Soldiers training for matriculation exam ‘highly motivated’

Course prepares soldiers at the end of their service for matriculation exams in math, civics and English.

July 7, 2013 20:32
2 minute read.
Photos of Dafna Barchad teaching soldiers for their matriculation exams.

Soldier teaches in class, 370. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)

As high school students nationwide take their matriculation exams retests this month, some combat soldiers facing the end of their service will also take the tests, after weeks of studying at the army’s matriculation exam program.

The course, which is operating in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, lasts between 7 and 11 weeks and prepares about soldiers for matriculation exams in math, civics and English.

Commander of the matriculation courses Dafna Barchad, explained that the participants come from all populations in Israel and had not been able to finish their matriculation while in high school for a variety of reasons.

“In 12th grade, you tend to think more about the upcoming vacation and the army but not about anything after that like studying at a college or university,” she told the Jerusalem Post on Sunday, “Towards the end of their service, they [the soldiers] realize that these things are really important and they need to get this [their matriculation exams] done.”

“I think young people in Israel also go through a maturation process at 18 years old and when they are in the army and they start understanding the importance of this,” she added.

According to Barchad, the army matriculation course shows a success rate of about 95%, a significantly high number which, she believes, is a result of the participants’ great motivation.

“Soldiers who get into our course spend weeks studying from sunday to thursday, from 8am to 6pm,” Barchad told the Post, “It’s an incredible reward for soldiers who get accepted, because we have a very tight number of spots and can’t accept everyone.”

“They do this by choice, so motivation is very high and their commanders push them very hard to success, she added, “It’s very fulfilling to see a soldier arrive having failed the test and see how he suddenly finds the strength and succeeds.”

The matriculation exams administered to soldiers are especially developed for and adapted to them by the Ministry of Education.

According to data provided by the IDF spokesperson, some 215 soldiers are enrolled in the current class of the program, 80 percent of whom are combat soldiers and 20% serve in combat support positions.

This month, 15 of them will be taking the matriculation exam in English, 25 will take the four-unit exam in math and 175 soldiers will take the three-unit test in math.

In the previous cycle of the program, which took place in January, some 255 soldiers studied for their matriculation: 145 took the three-unit math exam, 26 went for the four-unit test, 15 took the exam in English and 96 took the civics test.

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