Can you get 10/10 on Vietnam's English high school exam?

By Duong Tam   July 12, 2017 | 01:21 am PT
Can you get 10/10 on Vietnam's English high school exam?
Students take the national high school exam in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress
Vietnamese high school graduates scored on average 4.6 out of 10 - a big improvement from last year.

The results from Vietnam's recent national high school exams are in, and it seems that this year's students have yet to develop a taste for foreign languages, primarily English.

Nearly 866,000 students sat exams late last month in math, literature, social and natural sciences and a foreign language. Around 750,000 of them took the English test, while the other options were Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Russian.

The average score on the English test was 4.6 out of 10, while the score for math was 5.2 and literature was 5.5.

Students in Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s commercial center, achieved the highest average foreign language score with 6, followed by Binh Duong, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Hanoi.

All other cities and provinces reported average scores of below 5, while northern mountainous provinces propped up the rankings.

The national average English test score last year was 3.5.

This year, the English exam had 50 multiple choice questions, but did not include speaking, listening or writing tests (see the official questions here).

Last year, the government admitted an ambitious program aiming to churn out an English-savvy workforce was way behind its 2020 deadline and falling short of projected targets.

Vietnam ranks 31st among 72 countries in the world and seventh among 19 Asian countries in English proficiency, according to the latest annual English Proficiency Index released this week by the Swiss Education First (EF), a global language training company. From 2012 to 2014, the country was classed among a group of countries with “low level” English skills, but has moved up to a “moderate level.”

Vietnam scrapped its national university entrance exam in 2015, and students' college applications are now based on the results of their national high school graduation exams.

Students in Nam Dinh Province in northern Vietnam scored the best average across all subjects with 6, while the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang came in last with 4.6.

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