The scores of the 2012 Meitzav exams released on Monday showed a decrease in the achievements of students and a sharp rise in the level of cheating.

More than 100 classes were disqualified for copying on the test which also led to disqualifying the entire Arabic language subject for Arab students.

Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar addressed the phenomenon and said: “There will be no compromise made to the integrity of the exam’s results. Any breach of their truthfulness will be handled in the most severe way.”

The Meitzav achievement exam, which is scored out of 800 points, is administered to fifth- and eighthgraders at schools around the country every four years and tests language, math and science skills.

Students in fifth grade who took the exam in the spring of 2012 showed a decline in achievements compared to previous Meitzav results. Among fifth-graders, the average math score declined from 549 points in the last exam to 542 points this year.

Scores in science and technology also decreased by 4 points. In language-related subjects such as Hebrew and English, a 10-point increase was recorded.

For eighth-graders, the results showed a significant decline in all subjects. The greatest fall – a 21-point drop – was recorded in mathematics.

Sa’ar made clear on Monday that the Meitzav national achievement exams are “an essential tool for evaluation and control of the education system.”

Recently the Supreme Court ruled that the Meitzav results must be made available online for the public to see, a decision that went against the Education Ministry’s wishes.

Some examination experts had also argued that the test is unreliable in nature.

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