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Students Protest Maths Exam for Being ‘Too Difficult’

Júlia Tar 2019.05.08.

On Tuesday morning, graduating high school students in Hungary sat down to take one of their compulsory matriculation examinations. Mathematics is generally a problematic subject for many students, but this year’s exam was said to be especially hard. After the exam, students launched a petition to decrease the point limit due to the extreme difficulty of the exercises.

More than 30.000 people have already signed the petition. A student described the exam’s difficulty to educational site eduline.hu: “It was very hard. The whole class was upset; several of us almost had a crying fit.” Students also told the site that their previous exams had been far easier.

Aside from the petition, students also created a Facebook event called “Collective crying, then the ritual burning of the math exam.” While the title may be humorous, the reason it was created isn’t.

The first part of the mathematics exam contains short exercises and the second consists of longer exercises with text. Both students and teachers said that the first part was fine, but that the exercises in the second part were far too long.

The complaints are about this year’s intermediate exam, which is compulsory for every student. Depending on the university’s requirements and the field of study chosen by the student, an advanced level exam may be required.

The exercises and key can be found (in Hungarian) here and here for both the intermediate and advanced levels.

Hungarians are not the only ones struggling with math exams. In Germany, people are marching due to having taken exams containing subjects they never learned. In fact, they also created their own online petition.

featured image: illustration; via Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI