The solution found for national audits last year, when the procedure was adapted to the specifics created by the pandemic, should remain essentially the same, but with minor changes. The regime of mandatory and optional questions will continue, but the percentage of the first will increase, according to the Institute for Educational Assessment (IAVE). Examinations to improve grades should also be possible if the recommendation of the National Commission on Access to Higher Education (CNAES) is appropriately accepted.
The CNAES met this Monday to deliver an opinion on conducting national audits. “We understand that only national exams should be carried out for subjects designated for access to higher education, including the opportunity to upgrade grades. And that the evaluation and approval of the secondary education should only be done with an internal evaluation, as it was done last year, ”said the President of CNAES, Fontaínhas Fernandes, after the meeting.
Basically, he summarized, it is recommended that “the guidelines from last year be retained as a sign of stability and student confidence, and because the process went well given the existing limitations.” The CNAES states that exams are designed to improve disciplinary scores should be allowed, the form of the calculation formula in these cases being left to the government.
As a rule, in scientific-humanistic courses, the grades of the national exams count twice for the determination of the average access to higher education – the score weighs 30% in the final classification of the subjects in which a national examination takes place and weighs between 35% to 50% % on average of admission if the discipline is considered a specific entrance exam.
When, due to changes over the past year, it was decided that secondary education grading was not weighted by these tests, anyone trying to upgrade grades at the expense of this hypothesis felt biased.
The solution found by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education was to give students who had taken exams in the last two years the opportunity to benefit from two different calculation methods – if the exam classification was lower than the grade of the discipline it was the latter that counted; If the exam score was equal to or higher than that of the discipline, the weight of 30% of the exam score was applied to give the final classification. This year it remains to be seen whether the rule applies.
“An exam as always”
What is already certain is that the tests will continue with mandatory questions and optional questions. In the latter case, students may or may not answer the questions, but when they do, only the best answers are counted (in a percentage to be determined).
Last year when the changes to the national exams appeared, the exams were already being carried out, forcing an adjustment rather than developing a root test. The result was “too high” grades, with students leaving out the most difficult questions. IAVE President Luís Pereira dos Santos had already informed the PUBLIC that they would be looking for a “more balanced” solution for this year’s tests and the way to achieve this has been defined.
“Last year’s testing was almost complete when we rolled out the changes. We encountered a few issues that weren’t working as well. While we are already forecasting an increase in the averages, of course we have found that we need to make some adjustments, which are mandatory items that can cover a sample of the representative curriculum. That was our main concern, ”says the head of IAVE.
The best way to do this is to increase the number of mandatory questions in general.
If you look at the information published by IAVE, it may even seem to be the other way around. Last year, if the example was given that in an exam with 20 questions, 14 were mandatory and six were optional, the information released this month would recognize that in 20 questions, 10 were mandatory and 10 were optional. But Luís Pereira dos Santos says that these examples “are not indicative”. The reality is that optional topics will be fewer and no more than last year. “We’ll improve a little, nothing special,” he guarantees. What is retained is the value assigned to each of the optional questions – as in last year’s exams, each of these questions will have exactly the same value as “it would not be fair or ethical” for students to choose the question oblige the one who will answer because of the score assigned to him, he says.
And for the students, the President of IAVE leaves a guarantee of calm: “The tests will be very similar to the tests carried out in recent years in terms of the construction of the objects and their structure. The level of complexity is equally balanced, there is nothing very different. Students need to rest on this because they will be taking an exam as always. “
The schedule will be a little different than usual. The first phase of the national secondary school exams will take place between July 2nd and 16th (results on August 2nd) and the second phase between September 1st and 7th (results on September 16th). The final exams of the 9th grade take place between June 28th and July 2nd (1st phase) and between July 21st and 23rd (2nd phase).
Regarding the measurement tests, the Artistic Expression and Physical Education Tests were both canceled in the 2nd year.
However, IAVE believes that “the collection of information about the development of students’ learning is essential to enable schools, teachers, students, parents and policy makers to better understand the conditions in which curriculum development took place” that ” Context of Uncertainty and Innovation ”caused by the pandemic. The information on the procedure for conducting external assessment tests therefore states that “the assessment tests retain their usual structure, in particular with regard to the characteristics of the items, the classification process and the return of information to schools”.
In this case, the established schedule states that the 2nd, 5th and 8th year grading tests will take place between June 14th and 21st. The oral component of the 5th year English test takes place between May 27th and June 9th.