VietNamNet Bridge – Educators believe that the questions raised at the
national university entrance exams are unnecessarily difficult, which disposes
of the opportunities of students to follow higher education.
Dr. Nguyen Kim Quang, Deputy President of the University for Natural Sciences, a
member school of the HCM City National University, has noted that the thorny
exam questions lead to the low results of examinees, which makes it difficult
for the Ministry of Education and Training to define the floor marks for the
groups of exams.
A lecturer of a people-founded school said that the intricate questions at the
university exams is the reason which explains why a student could get 7-8 marks
at the high school finals, while he gets 1-2 marks at the university entrance
A lot of universities have reported the narrow “spectrum” of marks that their
students can obtain from the exams. The Saigon University, for example, saw
1,075 exam papers out of 143,023 examinees receiving zero mark, 25,637 received
0-2 marks. 218 examinees got 4 marks for three exam subjects, 2,129 got 6 marks.
Only 21,327 students got 10 or below 10 for three subjects.
Especially, in math exam, 340 students reportedly got zero mark, 6,814 got 0-1
mark, 18,893 got less than 3 marks. Only 9 students got 9 marks, 2 got 8.75 and
6 got 8.5 for math.
As for C-group exams (the students attending the C-group have to attend the
literature, history and geography exams), history proves to be the “nightmare”
for examinees. The Saigon University reportedly had 225 history exam papers out
of the 1886 examinees got 0-0.75 marks, while 688 students got 2 and less.
Dr. Do Van Xe, Vice President of the Can Tho University, also thinks that the
difficult questions are the reason behind the unsatisfactory results.
“The Ministry of Education and Training believes that the university entrance
exams aim to find out the most excellent students for the higher education.
Therefore, the exam questions need to be very difficult,” Xe said.
Meanwhile, the university education should aim to produce the labor force which
can satisfy the demand of the society. The university training quality not only
depends on the quality of the input students, but on the training process as
“It’s necessary to reconsider the way of setting university entrance exam
questions,” Xe said.
Dr. Nguyen Kim Quang agrees, saying that the exam questions setting should be
designed in the way to ensure the reasonable “spectrum” of marks. “Excellent
students would get high marks from the exams, while average students would have
acceptable, not too bad results,” Quang said.
The Ministry of Education and Training has many times affirmed that the
questions are not too difficult and that the students who master the knowledge
they receive from high schools would be able to pass the exams.
However, educators have pointed out that the questions are always so difficult
that students would not be able to solve them if they don’t attend the private
This explains why students still flock to private tutoring classes and exam
preparation centers, though the watchdog agency has been making every effort to
clear the extra classes.
Phan Thien Danh, a lecturer of the Math and Informatics Faculty of the HCM City
University of Education, has noted that while students have to learn hard to
practice solving difficult questions, the knowledge would be useless for them at
the universities, which is really a big waste of time.