The Ministry of Education has just published the correction guides for the Selectividad pilot exams that it carried out three weeks ago to test the new university access system that will start in June 2024. The new model aims to make the tests “less memorizing” and “more linked to the daily life” of the students. The teachers consulted believe that the proposed criteria, if they become definitive, may lead to “greater laxity” when setting grades.

For example, in Mathematics, Language and Philosophy, the student would obtain at least 0.25 points in each question even if they answered poorly. The assigned values ​​are from 0.25 points onwards per question. There is no place for zero. “Now you can get a zero,” say the teachers.

It is very difficult to compare these guides with the current situation, because in each autonomous community there are different correction criteria and because this pilot test has been carried out in a very particular way: it has been carried out only in 10 autonomous communities, for only two subjects and for students. 1st year of Baccalaureate, instead of 2nd year. In addition, the definitive correction criteria, in which various groups of experts are working to unify the standards throughout Spain, are not yet finalized. But this drill gives the first clue as to where the Ministry wants to go.

In the Spanish Language and Literature test, for example, the pilot’s correction guide deducts 0.25 points for each misspelling. The tildes are considered as a half fault. Everything else (capital letters, foreign words or incorrectly placed exclamation and question marks) is counted as a mistake. Repeated errors only discount once. More than one error in the same word is discounted only once. But a maximum limit of two points has also been set, so that the student cannot fail just because of spelling. Thus, if he made five errors, he would only be penalized four. Having a cap of two points means that a test of 10 would become an 8 for spelling mistakes.

Other autonomous communities also have this limit and it reaches three points in the most demanding regions, such as Madrid and the Valencian Community. «In Madrid each foul deducts 0.50 points. Before there was no cap, but it was decided to put it in order to adapt to the criteria of other autonomous communities because it harmed our students, who got lower grades than those who came from other territories, where there was a cap,” explains Rosario González, a teacher at the Autonomous University of Madrid and head of the commission that prepares the language tests in this region.

After carrying out an expert opinion on the pilot exam and the correction guide, and with due precautions when comparing (Madrid did not participate in the trial), he considers that the new test “has less depth than the current one.” “Text comment is watered down. The student is asked to prepare an argumentative text in a maximum of 300 words, but the commentary requires an interpretative competence and a reflective use of the language that are not required here. In addition, syntactic analysis disappears and literature as a cultural competence is blurred », he sums up.

Professor Salvador Pons, coordinator of the Language exam in the Valencian Community, says that “many questions can be answered without having knowledge of the language. For example, graphic issues: it is enough for the student to adequately describe the text to get the basic grade. He considers the treatment of syntax and lexicon “childish”. “The current test would be too strict for what Lomloe proposes.”

In Mathematics, the pilot exams allow the use of a calculator and also include the formulas of the problems. “At the moment, the correction criteria for my subject seem more lax,” warns Carlos Segura, professor of Mathematics Didactics at the University of Valencia. «In addition to not answering or not reasoning is marked with 0.25 instead of a zero, the criteria are ambiguous. The student can answer wrong and still have points. Disparity can occur when correcting, it seems impossible to swell the notes more », he says.

Irene Murcia, a Secondary Mathematics teacher and president of the Critical Observatory of Educational Reality (Ocre), also concludes that “it is lost in depth, because the concepts necessary to answer the problems that arise are at ESO level and not They have difficulty.” «These are simple contents that, being so easy, can displace the students. They have tried to contextualize the statements so much that the student can get nervous having to read so much. It’s a mistake that won’t help you.”

«The teachers are quite angry with respect to the fact that at this point the type of test that the students are going to have next year is still not clear, because they should have already been very clear before starting this course and already take it into account for the students who are currently studying 1st year of Baccalaureate. It is all nonsense and, far from clarifying anything this pilot test, what it has done is create more uncertainty and discomfort among teachers, students and families, “adds Murcia.

Other teachers express their discomfort at the fact that the Ministry has published the correction rubrics three weeks after taking the exams. The usual procedure is that students know the evaluation criteria before taking the tests.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project