Students left without exam answer sheets

The China Post staff

A group of Kinmen students had no answer sheets to write on because the local exam center failed to transport the cards to the testing site as the new Diversified Enrollment Scheme kicked off yesterday.

The inaugural examination under the new college entrance exam saw over 50,000 students take the tests islandwide.

The incident on Kinmen island left 172 students taking the physics test without answer sheets for 30 minutes. As a remedy, local exam administrators gave out plain A3 paper for the students prior to the arrival of formal test papers. The test was also prolonged 20 minutes to give students enough time to fill out the official answer sheets. According to local exam center, the sheets were shipped to Kinmen on the afternoon of Saturday June 29 en route from Kaohsiung. However, the local post office did not deliver the sheets until yesterday morning due to the weekend holiday. It took exam administrators over 30 minutes to locate the sheets and rush them to students.

The exam papers were delivered separately and arrived at the test site on time. Kinmen teachers and parents said that the mishap has left many students panic-stricken, causing a serious blow to their exam prospects.

They demanded the national College Entrance Examination Center (CEEC) to come up with a solution for the students. Previously, the exam papers and test sheets for the offshore Kinmen area were delivered together by air. Local test administrators said they were not informed of the change in delivery method.

So far, Tsao Liang-chi, CEEC vice director apologized to Kinmen students and admitted that the center was at fault for the delayed answer sheets. According to Tsao, the sheets were mailed to Kinmen High School from Taipei on June 21. However, the CEEC and National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, which is in charge of the Kinmen test administration, failed to confirm the arrivals of the answer sheets prior to yesterday’s testing.

The CEEC also noted that it will review the Kinmen incident and will improve its delivery of test materials. Yesterday marked the first day of the first nation-wide examination under the newly-implemented Diversified Enrollment Scheme. An estimated 50,000 students tests in physics, chemistry and biology in three 80-minute long sessions. Some parents complained about Education Minister Huang Jong-tsun inspecting test sites, saying that the minister was only interfering with the students by attracting the press.

The test scores were made available on the CEEC web site for the first time about 20 minutes after the end of a test.