Every spring all children in grades 3, 6, and 9 take national tests. Third grades do tests in Swedish and maths, while six-graders and nineth-graders take have them in English, maths, Swedish, natural science (chemistry, physics and biology) and civics oriented subjects (history, civics, geography and religion. When it comes to natural science and civics oriented subjects (could be a bit Swinglish but I do not know how to translate it properly) only one of the subjects in each category is chosen for a school. This year our school got chemistry and history. Secoundary school also has national test for some subjects.
The tests are spread out over the whole semester and each subject has several tests. In English there is one listening test, one reading, one written and one oral. Science has two written exams and one lab text. In third grade the teachers decide when to have the tests where as sixth and nineth grade has specific dates set by the Swedish National Agency for Education, who also creates the tests. The exceptions are the oral tests which the teacher themselves can decide over.
So why do Swedish students have to go through this? The tests funcion as a support for teachers, they are a guide line, so that they know that they are giving the students the right grades/scores/marks. For me it is a relief when my students pass the tests and show that I am not way off in their grades. The tests are not necessary for the students in any way when it comes to their choices in further studies. The scores are not used when they apply for a program or a school. I think that the tests are something the students both fear and look forward to because for them it is a receipt as well on what they have learned during their years in school.
Tomorrow is the nineth-graders last test and it is the second part in history. Even though it takes a long time grading the tests I always look forward to it because I am so curious about the end results.
|Classroom by Håkan Dahlström|
Your Swedish Heritage http://linnlinns.wix.com/swedish-heritage
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