As the high school entrance and graduation exams are starting in a few weeks, final-year students at middle and high schools are as busy as a bee at back-to-back extra classes.
Some students leave their extra classes and return home at 9:30 pm every day.
Like her fellow students, N., a ninth grader of Tang Nhon Phu B Middle School in Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City, is in crunch time.
She has a very busy studying schedule. After school, she has to attend after-hours classes at a cultural fostering center and an English center.
Additionally, she takes private lessons in literature and math. Her daily extra classes often end at 9:00 pm.
She confessed that she felt under pressure but she had to try to get into a good high school. She encourages herself by thinking about relaxing after the exam.
T., a student of Vinh Kim High School in Tien Giang Province, is also nervous about the upcoming national high school graduation examination.
T. told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that he has to take three extra classes per day, from 4:30 pm to 9:00 pm.
Choosing to take natural science tests and expecting to be admitted to technology majors, T. is focusing on math, physics, chemistry, and English to register for groups of tests designated by the universities he is going to apply to.
“I did not take the competency assessment exam and the scores in my school report are qualified for some private universities only so I must get high scores in the national high school graduation exam to enroll in public universities," T. said.
This exam is a milestone for high school students so taking many private lessons is nothing out of the ordinary, T. said, adding that he intended to sign up for some more online courses taught by famous teachers.
Learning a subject at many centers is inefficient
Learning one subject at two to three centers is time-consuming, according to Vo Kim Bao, a literature teacher at Nguyen Du Middle School in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
However, many parents still send their children to several centers to study a subject to set their mind at rest.
Some parents have also suggested that Bao allow their children to attend his classes so that they can learn the same lessons several times.
|Students attend the high school entrance exam in Ho Chi Minh City in 2019.|
Bao said that students should spend one month before the exam doing sample tests to know their weaknesses and overcome them.
As for literature, writing skills are more important than knowledge in textbooks, Bao noted.
Students should train themselves in answering questions, distributing time, and arranging ideas for their writing. Skills can help get 60 percent of the highest score, he elaborated.
"Therefore, it is unnecessary to sign up for extra classes at many centers," the teacher said.
"Students should learn by themselves and ask their teachers for help.
"Teachers will definitely be willing to help their students."
Phung Quang Huy, an English teacher at the High School of Education Sciences under the Vietnam National University-Hanoi, said that it was unnecessary and ineffective to learn a subject at many centers.
English tests tend to feature vocabulary- and grammar-related questions, Huy said.
Normally, grammar is built from basic principles, while vocabulary questions require students’ self-taught skills, he added.
Therefore, instead of rushing to cram centers, students should spend more time acquiring basic knowledge and getting familiar with the types of test questions, he advised.
"They should also pay attention to questions which were often included in previous tests and other special questions," Huy recommended.
"It is more important to keep their mind relaxed to achieve the best possible results for the exam.
"Students suffering from fatigue or lack of sleep will find it hard to obtain their desired results."
The high school entrance exam is held annually around June for ninth-grade students as well as independent candidates to get into high school, as the name suggests.
The national high school graduation exam is organized in July every year for 12th graders and independent candidates. The exam results are used for both high school graduation and enrollment in universities and junior colleges.
This year, more than one million candidates have signed up for the high school graduation exam, including some 58,800 independent candidates.
Among the total candidates, nearly 103,400 registered for the exam for high school graduation, over 38,100 for university and junior college admission, and around 859,500 for both purposes, according to the Ministry of Education and Training.
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