Feature: National college entrance exams in Vietnam, tough test for students

By Nguyen Thi Thuy Anh, Le Phuong
HANOI, July 5 — More than 800,000 high school graduates nationwide Thursday sat for the first wave of university entrance examinations, one of the toughest exams that students should take after 12 years of learning at general schools.
According to the statistics of Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), as many as 256 universities and 134 junior colleges nationwide have organized the entrance examinations.
Nguyen Mai, 18, a student from Viet Duc High School in this capital city, said that despite her nice records in 12 consecutive school years, especially the last three years in high school, she is still nervous in taking the college entrance exam. “This could be the turning point in my life,” Mai said.
In Vietnam, the college entrance exam is considered a significant milestone for the future career path of a person.
Normally, candidates take three exams for the fixed group of subjects they choose. There are many fixed groups of subjects, which are divided into three phases.
The candidates across the country will take part in the first phase of the exam during July 4-5, covering Group A (math, physics and chemistry), Group A-1 (math, physics and English) and Group V math, physics and drawing).
The second phase is for candidates who sit for Group B math, biology and chemistry), Group C (literature, history and geography) and Group D (math, literature and foreign language), which is scheduled for July 9-10.
The third phase is for junior colleges or three-year program colleges, running from July 15 to 16.
Students can take the exam at more than one group. Mai said she will sit for Group A-1 and Group D.
Since she is going to take the exam in two groups, Mai has to spend more time for studying. “Apart from taking school class, I have to go to training centers three times a week for English and other classes for math and literature,” she said.
However, as Mai said, taking exam for two groups will give her more chances to pass the exam.
According to MoET, based on the students’ registration forms, those who apply for economics and management majors still account for a majority of the total number or examinees although the figure this year is lower compared to that of last year.
Mai said most of her schoolmates prefer to enroll at the teacher training colleges, but she prefers the University for National Resources and Environment for Group A-1, and the Hanoi University of Culture for Group D.
“Environment is an issue of global concern and it is no exception in Vietnam. I hope after graduating from the university, I can easily find a good job,” Mai said.
Besides selecting their favorite areas of study, most students like Mai still carefully consider their applications to the college which is most suited to their capability so that they will have more chances of passing.
“A good score in the exams will reflect the student’s efforts, intelligence and the quality of learning that he or she has achieved over the years,” Mai said, adding that this will definitely open doors for students who want to become professionals.[db:内容2]

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