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Students finish taking this year's high school aptitude test, find it easy

The year's first basic scholastic aptitude test for junior high graduates was completed yesterday with students and teachers saying that this year's exams contained relatively easy questions.

Junior high graduates islandwide took the mathematics and social studies sections of the two-day exam yesterday after being tested in English, natural sciences, Chinese, and Chinese composition on Saturday.

A teacher from a tutorial institute said that this year's relatively easy examination will mean that one or two questions could spell the difference for students successfully gaining admission into their desired high schools.

The score of each individual student's scholastic aptitude test is scaled against the scores of all students who took the test.

Tutorial institutes are estimating that a score between 292 and 293 will be needed to be accepted by the nation's premier boys high school Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School, while girls will need a score between 290 and 291 to enter Taipei First Girls High School.

Jianguo High School Principal Wu Wu-hsiung recommended that students should apply to high schools closer to their homes rather than focusing on getting into his school.

Wu said that the time saved in commuting to a nearby school can be spent on studying and improving the student's scholastic capabilities.

Wu also urged junior high graduates to consider applying to vocational training schools which see a high number of their graduates entering universities.

The vocational training schools also offer the advantage of giving students technical skills that they can use when entering the workforce after graduation or attending technical institutes.

Wu said that municipal high schools in Taipei possess quality faculty and resources and that students should not set their sights solely on Jianguo High School.

A principal of a vocational training school said that sixty percent of his graduates successfully applied to national universities or national polytechnic universities and that all of them have the option of advancing their studies to graduate school.

Meanwhile, there was a drop in the number of students missing yesterday's test from Saturday, with 2,990 examinees missing the morning's mathematics test.

Some 3,891 students missed the composition test Saturday afternoon islandwide.

An English teacher, who is also a member of the national examination affairs commission, said that this year's English test emphasized the student's reading comprehension ability and that students who read English regularly should not find difficulty in attaining a full score.

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