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Entrance Exams Cause Problems at University of Liberia

From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.

Entrance examinations have been causing problems at the University of Liberia in Monrovia. The exams help to decide whom the university will accept as a student. The trouble began after an education specialist, James Dorbor Jallah, was named to direct and administer the testing. Recently, about 25,000 high school students took the test, but failed.

Mr. Dorbor Jallah says he and his team want to show that a fair examination can be held. He says some Liberians think they cannot enter the university unless they make a financial gift in return. He said the university has been trying to decide how to oversee the process so that people's abilities would be measured on the basis of their performance on the examinations.

Last year, the University of Liberia accepted about 7,000 new students after they took a similar exam. But that test was judged differently. Mr. Dorbor Jallah says the university sought his help because it had problems in the past with entrance exams. The country's minister of education says she does not think that all the students failed the test. Some of the students have held protests at the university. They say they were cheated out of more than $20, which was required to register for the test.

It appeared that the university would have no first-year students until Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf met with university officials. The officials then said they would lower admission test requirements and accept at least 1,600 people. Mr. Dorbor Jallah says the most recent test results were based on raw scores. A raw score does not take in account how well individuals perform within a group of students.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Carolyn Presutti.

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