Ministry has rethink about using English certificates for high school graduation

By Thanh Hang   August 24, 2023 | 11:53 pm PT
Ministry has rethink about using English certificates for high school graduation
Students wait to get into the exam room for the high-school graduation exam in HCMC, June 29, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The Ministry of Education and Training is set to reconsider the use of international foreign language certificates in place of high school exam scores, an official said Thursday.

Speaking at a ministry conference, Huynh Van Chuong, director of the quality management department, said English certificates such as IELTS and TOEIC might contribute to the country’s integration, but it has become necessary to assess if it is better to use high school exam results.

"It is definite that the upcoming circular of the ministry will discuss this further."

For around five years now international foreign language certificates, especially for English, have been favored more and more for high school graduation results and university admissions.

The high school graduation exam requires students to undergo four tests: math, literature, foreign language, and a combination of either natural sciences or social sciences.

While entrance to university is determined by the high school results, the ministry has been allowing students to use IELTS scores instead of the high school scores.

In June it even said an IELTS score of 4.0 is equivalent to a perfect score (10) in the high school exam.

However, each university has its own conversion scale for admission.

Thus, an IELTS 5.5 could be treated as 7.5, 8, 9, or 12, and a 6.5 could be between 8.5 and even 14.

This means students put a lot of their energy into preparing for the IELTS test.

Nguyen Duc Anh, an English teacher in Hanoi, told VnExpress last month that students often claim to be sick or come up with some "family reason" to stay at home and prepare for it.

This also means some do not prepare well enough for other subjects in the high-school examination.

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