Sunday, July 22, 2007

Thanawiya Amma Results

Do you know how do I feel like at this particular moment? I feel like bitching about the Ministry of Education.

About two hours ago, at 3:30am, I was awaken by my mother telling me that somebody called her and told her that Thanawiya Amma results are out. I woke up, grabbed my phone, typed my seat no. in a short text message and sent it to 90200. Few seconds and I got the reply from the Ministry of Education containing my result. I was not only shocked but indeed astonished. Those marks are supposed to be the average of both semesters. The message I got from the ministry today says I got 79% in Chemistry. I was like that is holy crap and cannot be true!!!!! If this is the average of both semesters, and the first semester I got 92% in Chemistry, this means I got 66% in Chemistry the second semester!!! ... Well, it was not only with Chemistry. Physics as well. My average in Physics is 84%. First semester I got 91%. Meaning that I got 77% in the second semester. Holy shit!!!! What the hell is this?? Why the hell did the ministry mess our results upside down like this? It's not only me, but all my friends whom I could reach till now got less marks than their marks in the first semester. Two or three got the same marks, but the rest got waaaay worse than the first semester!!!

I'm not writing this up and bitching about the ministry just because we didn't do as good as the first semester in this semester. No, my friends, that's not the case. The case is that our honorable and respected Ministry of Education lets teachers of elementary and preparatory school correct the papers of Thanawiya Amma exams. The teachers who correct our papers are teachers who don't have a single tiny background on our curriculum, Grade 12 curriculum, because they basically teach lower classes. They correct our papers based on what they see on the sample answer-sheet of each exam. The ministry provides them with the sample answer-sheet of the exams and they correct the papers based on that. If something in my paper is not written the very EXACT way it's written on the sample answer-sheet, they give me a BIG ZERO for my answer, in MY FACE. Not even a single mark for answering the question correctly but in another way than the one he sees on the sample answer-sheet. How fair is that? Well, I'm sure that most of you think that I'm babbling out of nowhere and all I'm saying is nothing but shit. Oh well. For your own information, this year, and for the first time in the history of the ministry, the ministry gave the students the right to actually 'see' their exam papers after being corrected and after the results were out, check the papers for only 10 minutes for each paper, write down your notes and they re-correct your paper based on the notes you've mentioned. In the previous years you could request to re-correct your papers but they didn't use to let you see the paper yourself. Sadly, I didn't go to check my papers the first semester, but MANY - if not all - of my friends went and checked their papers. Guess what? They ALL got extra marks because of correction mistakes. They all found correction mistakes in their answer sheets. In fact, some questions were NOT EVEN corrected!!! Each paper is supposed to be corrected by two persons, and some questions in their papers were not corrected by neither of the correctors!!! PLEASE tell me how fair is that?

If most of the students who checked their exam papers the first semester found correction mistakes in their papers, it means that more than 80% of the papers contain correction mistakes. Why? because 1) the teachers who corrected the exams have NO background on the answers being written and if your answer was right but not the same way written on the sample answer-sheet you get it wrong. and 2) they were rushing themselves in correcting the papers.

This semester I understand why did the ministry rush in correcting our papers and why they wanted the results to be out as soon as possible. We finished exams on the 4th of this month. Today is the 22nd and the results are already out. Brilliant! I'm not sure of the exact number of Thanawiya Amma students in Oman, but I'm pretty sure they're more than 20,000 students. Amazing! in 18 days, they could correct the papers of more than 20,000 students, multiply 6 subjects each student. very good job guys... but what is the percentage of the probability of containing correction errors/mistakes? I need an official from the ministry answering my question now.

Anyhow.. my average is not that bad, don't worry. The first semester I got 93.1%. And now my average of both semesters is 91.3%. All good anyways. but I'm really disappointed about the Physics and Chemistry marks. The first semester I didn't go check my papers because I thought there would be no use of it, but this semester I'm definitely going and will request to re-correct ALL MY PAPERS.

update: I just got the exact number of Thanawiya Amma students of this academic year 2006/2007. The number is double what I mentioned earlier. This year a number of 44,128 students sat for Thanawiya Amma exams. [Source]


Abdullah Al-Bahrani said...

