聯考訪問 ~ Entrance Exams in Taiwan

聯考訪問
作者:史杰輝
編輯:黃馨慧

我跟一位技術學生和三位大學畢業生討論了聯考。他們的高中和大學都不一樣,可是都上了理想的學校。

我知道聯考用分數分佈曲綫。因此考試是,你考得不錯可是其他人可能考得更好或很差,你考得不好可是其他的學生考得更糟糕或比你好。考試的競爭很激烈:因爲有的學生一整年猛K,別的學生也只好習慣一樣的生活。我的朋友都去過好幾所補習班學習。

進入高中以前,全國的國中生非得考「基測」不可。數學,英文,國文,理科,社會學,各科系的比分是60點。另外要寫作文,可是比分只是十二點,是總比分的三十一之一。技術學生的朋友考了250點,也就是等級百之八十四。她最喜歡的科系是英文,果然她英文的比分高。她之後進入國立臺北商業技術學院的語言科系。她真得很棒,同時學英文,法文,還有日文。

大學聯考以前,高中生要把大學科系的志願表交給導師。聯考以後,導師們根據他們的成績來看大學科系和學生所希望的志願是否符合。因為各科系錄取的標準跟考試的科目有關係,比如,數學科系最重視考生的數學比分。有學生「選系」。對他們來説,進入理想的科系比上哪一所大學重要得多。在志願表上,科系都一樣,但學校不一樣。有的學生「選校」不選系。對他們來説,進入所希望的大學最要緊。

我朋友的理想大學就是臺大。可是,臺大是臺灣競爭最激烈的大學。因爲別的想進入一樣科系的學生比她考得好,因此她進入了名列第八的科系,農業化學。兩年以後,明白了她的興趣不是理科,而是語言。所以畢業兩年以後,在英國學了口譯一年。就回來臺北了,一邊在政府機關上班,一邊找跟口譯有關係的工作。可是公司問她,「你爲什麽沒進入英文科系,而學了農業化學?」她覺得由於臺灣的學生缺乏職業諮詢,所以有學生跟她一樣不管專業,三四年級的時候才意識到選擇的科系沒有用,沒辦法一輩子從事跟科系有關的工作。

聼朋友說的話很有意思。我認爲臺灣的學生比美國的學生更早決定自己的未來。

 

Entrance Exams in Taiwan
Author: James Smyth
Editor: Huang Xin-hui

I talked to a vocational school student and three college graduates about their entrance exams.  They all went to different high schools and colleges, but they all made it into the schools they wanted.

I learned that exams are graded on a bell curve.  So if you do well, but other students do better, you’re out of luck, but if you do poorly and the others do even worse, then you actually did well.  That’s why the exams are so competitive: if some people bury themselves in books for an entire year, the others have to do the same to keep up.  My friends went to several different cram schools for different subjects.

Before going to high school, all the students in the country have to take the Fundamental Examination.  Math, English, Chinese, Science, and Social Studies are all worth 60 points.  There’s also an essay, but it’s only worth 12 points, 1/31 of the total.  My friend at vocational school earned 250 points, good for the 84th percentile.  She loves English, and she did very well in that part of the exam.  Now she’s going to the National Taipei College of Business and focusing on languages.  She’s very bright: she’s studying English, French, and Japanese at the same time.

Before going to college, high school students have to list their preferred universities and departments for their counselors.  After the test, the counselors compare their students’ scores with other students with the same preferences to decide who is admitted to which department in which university.  Departments give more weight to students’ scores in subjects relevant to their field: for example, the Math Department pays the most attention to a student’s Math score.  Some students “choose a department.”  They put more importance on getting into a certain field than on getting into a certain school.  So on their application, they list the same department, such as Math, at several different schools.  Other students “choose a school.”  They’re more concerned with being at their dream university than with what they study there.

My friend set her heart on National Taiwan University.  That, however, is the most competitive school in the country.  Since many students with the same preferences as her fared better on their exams, she ended up going to her eighth choice: NTU’s Department of Agricultural Chemistry.  After a couple years, she realized her interest isn’t science; it’s language.  A couple years after graduating, she went to England to study Interpreting for a year.  She’s just returned to Taiwan, and she’s looking for a job while working at city hall.  But employers ask her, “Why did you major in Agricultural Chemistry instead of English?”  She thinks that Taiwanese students lack adequate career counseling, so some aren’t careful enough with their choice of department, and as juniors or seniors realize they can’t do anything with their major or don’t want to spend their lives doing that kind of work.

Listening to my friends’ experiences was very interesting.  I think Taiwanese people have to decide on their futures earlier than Americans.

Explore posts in the same categories: Education, Schoolwork, Taiwan, 中文

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