UNT is the united national test. There are 125 questions in 5 different subjects( 4 is requirement and one subject pupil can choose).
All the pupils, who are graduating from schools must pass this test. If you do not pass it, you are not allowed to enter the university. The entrance grade is increasing from year to year. For example, this year the entrance score was 60 from 125.
I'm totally against the UNT and I can give you a lot of evidences. It is my view that tests can not show how deeply we know the information. This summer I have already passed the UNT and I have been preparing for the test during 9 months. My preparation was in just learning the answers for the questions by heart. There was no critical thinking or analysis. It seems to me that there was no any intellectual working process. What I think that this technique must be prohibited in Kazakhstan educational system. Our knowledge will not increase dramatically, while we are using this method.
Moreover the UNT came to force about ten years ago, however there are many mistakes in tests, especially in Math and Physics.
Nevertheless, the UNT, to some extent, contribute a graduae to learn something at least from preparing to the exam. Nowadays, there can be observed that in our country the level of knowledge is low in comparison with the past time. This had happened due to the striking changes at the last decade of the 20th century, subsequently these changes have resulted in a new approach in education direction, namely there was need in systematic approach. For that reason, personally, I hold opinion that the UNT definitely provides the systematic approach of checking knowledge of a pupil.
In your counter-argument you have mentioned that before the 1990s the knowledge of pupils was better than of modern youngsters have. So, it is completely true because at that period a graduate had to pass not only the writing exam, but also there was a requirement of passing the oral test respectively. I find that the oral test had played an enormous role in checking student knowledge since during this test examiner was able to check his/her critical thinking, while in the UNT, the vast majority of pupils just learn by heart already answered exam questions.
However, before the post-Soviet time the amount of pupils who could afford university education was much less than nowadays. Accordingly, the situation has required, as I previously mentioned, the systematic approach in order to take an exam from the huge amount of pupils. Moreover, similar exams like the UNT are conducting also in foreign countries. For instance, not considering Russia as our authorities try to copy almost each action in state and governments policies from the "big brother" country's authorities, the IELTs or TOEFL tests have same features as the UNT since they all are aimed at a big audience because it would be impossible to conduct an exam for pupils who are gathered from the whole world in huge amount, in particular from all regions of Kazakhstan
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