Test Time: Vast majority of applicants get enrolled in universities after entrance exams

Another exam period that usually passes in a tense atmosphere in Armenia is over as universities across the country have published the results of entrance examinations with positive outcomes for the majority of applicants.

About 12,000 applicants from among 15,000 seeking to become university students have been admitted to higher schools as a result of the entrance examinations this year. The Ministry of Education and Science also announced an additional competition for student slots that still remain vacant. Approximately 500 applicants who dropped out of the competition the first time round but scored at least satisfactorily could still become students at faculties that are not in great demand. In fact, only about 2,500 applicants will not get enrolled in universities this year.

According to the Ministry of Education and Science, the following specialties are not in demand: mathematics, physics, chemistry, ecology, biology, geology, church studies, Russian language and literature, Greek language and literature, and several others.

Meanwhile, the results of the exams to state-run and private universities in Armenia published on Monday also show that the stiffest competition was the fields of financial and actuarial mathematics, services, history, political science, international relations, public administration, economics, management, psychology, Arabic and Turkish studies. For example, an applicant to the Department of Political Science could enter the faculty for free study only if he or she scored 59.50 points out of 60, while for paid seats a score of 48.50 would be enough.

However, the stiff competition for these faculties does not at all mean that these specialists are the most demanded ones on the current labor market. According to the State Employment Service, in the market today there is a high demand for programmers, accountants, marketing specialists, laborers, construction engineers, salespersons, service-related professions.

Mushegh Hovsepyan, 17, has entered the Yerevan State University’s journalism department this year. He says that for him the most difficult part was the process of preparing for the exams. Hovsepyan scored 51.25 points, which enables him to become a fee-paying student. His annual student fee will be 400,000 drams (about $1,000). Hovsepyan says getting coached for the exams cost his parents more.

“The responsibility was great. First, I could not disappoint my parents, as coach-assisted preparations were quite costly. It was also difficult because you always stay in the center of attention and expectations from you are high,” says the teenager, who stresses that with knowledge acquired only at school it would have been extremely difficult for him to enter the university.

Minister of Education and Science Armen Ashotyan says that this year entrance examinations have passed in a rarely quiet atmosphere.

“Public and media attention help us better organize the examination process, on the other hand, it shows positive trends as a result of substantial changes in the organizational process,” said the minister.

Despite this statement by the minister, complaints regarding the Armenian language tests have again been made this year. Many of the applicants as well as specialists insist that the tests are artificially complicated, there are many confusing questions in them, as well as old-fashioned and archaic words that are no longer in use in today’s language.