センター試験 改革に功罪の検証は不可欠だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun January 18, 2014
Merits, demerits of natl center test must be examined to promote reform
センター試験 改革に功罪の検証は不可欠だ(1月18日付・読売社説)

The two-day test organized by the National Center for University Entrance Examinations, which begins Saturday, involves 560,000 students applying to enter 843 universities and junior colleges nationwide.

Many students no doubt studied hard day and night in preparation for the tests. We hope they can fully display their abilities.

The center and officials concerned at each university need to focus their minds to prevent a recurrence of such trouble as the erroneous distribution of test question papers that happened two years ago.

The National Center Test for University Admissions was introduced in 1990 as a replacement for the standard preliminary test, opening the door for participation by private universities. Currently, about 90 percent of private universities and colleges participate.

Some universities use the center test together with the system to hold exams for candidates recommended by high schools and conduct interviews through their admissions offices.

It may be said that the center test has become established as the uniform test to determine whether examinees have acquired basic scholastic abilities needed for advancing to universities.

Test questions, which take about two years to compile, are created by university teaching faculty members and others.

The questions are regarded as reasonable because they do not include unfairly difficult or tricky problems.

The number of test items, on the other hand, has increased to 29 areas in six subjects, as high school curricula became subdivided. Each university and college can freely choose sub-subjects, and the number of them, in an a la carte approach. From the standpoint of examinees, however, the system may be too complicated.

Pressure on examinees

Furthermore, examinees are undeniably forced to face excessive mental stress given that results of the national center test, held only once a year, largely determine whether they succeed or fail to gain entrance into their desired universities.

Some observers have pointed out that it has become difficult to maintain the nationwide test under the current formula, in which more than 500,000 examinees sit for exams all at once at test venues across the country.

Discussions on reform of the national center test have been held at the Central Council for Education, in response to recommendations by the Education Rebuilding Implementation Council, a governmental advisory body, that propose the establishment of a new test method to assess achievement levels as the pillar of reform.

The recommendations call for holding a basic test to measure basic achievement levels for high school students and establishing a development-level test to be utilized for general university exams. The panel also proposes allowing students to take each test more than once. The realization of these measures will significantly change the university entrance exam system.

We believe students should be given more opportunities to take tests.

The question is how to deal with the selection of sub-subjects for the achievement level test. The many other issues to be studied include which organization will organize the test.

Reform of the university entrance exam system will have a great impact on examinees and educational institutions.

Foremost, close examination is needed of the merits and demerits of the national center test before in-depth discussions are held.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 18, 2014)
(2014年1月18日01時27分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2014-01-21 07:40 | 英字新聞

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