Midst Tawjihi celebrations, university application stress looms

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Students celebrate passing the Tawjihi exams on August 18, 2022. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — More than 11,000 of this year’s roughly 185,000 Tawjihi students scored 90 percent or higher, Al-Mamlaka TV reported on Thursday. The national average on this year’s general secondary education certificate examination was 63.1 percent, which has raised concerns among some students as to whether or not they will be able to study their preferred specialization at a public university.اضافة اعلان

The minimum requirements to be accepted to specific universities or specializations will not be final until the application period has ended, spokesperson for the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research Muhannad Al-Khatib told Jordan News.

The requirements “depend on two factors”, he said: First is how many students the Higher Education Council decides to accept at the end of the application period, and second is “students’ choices of specializations through the Unified Admission Coordination Unit”.

Khatib expected the average Tawjihi score required to apply in general to increase “in light of the rise in success rates, especially ... in the scientific stream”, but stressed that “we cannot be certain of that”.

For some, like Shahed Sawalha, who recently graduated from high school, the uncertainty of the application process is difficult to accept.

“I don’t think there is justice at all in the constantly changing (requirements), year to year,” she said.

When she got her results, she compared the entry requirements for a power engineering specialization at a public university. “The acceptance for this major was 92.8 in 2020 and then dropped to 80 in 2021, in just one year there is almost 12 marks difference,” Sawalha said.

“I got a score of 90.3 and I’m not sure I’ll be accepted anywhere.”

Questions around Tawjihi
This year’s Tawjihi results are not considered high, Nawaf Al-Ajarmeh, the director of Examinations and Tests at the Ministry of Education, told Jordan News. The ministry hopes to achieve even higher results in the future.

There are several reasons the average Tawjihi result is higher, Ajarmeh explained, of which two stand out. The first is that the number of subjects students are tested on has been reduced from 10 to eight, of which only seven are counted in a student’s final score. The test with the lowest result is dropped from the tally. The second is the transition to multiple-choice questions for most subjects.

“Multiple choice is a lot easier for students to answer” as students practice multiple-choice questions with their teachers, Ajarmeh said.

This year, 2,432 students scored 96 percent or higher; 132 students scored 99 percent and above, of which 127 were in the scientific stream, according to the Ministry of Education.

For Fakher Al-Daas, a coordinator for Dabahtoona, the national campaign for student’s rights, the large number of students achieving such high scores seems unreasonable.

“In a normal situation, there is no way for 127 students to get 99 percent and above. This does not reflect the actual level of students,” he told Jordan News.

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