More than 50,000 complaints from Dutch secondary students during final exams
On the second day of the central final exams, 50,624 complaints were received by the complaints hotline of the State Association for Students (LAKS). "And the counter is still running," said a spokesperson. On the first exam day, there were still more than 18,500 complaints.
Most of the complaints were about the HAVO (senior general secondary education) chemistry exam, which contained some complicated questions. Examinees also frequently complained about the German exam, which they said contained "long and difficult texts, with many words that were not easy to look up," LAKS said.
On Friday, there were also many complaints about mathematics A and B in VWO (university preparatory education) level. Students felt that the questions did not reflect what they had learned. "We really think that's a shame and confirms the impression that students feel unprepared for the exams, due to lesson cancellations and the shortage of teachers. For example, they state in their complaint that the requested material was never discussed because teachers had to make choices."
There were also a particularly large number of complaints on Friday about Math A and B at the vwo level. Students felt that the questions did not match what they had learned. "We think this is really unfortunate and confirms the picture that students feel unprepared for the exams because of the cancellation of classes and the lack of teachers. For example, they cited in their complaint that the required material was never covered because teachers had to make selections."
For the first time, the exam requirements this year are the same as they were before the coronavirus crisis. In the past two years, final exam candidates were still eligible for an additional retake and were allowed to stagger their exams. Students were also allowed to drop a final exam grade from a subject if it caused them to fail, except in the core subjects of Dutch, English, and math.
Last year, the LAKS received a record number of 285,700 complaints about the final exams.
Reporting by ANP