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100% Failure Rate On University of Liberia's Admission Exam308

Posted by Unknown Lamer
slew writes "Apparently none of the 24K+ students who sat for the 2013 Liberia University entrance exam got a passing mark, and fewer than a hundred managed to pass either the english (pass level 70%) or math (pass level 50%) sections required to qualify to be part of the normal class of 2k-3k students admitted every year... Historically, the pass rate has been about 20-30% and in recent years, the test has been in multiple-guess format to facilitate grading. The mathematics exam generally focuses on arithmetic, geometry, algebra, analytical geometry and elementary statistic and probability; while the English exam generally focuses on grammar, sentence completion, reading comprehension and logical reasoning. However, as a testament to the over-hang of a civil war, university over-crowding, corruption, social promotion, the admission criteria was apparently temporarily dropped to 40% math and 50% English to allow the provisional admission of about 1.6K students. And people are calling foul."
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100% Failure Rate On University of Liberia's Admission Exam

• Re:Someone else is bad at math, too (Score:5, Informative)

on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @03:04AM (#44683605)

WTF?

What sample group? What does "keep the results of the sample group above within a 95% confidence interval" mean? There is no result. There is no sample group above -- you gave a population, despite calling it a sample group.

"Let event A be a randomly selected student." A student cannot be an event. You haven't given the set of possible values for "a student" to take, and you haven't specified which proper subset of the values of "a student" constitute the event.

Do you mean "24,000 students sit an exam, and all of them fail. Let A be the event that an exam result selected from this population of exam results is a pass"?

What you wrote uses statistics words, but it's ... incoherent, shall we say. Well trolled.

• Re:One more reason that such systems make no sense (Score:5, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @03:19AM (#44683671)

What he probably means, but does not express fully, is that the filtering should happen at the end of secondary school (high school, whatever the name is in the country of your preference) instead of at the beginning of university. If you manage to pass the exams of the highest level of secondary school; shouldn't that indicate that you are ready for university? In the Netherlands we only have exit exams in secondary school and if you manage to pass the highest level (called VWO or liberally translated: preparation for scientific education) you can go to any university within the Netherlands (ok; there's three different tracks and if you want to go to say the technical university to study computer science, you need the track with math, physics, etc.). All schools 'train' their students for the same exit exam and as a university you know what the level is of your incoming students and what they know and don't know. Having an admission exam basically says: we don't trust the exit exam of your school or we think it tests for the wrong things.

• Re:One more reason that such systems make no sense (Score:5, Informative)

on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @03:49AM (#44683741) Journal

Letting anyone study anything is what we do here in France: public universities do not have admission exams nor selection process, their only limit enforced is their total capacity. The result is that the selection process is simply post-poned.

For example in medical universities, the real admission exam is at the end of first year instead of being at the start (if you've seen the movie The Adversary, the protagonist is noted for having redone the first year of medical university twelve times in a row, and never bothered attending the exam, until he simply faked being a MD).

A sick side effect is that for many studies (liberal arts ?) the selection is post-poned until after graduation, when those people enter the job market for the first time. We have lots and lots of students in litterary, artistic, sports and historical studies, lots more than jobs in those domains, while sectors like restaurants, tourism and construction have a hard time finding workforce. Tuition fees are heavily subsidised so universities benefit from keeping students as long as they can, students don't face any real test beyond what is enough to maintain the school's reputation, so all too often they pursue studies not as a step into a lifetime project, but rather as a passing interest, intellectual endeavours are highly regarded while anything to do with manual labor, entrepreneurship or commercial operations is dismissed as being much less prestigious ; and then the students are left on their own to face the hard cold reality of the marketplace.

Another consequence is that there are many people who are overqualified but inexperienced competing for jobs that require no specific qualifications, which often means having no diploma = no job at all, further inciting young people to get into college - any college that will have room left. As a result we spend less per student compared to neighbouring countries, and we may well have the most over-diplomed unemployed people [huffingtonpost.fr] on Earth, and the most professionally miserable [scienceshumaines.com] employed people of the planet - doctors in all kinds of subjects, people with university baggage worthy of a college teacher, even engineers with high technical skills, and whose best career prospects are flipping burgers, managing office menial paperwork or, for the lucky few, teaching in junior high school.

• Re:One more reason that such systems make no sense (Score:5, Informative)

<eivindorama@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @05:01AM (#44684003) Homepage

Agreed. It's similar in Norway, but with the caveat that certain studies weigh the different grades differently.

Most studies just rank students based on average grades, with a bonus for those who've taken more than the required minimum of advanced courses. But a few educations prioritize certain grades higher.

For example, if you apply to become a engineer, they'll consider your grades in math and physics more important than your grades in history and gymnastics.

But they still all computer your score from the exist-exams in secondary school, so there's no entry-exams required.

• Re:English is Hard (Score:5, Informative)

on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @05:02AM (#44684005)

Correction... English is difficult

An adjective such as 'hard' should be reserved for things that are adamantious. (but does it matter if adamantious is a word or not? you still know what it means....)

And they said that William F. Buckley was dead.

Actually, "adamantious" is a word more applicable to physical objects. "Hard" in the sense of "English is a language that is hard to master" is well within the bounds of acceptable usage according to the dictionaries I have.

• Re:FP (Score:4, Informative)

on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @12:50PM (#44688413) Homepage Journal

Well, if you look at the recent history of Liberia, particularly the reign of the now-convicted war criminal Charles Taylor, it's not the fault of white people *per se*, but meddling by and collusion with corrupt, unprincipled outsiders. These include a veritable rainbow coalition of crooks and thugs, with brown people like the Sierra Leonean RUF and Indian-American Christian evangelist R.A. Paul. White people have their share of venal Taylor cronies too, such as the Russian mobster Viktor Bout and American televangelist and politician Pat Robertson.

The contribution of outside governments to the mess in LIberia has been tolerating people who operate outside the bounds of the law. Pat Robertson is part of the US contribution; he solicited funds from his 700 club viewers and diverted them to Liberian diamond mines he got from Taylor. The VA AG, a personal friend of Robertson from the evangelical wing of the Republican party, blocked prosecution on the basis that *some* of the fund solicited did make it to Rwanda.

This doesn't make US politics the main culprit in the mess that is modern Liberia -- far from it. There are too may other contributors to make such a claim. But our *contribution* to the mess there isn't confined to pre-Civil War history. And our contribution to the bess is arguably a sign of our own political dysfunction and tolerance of what plain sense should tell us is corruption; Taylor ma have been an evangelical Christian, but he was no friend of the US where there was money to be made. After 9/11 he harbored two Al Qaeda operatives, not for ideological reasons but for a million dollars in cash. He bought "friends" in the US, who bought "friends" in American government, none of whom were friends to Americans.

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