Exam time for Russian students

Russia's Unified Exam for graduates.

Today some graduates will begin taking the Единый государственный экзамен (Unified State Examination), known by its acronym ЕГЭ (EGE).

The bulk of students will take the test on 28 May but about 15,000 students across Russia qualify for early testing in the cases of military conscripts and students going to extension schools and to schools located outside Russia. Students scheduled in international sports and academic competitions as well as going abroad for permanent place of residence are also allowed to take the ЕГЭ ahead of time.

Typical school in the former Soviet Union.

Many students consider it to be the day when their mastery of the various subjects studied over the years will come to light via the “Unified State Examination.” The principal advantage of the examination process is uniformity. No matter where students live, their family income, or social strata, everybody is administered the same test at the same level of difficulty.

The advantage of the ESE test is the elimination of subjective factors like teachers’ attitudes toward certain students. The exam has three types of questions: multiple-choice, open-ended, and expand-answer questions, which are externally marked with the help of electronic technology and members of a special exam commission.

Requirements for a passing grad are published on the official ESE website. Each graduate must pass two obligatory exams in Russian language and mathematics, and can choose between nine other subjects from the USE list. The choice depends on the requirements of the institute of higher education where the graduate intends to apply. Students with no plans for higher education are only required to write the tests in Russian language and mathematics.

Students say that each segment takes about 3 hours with the least amount of time on the foreign languages section (142 minutes), and the longest (240 minutes) is needed for literature and mathematics.