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An entrance examination is an examination that many educational institutions use to select students for admission. These exams may be administered at any level of education, from primary to higher education, although they are more common at higher levels.

Asia[edit | edit source]

India[edit | edit source]

When the University of Calcutta was established in 1857, it introduced the Entrance Examination, primarily to decide as to who was eligible for admission to the University. The examination attained the status of a school leaving examination. Subsequently, the name was changed to Matriculation. After independence of India in 1947, the examination system was further revised: the secondary examination after class X was called the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) exam and the examination after class XII was called Higher Secondary Examination.

Today entrance to most professional courses in Indian universities (both private and government) are based on multiple choice question entrance exams, on the rationale that since school-leaving scores are based on conventional (long-answer) papers a student's marks in them might be subject to a human examiner's errors, which would be unacceptable in a closely competitive environment where even a mark or two could affect a student's career. This subjectivity is eliminated when the "examiner" is an OMR reading laser. Some of these exams (particularly the IIT-JEE,CAT and AIPMT) are considered among the toughest in the world, with lakhs of students competing for a few thousand seats.

Engineering schools in India usually admit 15% of their students through the national-level AIEEE and the remaining 85% based on their scores in the entrance exam conducted by the state in which the college is located. Government-run medical schools use a similar pattern, basing admissions on the candidate's rank at the All India Pre-Medical Test. The prestigious Indian Institutes of Management conduct a Common Admission Test for their aspirants. The renowned Indian Institutes of Technology conduct the notoriously competitive IIT-JEE which attracts candidates from as far away as Dubai.

Recently, separate exams have been introduced for courses such as law and hotel management. Some colleges such as AIIMS and AFMC and many private medical colleges conduct their own entrance tests. However the college admission procedure in India remains somewhat controversial due to the presence of reservation of seats for "backward" castes.

Japan[edit | edit source]

In Japan the National Center Test for University Admissions is a nationally standardized entrance exam for higher education that 3rd year high school students or high school graduates take in an attempt to meet admission requirements of the school or schools of their choice. High school students, especially 3rd year students focus almost solely on preparations for the exam, in an attempt to enter the most prestigious universities in the country. Often students attend a cram school which is also known as juku in Japan in order to prepare as much as they can for the exam.

North America[edit | edit source]

United States[edit | edit source]

For most universities in the United States, the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and ACT are considered the examinations of choice for admissions at the undergraduate level. Universities do not administer their own entrance exams. Admissions into certain North American graduate schools are often partly determined by the results of the Medical College Admission Test for medical school (MCAT) or Law School Admission Test for law school (LSAT). The GRE (Graduate Readiness Exam) is one of the most popular admissions tests for general graduate school and is used mainly for math oriented study. The Miller Analogy Test is waning in popularity, but is still used for admission to more language oriented study.

Some American universities and many lower schools have rejected entrance exams. Instead, they evaluate prospective students solely through other means, such as an original essay or the marks the student received in a previous school. Others make the test optional, or require students to take the test but do not consider its results in the admission process.

See also[edit | edit source]

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