The Israeli “Bagrut” examination in BSCS biology

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Abstract

This paper describes the rationale, construction, administration, and analysis of an externally set matriculation examination for BSCS students at the end of the 12th grade. The examination consisted of three equal parts: (1) functional information; (2) identification and application of principles; and (3) contributory mode understanding of the principles of biological enquiry.

The predetermined difficulty level proved to be only slightly overambitious, so that individual means had to be only slightly adjusted in order to meet the national norms.

Diagnosed deficiencies were concentrated mainly in the spheres of statistical treatment of experimental data, suggestions for technical arrangements of the experimental set-up, and replications of the experiment.

Hope was expressed, that the continued use of an examination of this type, would help to eliminate the discrepancy between objectives emphasized by school teachers and those stressed by the BSCS examination (illustrated by the very low correlation between teachers' grades and results on this examination).

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