serve the teaching and learning purposes of their schools?” teacher Nguyen Quang Tung wondered.

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