National Comparative Exams


National Comparative Exams

National Comparative Exams or NCE (Národní srovnávací zkoušky or NSZ in Czech) are certified exams used as one of the criterions in admission processes of many Czech universities. Scio has been administering these exams since 1996. These tests are currently being administered five times a year, at 27 locations in the Czech Republic and three locations in Slovakia. However, the NCE project is open to all institutions around the world.

In 2007/2008, the NCE was used by 42 faculties. Most of these used the results of the Test of General Academic Prerequisites (GAP), which was taken by 21,000 applicants. It is expected that the number of cooperating faculties and applicants, who will sit for NCE, will increase in following years.

NCE modules

* English
* German
* French
* Czech for Foreigners
* Mathematics
* Natural Sciences
* Social Sciences
* Test of General Academic Prerequisites

Students can take any of the modules offered; it is not necessary to sit for all of them. The faculty determines which module an applicant has to pass. Each module consists of several sections (e.g. Natural Sciences consist of biology, chemistry and physics)

Scoring and use of scores

Results of exams are reported as percentiles, a number between 0 and 100, which indicates an individual’s positioning among other applicants. NCE participants are notified about the results in 6 – 10 days after exams.By the agreed deadline, the given faculty will receive a list of applicants with NCE results and with other data according to their requirements. The results of individual sections are calculated separately, e.g. for verbal, analytical and quantitative in the Test of General Academic Prerequisites; biology, chemistry and physics in the Natural Sciences module; constitution and law, philosophy and sociology in the Social Sciences module; basic observations, algebra, functions and geometry in the Mathematics module, etc. As a percentile, the NCE result can be incorporated into other acceptance criteria, for example with other internal tests administered by the faculty or additional information about the applicant.The modular construction enables each university to compose its own version of the test according to its needs. For example a law faculty can assign a greater weight to the constitution, law and political science sections of the Social Sciences module and, conversely, assign less importance to the economics and sociology sections.Third party tests can also be included in the NCE.

Criticism

National Comparative Exams which are administered by Scio have been criticized by some for its commercial character. Some students are complaining about the cost of exams and additional services [citation|url=http://www.scio-testy.cz/index.php?action=vthread&forum=12&topic=22|title=Discuss about the cost of exams and additional services] . In the NCE system, most applicants pay for the exams directly to Scio and faculties then proportionally decrease their application fees. However, if a student decides to take the test over, he must pay again. Scio consequently established a policy of “social relief”, offering reduced fees to applicants from a poorer socio-economic background.

See also

Scio, educational testing and assessment, Czech Republic

Test of General Academic Prerequisites

References


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