Psychometric to start new grading scheme in fall

Two new scoring systems to place greater weight on verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning; test will also include new writing section.

Students 521 (photo credit: courtesy)
Students 521
(photo credit: courtesy)
The Psychometric Entrance Test will include two new systems of grading and a mandatory writing assignment according to a proposal presented at the Knesset’s Education Committee on Monday.
Under the new plan, which will go into effect in October 2011, there will be two new scoring systems for the higher education entrance exam, including one that places the majority of its weight on verbal reasoning and another grading scale where quantitative reasoning is given greater emphasis than before. Under the current formula, quantitative reasoning is 40% of the weight of the test, verbal reasoning is 40% and English is 20%.
During the meeting, which was attended by Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) and head of the National Institute for Testing and Evaluation, Yoav Cohen, the committee discussed the new writing section for the test that will require test-takers to write 20-30 lines and will be graded as a work of theoretical writing. Students will be allowed to write in Arabic, Russian, Amharic or English, the proposal added.
According to the new test guidelines, the writing assignment will be graded on its relevance to the assigned subject, the level to which the author’s composition shows critical thinking and the extent to which it is organized to maximize its effect on the reader.
In order to make time for the new 30-minute section, the committee said it will shorten the time for each of the eight sections of the test. Another proposal is to have the number of questions in each section reduced.
During the meeting, Sa’ar described how he sees the psychometric exam as “a second opportunity for those who didn’t invest the time and reach the most positive results in high school.”
Sa’ar also said he has no intention to bring about the cancellation of the 168265 exam during his tenure as education minister, largely because he said there is not at this point a suitable alternative.
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