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Spain's maturity test that will be worth 75% of the Selectivity and will integrate several subjects

November 02, 2022

Original Article:

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The Ministry of Education intends to give a real shake to the new Selectivity . His first proposal, which will have to be debated with communities and universities, is to drastically reduce the number of exams by subject and, in exchange, integrate the evaluation of different subjects around a great maturity test of a competence nature. Its implementation from the 2023/2024 academic year will be gradual until it is completely applied in 2026/2027.

This great test of maturity, where the student's linguistic comprehension and writing skills will be put to the test - with parts in Spanish, in the co-official language (in the territories where there is one) and in a foreign language (normally, English), will end up also integrating the evaluation of the subject of History of Philosophy and History of Spain.

Its weight in the final grade in the general part will be decisive, 75% of the total. The other 25% will correspond to the examination of the modality subject (for example, Mathematics, in the technical scientific baccalaureate). Students will also be able to take two more subjects in the optional part (now they can do four, although only the two with the best grade count for the average grade) to raise their grade.

Both the LOGSE and the LOE and LOMLOE, all of them laws approved during socialist governments, mention that the University entrance exam must objectively assess the maturity of the students. Precisely, evaluating competences, something that would be close to the idea of ​​maturity, is done objectively by PISA in areas such as language, mathematics and science for 15-year-old students.

Parts of the test

This test of academic maturity of the new Selectivity will consist of several parts.

In the first 15 minutes, students will have to read and analyze a dossier with several documents: texts (literary, opinion, informative...), images, infographics, audiovisual or other types, on the same topic.

In the next 40 minutes they will have to answer twenty closed or semi-constructed questions (multiple choice or short answer), where their capacity for critical, reflective and mature thinking will be evaluated. Some of these questions will be formulated in the foreign language.

Then, the students will have another 45 minutes to answer three open questions (one in a foreign language) about what the dossier proposes. Each answer will have a maximum of 150 words. The objective is to assess the students' ability to analyze, extract information or interrelate all this documentation, in a more or less guided way through questions and answers.

Guide with the correct answers

All this will imply a more elaborate correction of the exercises since there will not be a single valid answer . The Ministry of Education proposes to create working groups with representation from the different administrations, universities and evaluation institutes or agencies (autonomous) in order to develop "a common framework for the design of the test as well as its correction". Next course, tests of the new exercises will be carried out with samples of students.

Each exercise should have a coding guide with the correct answers. Also in those open questions, the guide will have to clearly collect the ideas, expressions and structure that the student's response should contain, including examples, to be considered valid.

The idea is that the academic maturity exercise can be corrected collegially by professors from different specialties, who must be trained "for the correction of each specific exercise".

Competence test

This test of academic maturity follows the steps taken by Education when proposing more competency-based and less rote subjects, where the important thing is knowing how to apply knowledge. “The university entrance exam has to adapt to what is being worked on in the educational system, with more competency-based curricula, as established by the new educational law, LOMLOE. In other words, it measures whether students are capable of distinguishing the main ideas from the secondary ones in a text or of relating knowledge in a clear way”, says Paco García, general secretary of CCOO Enseñanza. "If the educational system prepares you in a way, there must be consistency in the Selectivity test."

They do not think the same from the CSIF union, which represents the officials, who brand this new entrance exam to the University as "absolute nonsense". "If the test is much more subjective, not only will it not be comparable throughout Spain, but it will increase these differences," says Mario Gutiérrez, president of the CSIF Education sector. “In the LOMLOE there are very clear indications in the curricula that are being published of wanting to ignore and reduce the content, to put an end to teaching specialization, where the subjects are not important because what is wanted is a general nuance. What is important here is not the general illustration, but absolutely subjective abilities, which have more to do with professional and work skills”, he points out.

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