RIGA - In this year's centralized examinations, high school students have shown the weakest result in mathematics, with 22.03 percent of them scoring just 10-19 percent, and their average performance graded at 35 percent, which is the poorest result compared to other subjects, Liene Voronenko, head of the National Centre for Education (VISC), said at a news conference Friday.
Of the 12,609 high school students who took the optimal level exam in mathematics, 8.71 percent flunked, 19.1 percent surpassed the 20 percent mark, scoring 20-29 percent.
According to Voronenko, the overall result of this year's esam is 3-4 percent lower than last year's, which can be put down to the fact that last year, many students took the highest level exam. The 2,591 students who took the highest level exam in mathematics this year, scored an average of 60 percent.
The VISC head noted that thought should be given to how to encourage more students to take the highest level mathematics exam, as some youngsters may have been deterred from taking the exam out of concerns about their performance.
In the Latvian language optimal level examination, the performance of high school students was better. One in five, or 20.74 percent of pupils scored 50-59 percent in the Latvian language optimal level exam, 19.39 percent scored 60-69 percent and 18.19 percent scored 40-49 percent.
Out of 12,185 students who took the exam, 3.48 percent scored up to 20 percent, including 1.03 percent who scored up to 10 percent or flunked the exam.
"Often the performance is lower for those students who take a more general approach to the task," Voronenko noted, pointing out that the revision strategy does not work in the exam.
It also shows that some pupils do not have adequate skills in describing cultural facts or have an insufficiently broad vocabulary, which may be more the case for ethnic minority pupils.
Voronenko acknowledged that the need for an oral part in the exam at the optimal level is still an issue.
Students performed quite similarly in the highest level Latvian language exam - 23.77 percent of the 2,579 students scored 50-59 percent, while 20.74 percent achieved 60-69 percent.
In the optimal level English language exam, which was taken by 11,010 students, one in five or 19.67 percent scored 80-89 percent, and 16.61 percent scored 70-79 percent. In the highest level English language exam, 23.17 percent of the 5,642 students scored 70-79 percent, 21.75 percent scored 60-69 percent, and 18.21 percent scored 80-89 percent.
In the optimal level exam in French, the average score was 81 percent, and in German - 49 percent. In the highest level exam in French, the average student performance was 69 percent and in German 68 percent. In the higher-level exam in Russian, students scored an average of 75 percent.