12th year students fail four of five O-Net exams

Year 12 students sat the O-Net exams last month and results released Monday showed that on average they failed four of the five subjects. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The results of nationwide O-Net tests for students in the 12th grade, or Mathayom 6, which came out Monday showed students failed four out of five subjects on average, according to the National Institute of Educational Testing Service (Niets).

O-Net stands for Ordinary National Educational Test. It is conducted annually by Niets to measures students' basic knowledge in five key subjects -- mathematics, English, Thai language, social studies and general sciences. All grade 6, 9 and 12 students must take the test to assess their academic proficiency. O-Net scores are used for university admission. The number of students taking the O-Net each year is about two million.

Overall, average scores for over 380,000 Mathayom 6 students tested nationwide this year in four subjects were under 50%, with mathematics and English remaining students' least favourite subjects with average scores of 24.8 and 27.7, respectively, Niets said.

High school seniors did best in Thai language with an average score of 52.29, while the results for social studies and general science were 35.89 and 31.62, respectively.

When comparing test score outcomes between schools under the Office of the Basic Education Commission's (Obec) supervision and university demonstration schools, or so-called Sathit in Thai, Niets found students in demonstration schools clearly did better than Obec students in every subject.

The averages scored by Sathit students were 66.1 in Thai language, 43.8 in social studies, 50.7 in English, 43.97 in mathematics and 40.5 in general science, while Obec students only got 53.09 in Thai language, 36.17 in social studies, 27.35 in English, 24.9 in mathematics and 31.7 in general science.

Moreover, Niets also compared the test results based on school location and found a wide gap in English and maths exam scores between urban and rural school students.

According to Niets' data, students studying in urban schools, on average, got higher scores than students in rural schools in all subjects.

Niets director Samphan Phanphruek said even though Mathayom 6 students' O-Net scores on average this year were still below 50 marks in most subjects, the results in two subjects, Thai and English, improved.

Last year, the average scores of Mathayom 6 students were 49.36 in Thai language, 39.7 in social studies, 24.78 in English, 26.59 in mathematics and 33.4 in general science.

Mr Samphan added Niets will allow students who feel that their scores were incorrect to send a request for their O-Net results to be re-checked this week.

Education critic Sompong Jitradup said the biggest concern arising from the exam results was the inequality and discrepancies in the Thai education system as this could be seen by the differences between the scores of urban and rural students as well as those of Sathit and Obec students.

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