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In 2010, the Government of Georgia decided to launch the unified education completion exams in public schools. Georgia’s National Assessment and Examination Centre was tasked to prepare the content of the tests and ensure administrative and technical (software) provisions as well as hold the exams. Schoolchildren take exams in some of the subjects by the end of the 11th grade whilst they have to take the exams in the remaining subjects by the end of the 12th

grade.

In 2018, of the 47,669 applicants who took the unified education completion exams, 11,674 failed to surpass the minimum competence threshold (failed in at least one subject) which constitutes 24.5% of the total number of applicants. In 2017, nearly 27% of applicants failed in at least one subject whilst 40% of those who took the exam for the second time failed again (this constituted 18% of the total number of applicants). In accordance with 2016’s data, 25.3% of schoolchildren failed in at least one subject.

Since 2012, the results of the unified education completion exams have been getting worse almost every year – the number of applicants unable to surpass the minimum competence threshold has been on the rise. As compared to 2013, the situation has become better in 2014-2015 although that was a clearly temporary trend because exam results have continued to deteriorate from 2016 to today.

Table 1:

Schoolchildren Registration, Examination and Failure Figures in 2011-2017

Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Registered Schoolchildren 46,490 41,483 41,947 38,140 44,482 47,084 48,434
Number of Schoolchildren who Took an Exam 41,482 40,545 37,945 37,189 43,525 45,688 47,063
Number of Schoolchildren who Failed an Exam 5,978 4,727 7,941 5,235 6,446 11,577 12,803
% 14.4% 11.7% 20.9% 14% 14.8% 25.3% 27%
Source: Georgia’s National Assessment and Examination Centre

The performance of those schoolchildren who have taken a second exam in at least one subject is relatively better. However, secondary education completion exams are a rather difficult barrier for a large part of schoolchildren.

FactCheck

took interest in the subjects which are the most difficult for schoolchildren to surpass the minimum competence level.

Georgia’s National Assessment and Examination Centre held the unified secondary education completion exams in 2011-2018. The year 2013 is the only exception when these exams were not computer-based (Cat exam). The 2013 exams were held in two stages using the 4+4 model. The first stage was held from 15 February 2013 to 1 March 2018 and the second part was held from 20 May 2013 to 29 May 2018. A school itself was responsible for choosing an exam format for any specific subject. Therefore, Georgia’s National Assessment and Examination Centre does not keep information on separate subjects and FactCheck

was unable to offer an analysis on these particular data.

In regard to the other six years, information from Georgia’s National Assessment and Examination Centre indicates that the largest amount of schoolchildren fail in foreign language exams. For example, foreign languages were problematic for schoolchildren in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. For the years 2012 and 2018, problems were observed in physics and mathematics (see Table 2). Failures in foreign languages remained high in 2012 and 2018, comprising the second subject in terms of failures for a large number of schoolchildren. In 2012, 1,456 schoolchildren failed to surpass a minimum threshold in a foreign language whilst this number was 4,890 in 2018.

Table 2:

Number of the Most Problematic Subjects in Education Completion Exams in 2011-2018 and Total Amount of Applicants who Failed to Surpass Minimum Competence Levels in These Subjects

Year 2011 2012 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Subject Foreign Language Physics Foreign Language Physics Foreign Language Foreign Language Mathematics
Total Number of Applicants 43,605 38,981 37,016 41,191 43,022 42,817 37,572
Number of Failed Applicants 7,928 1,773 2,170 3,240 6,524 6,486 4,914
Source: Georgia’s National Assessment and Examination Centre

There are only four foreign languages – English, German, French and Russian – which are taken as exam subjects as a part of the unified education completion exams. Therefore, the number of schoolchildren who failed foreign languages is the total sum of those applicants who failed in any of the four languages. Given that most schoolchildren (in percentages) take the English language exam, English is the subject in which the majority of schoolchildren failed to surpass the minimum competence threshold.

The second most difficult subject for every year is mathematics. In 2011-2017, there was almost an equally grievous performance in foreign languages and mathematics with the number of schoolchildren who failed in mathematics having exceeded the number of applicants who failed to surpass the minimum competence level in a foreign language in 2018 (see Table 3).

Table 3:

 Number of Schoolchildren who Failed to the Surpass Minimum Competence Levels in Mathematics in Unified Education Completion Exams in 2011-2018

Year 2011 2012 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Number of Schoolchildren (Mathematics) 7,790 1,164 2,104 2,987 5,990 6,323 4,914
Source: Georgia’s National Assessment and Examination Centre

The third most difficult subject for Georgian schoolchildren was Georgian Language in Literature in 2012; biology, together with physics, foreign languages and mathematics in 2013, history in 2014, Georgian Language and Literature in 2015, history in 2016 and physics in both 2017 and 2018.

The existing trend indicates that foreign languages and mathematics remain the most problematic subjects for Georgian schoolchildren whilst the rising number of applicants failing in these subjects makes us think that no serious measures are being taken to address this problem.

The performance of schoolchildren in terms of separate subjects is available at the following links: 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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