Monday, May 24, 2010

Feels like June in New York City


In NYC, it was a rite of passage.

Every year, without fail, an enterprising young person would somehow manage to get a hold of the Regents Exams a few days before the test took place. This person would then begin selling the exam. Many kids too lazy to actually study would buy the answers and then spend days memorizing them or figuring out how to copy the answers onto a pencil or the bottom of their shoe. Stupid kids for several reasons. One, if they spent all that time studying, they'd probably do okay on the exam; and two, if they waited until the night before the test, they could get it for free. (Don't ask me how I know that).

The thing was it always seemed to be a Jewish kid, often from a Yeshiva that stole the exam. Really embarrassing.

Here in Israel, starting in the tenth grade, the kids take what are known as "bagrut". These exams are similar to what the regents are in New York, a standardized exam designed to make sure the kids are receiving an education worthy of them entering a university in the future (as far as I know, you need to have a Bagrut Diploma in order to even apply). The kids are under a great deal of pressure this time of year.

Liat, who is in the 11th grade, is in the throes of exam season and is scheduled to take the 4-point Math Bagrut (the Bagrut work in categories of 3 to 5 points) tomorrow afternoon. Last night she got a phone call from her friend: the 4-point bagrut had been leaked, and it was unclear if the test would be re-scheduled. Liat had spent several days studying and did not want the test pushed off.

Thankfully, the test will go on, as scheduled.

Of course, Liat and her friends are concerned that the new test will be deliberately be made harder as a kind of "punishment" to the kids. But I doubt it. Once you've seen one integral/differential/inferential/sine/cosine/whatever you've seen 'em all, no?

I'm not exactly sure who is responsible for the leaked Bagrut, but I imagine it's also someone Jewish. Which Israeli leader was it that dreamed of the day Israel would have its first robbery so that we would be a "normal" country? Does a leaked Bagrut fit with that vision?

Good luck to Liat and all her peers tomorrow and throughout Bagrut season.

6 comments:

Leora said...

Good luck to Liat. Oh, the things I remember (stolen tests, too) from my days at yeshiva (and not one in New York). Too bad some kids don't see honesty as important. Beyond too bad. Some of these kids now adults were very smart thieves. Sigh.

Mrs. S. said...

For the past week or so, it's been math, math, and more math around here.

Behatzlachah to Liat and all the other kids!

Annette said...

Good luck to Liat and my 11th grader too! She says that they're giving them what was supposed to be the Moed Bet (makeovup?) exam.

Annette said...

I meant to say MAKEUP exam :-)

ilanadavita said...

Hope everything went well for Liat.
Here when we prepare exams for the "French Bagrut" - and I am one of the few select ones that feels so honored she doesn't need to get paid for this (but this is another story) - we always prepare an extra one in case the exam is leaked so in fact the test is not harder, or easier.
I imagine this is the same in Israel; it is impossible to prepare a whole series of test, print them and send them out within a few hours, or even days.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Stealing and spreading the test just tortured the kids who were already anxious about the test...

it made the test start later, messed up their plans, and caused a lot of stress...

ask me how I know....