Entrance exams for secondary schools are a source of stress and anxiety for many students and parents every year. However, the complaints are even higher this year due to the strict tests. The target of the criticism is Cermat, a state organization that prepares unified tests. Some parents and students have expressed their outrage that the tests are mainly identical to those for younger students, giving older students even less chance of getting into a gymnasium.
Jana Kreuzová, a parent preparing her daughter for entrance exams to an eight-year gymnasium, was disappointed that the tests were identical to those for six-year gymnasiums. “It was clear to me that she has no chance without preparation because the way questions are formulated in the tests is not encountered in school. I enrolled her in a preparatory course, but I didn’t realize I should have prepared her for a six-year gymnasium,” she said.
Entrance exams for multi-year gymnasiums continue, and some tasks are evaluated by artificial intelligence. However, the tests are too complex, and some students do not manage to answer them, leading to unnecessary stress and anxiety. According to Cermat, there is nothing unusual if a seventh-grader test that they can handle the learning material of fifth-graders. However, some mathematicians believe the tests are unnecessarily tricky and demotivating for children.
In addition, the tests force children to prepare for a long time, putting undue pressure on them to succeed. Parents push their children to get into the gymnasium as soon as possible, and the problematic tasks do not help. This can hurt the children’s mental health and well-being.
Despite the criticism, Cermat maintains that the tests align with the Framework Educational Programs (RVP) for the given level. However, mathematician Oldřich Botlík believes the entrance exams for fifth-graders and ninth-graders are too tricky. “It’s terrible and unnecessarily difficult and demotivating for children,” he said.