First of all congrats on your accomplishments, you should be proud of your results.
Secondly, you bring up an important issue about the grading. Given the importance of these grades, teachers should be aware of all possible formats of the answer. As a teacher, I know that in short answer questions multiple approaches are possible.
Given the number of test takers and limited number of teachers, I dont know if this format can be sustained any longer without an increase in errors.
I think that the MOE realizes that, and therefore has adjusted their policy about students viewing their tests. For those who really care about their tests, they can go through the process. Is it an effective solution, for the short term yes, but its only a Band-Aid fix.
Good luck with the new phase of your life.

Anonymous said...

your results are great, Congratsulation. I think it is better to check all exam papers, You may get higher marks then

one question, Is 90200 for OmanMobile only?

Amjad said...

Amna: Unfortunately, yeah, only Oman Mobile subscribers can get the results via SMS by sending the message to 90200

Anonymous said...

Thanks Amjad,

Nawras subscribers can go to ministry of education website;
there is a box for entering the seat number

Amjad said...

Amna, I think the results are not yet uploaded on the website of the ministry, 'cause I tried getting my result from there and it didn't work.

Maybe they will be on the website by the end of this day... Usually the results come out via SMS first, then on the Internet.

I just found out that the results are generally very bad this semester. Way worse than the first semester. A guy in my school who got 97% the first semester, now his average is 94%. Meaning that he got 91% this semester..

Sleepless In Muscat said...


Mabrook my friend.

So when's the party?

Amjad said...

Sleepless: No party! :-p .. Oh well, I'm waiting for you guys to make me a party! :-p

You know.. I still don't know whether these results are the average of both semesters or the results of the second semester. Some people say it's the average and some say it's the results of the second semester :-s

I tried checking the Ministry's website but found nothing useful there. Checked their educational forum but still couldn't find what I wanted. I tried registering in the forum to start a new thread, and actually registered at 4am but till now they didn't activate my account :-s

Sleepless In Muscat said...

So, call up your school

Twister said...

Many congratulations on your results. You have indeed raised an important issue concerning the marking of exams.

I studied under the British O/A Level system, and they too use the method whereby the answers are compared to a standardised marking scheme to determine the marks for each question. However, there are some key differences that I can pick the British system, regardless of how you word your response, you are marked on the points that you make i.e. it wont make a difference whether I use bulleted lists or paragraphs to phrase my answer, as long as I include the required facts and points.

The reasons for the inadequacy can be multiple. In addition to the non-availability of sufficiently qualified staff in large numbers, the pressure to produce the results in a rather short time-frame can also be a reason...

XGirL said...

"In the previous years you could request to re-correct your papers but they didn't use to let you see the paper yourself." no .. i checked my papers last year myself & i stayed there for more than 1/2 an hour on each paper i opened not just 10 minutes .. who told you that its the first year to request opening your papers ??

& no its not about the ministry of education .. I know student who got 98.5% & others who got 94 & 95 .. the students always blame the ministry about this but at the end its their results & they have to deal with it whether they liked it or not ..

moreover even if you checked your papers & noted the corrections ,, those mistakes wont be corrected afterall .. means you only wasted your money & time going there :)

Amjad said...


1. The ministry said it's the first year they let the students check their papers. Previous years they only got to request but don't check the papers.

2. Highest mark in Oman this year is 97%, so there is no 98%. Get your facts right. :-)

3. Nope. It won't be a waste of time my friend. The first semester all my friends checked their papers, and after a couple of weeks, a committee from the ministry came to our school and informed the students who requested to check their papers with their new marks. An official letter containing the changes of their marks was giving to them. :-) .. The least one of the got extra two marks, and some got extra 9 marks. :-)

Amjad said...

One more thing Ms. xgirl:

If it's about us and not the miserable system of the ministry, then how come when a lot of us went the first semester to check their papers they found many correction mistakes and even more, some questions were not corrected in the first place! And after a couple of weeks, some personnels from the ministry passed by each school in Oman to tell the students who checked their papers that they got more marks because their papers contained correction mistakes... :-)

Unknown said...