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New Ethiopian University Entrance Exam

Ethiopia joins the ranks of those who are revising or replacing their national university entrance exam this year.  The Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate Exam had been replaced in 2001.  At that time, students took the new Ethiopian General Secondary Education Certificate exam after finishing grade ten.  Based on their results,  students were then streamed into either vocational programs or college-prep programs on the road to university studies both of which were two years in length.  For those who go the preparatory route, they take the final national exam, the Ethiopian Higher Education Entrance Certificate Examination, which is itself being replaced.  The existing exam covers five subjects while the new one will have seven: English, math, natural sciences (physics, biology, and chemistry) or social sciences (geography, history, and economics), civics, aptitude subjects.  Each subject will be worth 100 points out of a possible 700.  This change, which is expected next year, will be one of several changes to the education system in Ethiopia as part of their new reform plan.  The ultimate goal is to graduate more students is natural science programs with a targeted goal of 70% of graduates, specifically in the fields of computing and engineering (40%), basic natural sciences like biology and physics (20%), agriculture (5%) and health studies (5%). They are targeting economics & business and social studies at 20% and 10% respectively for the remaining graduates. The MOE believes this strategy will rejuvenate their professional workforce and, in turn, transform their economy.