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National Examination and Ideal Model of National Examination

National Examination and Ideal Model of National Examination
Zubaidi and Novitasari (2014: 2) national  Examination  is  compulsory  test  to  determine  whether  a  student  can  graduate from a primary and secondary level of education, or should repeat. Steady  debate over  National  Examination  practice in  Indonesia  continues,  mainly  on the  format,  effectiveness,  and  effects  of  national  exam.  Government  believes  that  establishing national  examinations  will  push  teachers  to  teach  better  and  students  to  learn  more. According to students’ opinion, the ideal model of national exam should at  least  include  the following criteria:
a.       Using process-based assessment. 
Most  respondents  agree  that  graduation  must  be  determined  using  not  only  national exam, but also assessment on students’ learning process over 3-year study period. 
b.      Considering students’ progress report
This case especially relates to graduation decision. According to students, graduation decision should also consider students’ progress report.
c.       Evaluating students’ four language skills
There  is  a  high  demand  for  national  exam  to  be  able  to  test  all  four  language  skills, including  listening,  speaking,  reading,  and  writing.  The  current  national  exam  failed  to test students’ speaking performance. 
d.      Evaluating students’ current language mastery (what they actually learn in class)
It  often  occurs  that  what  is  tested  in  graduation  exam  is  not  what  has  been  taught  in classroom.

e.       Considering school and students’ education situation and facilities
Students are aware of differences among schools. National exam is likely too difficult for low  achievement  school,  and  might  be  too  easy  for  high  achievement  schools.  Such situational  geographic-based  difference  also  exists  between  schools  in  Java  and  outside Java.  Schools  outside  Java  might  have  lower  education  quality  and/or  poorer  facilities. Thus,  it  is  necessary  to  create  an  exam  which  fits  each  school  and  students’  actual situation.
f.       National exam not as the only consideration
Majority of students (97%) agree with the use of national exam as a means of graduation assessment.  However,  national  exam  should  not  be  the  only  consideration.  Students propose to consider other types of formative and summative assessments in determining graduation, including:
1)      Daily progress (learning process)
2)      Teachers’ assessment, 
3)      Semester exam, 
4)      Practice exam covering four language skills learned. 
Students  state  that  progress  based assessment  and  teacher intervention  will  improve  test validity  because  teachers  understand  students’  capabilities  and  learning  process. Moreover,  such  exam  can  be  designed  according  to  students’ actual language  mastery level and their actual learning process.  Beyond  the  national  exam,  students  also  suggest  improving  education  supporting  system  and facilities. Respondents state that it is important for the government to support schools with better facilities and human resource so the goal of education can be achieved and school could perform better in national exam.


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