School exams fail: 1,600 12-year-olds get wrong school advice

An estimated 20,000 children leaving primary school this year have been given the wrong grade in their Year 8 exams and around 8% of them are set to go to the wrong type of school, the education ministry said on Tuesday.

The grade is used to help determine what sort of secondary school is suitable for children once they reach the age of 12 – vocational (vmbo), havo (pre college) or vwo (pre university).

In most cases the children were give a too-high grade, the ministry said, adding that the situation is ‘extremely trying’.




Teachers are responsible for telling pupils what sort of secondary school they will go to earlier in the year and the exams, which are taken in April, are used as an extra indication.

‘Changes to the school recommendations are unavoidable,’ education minister Arie Slob said. Most children have already chosen or been allocated a secondary school.

In total, 175,000 11 and 12-year-olds took the exams in April and mistakes were found in the final scores of some 20,000. In 8% of cases – some 1,600 – the mistakes mean the child concerned is set to go to the wrong sort of school, the ministry said.

The ministry said mistakes were not made in the Cito exams, which are by far the most popular tests, but were identified in the IEP Eindtoets, ROUTE 8, DIA-eindtoets and AMN-toets tests.


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