Over 745,000 students in Egypt to begin Thanaweya Amma exams Monday amid scorching heatwave

Ahram Online , Monday 10 Jun 2024

More than 745,000 students in Egypt are gearing up for the Thanaweya Amma, or high school, exams commencing on Monday amid a scorching heatwave set to linger for 10 days per meteorologists.

Thanaweya Amma
Thanaweya Amma is a source of anxiety for students. Al-Ahram


The Thanaweya Amma exams will begin with non-core subjects, which do not factor into the overall grade, while the core curriculum exams will start on 22 June and last till 20 July.

A total of 745,860 students – in both humanities and science divisions – will take exams in 1,981 examination halls across the country.

Furthermore, 81 students will take the exams inside prisons and 38 students at the Children's Cancer Hospital, according to media reports.

The timing of high school exams coincides with the onset of a severe heatwave, potentially exacerbating students' stress and discomfort during the examination period.

As of Tuesday, weather is expected to become significantly hot nationwide, with temperatures gradually climbing to 41 degrees Celsius in Greater Cairo, the Nile Delta, South Sinai, and northern Upper Egypt by Friday.

The North Coast will see highs of 35 degrees by Friday, while southern Upper Egypt will reach 45 degrees, according to the Egyptian Meteorological Authority (EMA).

Meanwhile, this year's format of exams will closely resemble previous years, with the same distribution of objective and essay questions per subject, as per a previous statement by the ministry.

Last year's open-book system will continue, where a student receives a concepts booklet at the start of each subject's exam and returns it to proctors at the end.

Around 85 percent of the exam paper consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQ), while 15 percent includes essay questions.

A new exams format

In 2022 and 2021, the final exam was composed of only multiple-choice questions (MCQs), marking a significant change in the decades-old Thanaweya Amma system.

However, the introduction of the new system resulted in fewer students passing the Thanaweya Amma exams, with the passing rate dropping from 81.5 percent in the 2019-2020 academic year to 75 percent in 2021-2022.

As a result, short essay questions were reinstated in the following academic year.

The change in the exam system is part of the country’s effort to overhaul the education system and transform it from a memorization-based system to a comprehension-centered one.

The Thanaweya Amma (or high school grade 12) exams are critical for both students and parents, since they determine university prospects based on the obtained grades.


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