Students in Ho Chi Minh City cheer after finishing the mathematics test on Wednesday morning. Photo: Doc Lap
Around one million Vietnamese high school students across the country on Wednesday entered the first-ever national exam that will both determine high school graduation and used as the basis for university entrance admission.
Until recently, Vietnamese students took two big exams after completing 12 years in school: one was for high school graduation and the next was for university entrance. Both were high stakes tests that created pressure on students and their families and laid a financial burden on them as well.
But this year the Ministry of Education and Training made a breakthrough decision: to merge the two exams into one. Exam results will be a consideration in both high school graduation and university admissions.
The single national exam started on Wednesday (July 1) with mathematics and foreign language tests, followed by literature and physics tests on July 2, geography and chemistry tests on July 3 and history and biology tests on July 4.
Students will have to take four tests, including three compulsory tests of mathematics, literature, and a foreign language, and one of the five remaining tests.
They can also take extra tests of other subjects for a better chance to get into their favorite universities and colleges.
After the results of the exam are announced, students who pass the exam can sign up for enrollment into universities and colleges. These universities and colleges will select them based on their scores.