By Ruzanna Stepanian
Applicants to Armenian universities needed lower scores to be admitted to academic faculties this year.
At the same time, the number of average scorers in entrance examinations showed an increase as compared to last year.
About 30 percent of exam takers in the Russian language could not overcome the minimum required eight-point score, while about 26 percent failed in mathematics. Lower scores were also typical for the exams in the Armenian people’s history and the oral exam in the Armenian language.
Education Minister Levon Mkrtchian is particularly concerned over the diminishing interest in natural sciences, such as chemistry, biology and physics. He says the low level of knowledge among applicants in these subjects is the omission of their school teachers.
“The entrance examinations have shown that school clearly does not perform its function, because the high scores registered in these subjects are the result of private studies with hired teachers,” Mkrtchian said.
The minister also observed that fewer applicants had taken exams in German and French as foreign languages, which shows the tendency of the English becoming the most preferred foreign language among the youths.
Mkrtchian says they often receive requests from parents for their children to study English rather than German or French at school, which they think will give their children more chances to be competitive on the labor market after leaving school.
According to the minister, this year’s entrance examinations were a success in terms of reducing corruption risks, especially in the exams in the Armenian language and literature due to the application of a common examination system and a computer-assisted check.
Mkrtchian hopes corruption risks will be reduced also in the exams in foreign languages and mathematics as the practice is due to be applied to these subjects as well next year.