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Out of curiosity and for some learning purposes I decided to translate parts of the entrance exam that I took from portuguese to english. The system here is based on scores alone. In my case there was one entrance exam which consisted of 90 multiple choice questions in 5 hours, which passes around 30% and fails the other 70% (percentages vary per degree and the average scores can be low or high depending on competition per degree program). 1 1/2 month later there is a second exam, 4 hours in one day for writing plus 10 questions about literature, grammar and reading. 4 hours in the next day for 12 essay questions which depend on what you want (so engineering take 4 chem + 4 phy + 4 math, history take 6 hist + 6 geo, so on for all degrees).

In my country there is a huge debate over what to assess and what to teach on schools, but there is a general consensus that no exam should last more than 5 hours straight. There is also a thread of shortening the exams because they belive the burden is too heavy when you make exams that cover just about everything with as many questions as possible.

For ex: in the past the same exam that I took had the first stage in two Sundays, 160 (80 + 80) questions. Then the second stage with 4 days straight, 10 questions each day (the first one includes writing task). Then they shortened the first part to 100 questions and then again down to 90. The second part was also shortened from 4 days to 3, then again down to 2.

They do it in stages to cut down on costs. Assessing 120k multiple choice exams is cheap. But reading 120k essays is not. So you leave the essay part for the ~30% who pass the first stage, which means much fewer essays to assess.

Judging by how much time I spent translating one question I expect to take 1 ~ 2 months to translate the whole exam.

Here is the first question

Inspect these pictures made in ancient Egypt

The pictures reveal

a) the family driven agriculture in Middle East, given the lack of manpower and that compulsory labor was forbidden in Ancient Egypt.

b) the absence of any technological knowledge, which would cause long periods of starvation and prevent a better food productivity..

c) that agriculture as the sole economical activity prevails, given that hunting or fishing were impossible in the regions were Ancient Egypt was located.

d) that access to water was difficult in all of Egypt, which restricted crops and rendered raising large cattle breeds difficult.

e) the importance of agriculture in Ancient Egypt, which took up aproximately half of each year of each worker.

Ans: e.
Last edited by 0kelvin; 3 weeks ago

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