Turkey's university entrance exam results reveal alarming scores in all fields

Turkey's Student Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM) on July 20 announced the results of the university entrance exam which almost 3 million students took. The average correct answer in the 40-question Turkish test was 20, while it was only 8 in basic math.

Duvar English

Turkey's Student Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM) on July 20 reported that 2.99 million university candidates participated in the first step of the Higher Education Entrance Exams (YKS). 

The university entrance exam in Turkey is organized in two rounds, with all students taking a simple Turkish, math, science and social sciences test in the first step named Basic Proficiency Test (TYT). 

In the 40-question Turkish test, the average correct answer was 20.021, while in basic math, it was 8.218. Moving on to the 20-question science test, the average score was 3.546, and for the social sciences test, it reached an average of 8.688.

In the second step, 1.9 million student took the Field Proficiency Test (AYT) which has more sophisticated questions about disciplines. 

In the second step, the average of the 40-question math test was 7.576, while the average of the 40-question science test was 2.519 in the physics subtest (14 questions), 1.768 in the chemistry subtest (13 questions), and 2.080 in the biology subtest (13 questions). 

The social sciences-1 test yielded the following averages: in the Turkish language and literature subsection (24 questions), the average was 5.763, while in the history-1 subsection (10 questions), it reached 1.730, and in the geography-1 subsection (6 questions), the average stood at 1.304. 

In the social sciences-2 test, the averages were 1.805 for the history-2 subsection (11 questions), 2.435 for the geography-2 subsection (11 questions), and 1.844 for the philosophy group (12 questions). Additionally, the religion/additional philosophy subsection (6 questions) obtained an average of 1.394.

The 80-question Foreign Language Test (YDT), designed for students aspiring to apply to language departments of universities, revealed the following average scores: 38.082 in the German test, 28.170 in the Arabic test, 39.246 in the French test, 39.242 in the English test, and 38.995 in the Russian test.

Starting from 2022, the practice of threshold scores has been abolished. In other words, students do not need to pass a certain threshold score in order to be admitted from a university.

In 2021, 32 percent of the 2.4 million students who took TYT (approximately 700,000 students), were below the threshold. This decision was criticized for reducing the quality of education at universities and increasing the problem of unemployed university graduates.

The government has been trying to make university education non-selective and easily accessible in order to conceal dramatic rates of youth unemployment in the country by postponing the labor force participation of young people.