EXE 733

Assignment 2

An Evaluation of Indonesian National Examination
By. Ulfa Rahmi 211077007

Table of Contents
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 1 Overview of Indonesian National Examination ...................................................................................... 1 Historical of Indonesian standardized examination ........................................................................... 1 Defining Indonesian National Examination and Its Purposes ............................................................. 2 UN Characteristic ................................................................................................................................ 3 The Impact of UN .................................................................................................................................... 3 Positive impact of UN ......................................................................................................................... 4 Negative impact of UN ........................................................................................................................ 4 Fairness, Reliability and Validity of UN ............................................................................................... 6 Suggestion for Indonesian National Examination ................................................................................... 7 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................... 9 Reference ................................................................................................................................................ 9 Appendix ............................................................................................................................................... 11

An Evaluation of Indonesian National Examination
Introduction
The current trend of using standardized examination is motivated by a desire to improve public education. In Indonesia, the government has a policy that every student has to participate in a national examination. Through this exam, it will be determined whether a student is ready to leave the school and receive the graduation certificate. There are major controversies in implementing the national examination. This can be seen from the various media such as television, newspaper and internet arguing whether such exams are beneficial. The policy makers believe that by establishing such examinations, teachers will be pushed to teach better and students will be motivated to learn more (Shepard, 1991). However, there is no guarantee this examination will ensure high quality instruction and greater students learning. This paper discussion is organized in three parts. The first part is an overview of the Indonesian national examination. The second part describes the impact of the national examination in the Indonesian context. The third part presents the suggestion solution from my perspective in implementing the national examination in Indonesia.

Overview of Indonesian National Examination
In this section a brief history of the national examination in Indonesia and its purposes will be

discussed as well as the characteristic of Indonesian national testing.

Historical of Indonesian standardized examination
The national examination has become a dominant feature in the Indonesian educational system. It has been implemented for almost five decades. Afrianto (2008:1) explains that the first standardized examination was held in Indonesia in 1965 and called “Ujian Negara” (State exam). This exam was practiced until 1975 and measured almost all subjects that are
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taught at school. After this period, the policy was changed and school was given the power to set the final exam based on the guidelines given from the government. Later on, in 1980, this non-standardized exam was changed to the new policy 1 to go back to “the centralized exam system”. It was called Evaluasi Belajar Tahap Akhir National (National Final Learning Evaluation), commonly known as Ebtanas. This examination was implemented for almost twenty-one years. In the year 2003, the new form of national examination was introduced, called Ujian Akhir Nasional (national final examination) abbreviated as UAN. This exam tested students’ performance in three subjects, namely Bahasa Indonesia, English and Math. Later in the year 2005, UAN was given a new name, Ujian Nasional (national Examination) or UN. However in 2008 the government change the policy to add three more subjects tested in the UN, namely Biology, chemistry and physics for natural science mainstream and math, sociology, economy and geography for social science mainstream (Depdiknas, 2009).

Defining Indonesian National Examination and Its Purposes
The national examination- known as UN- is a standardized test 2 which is done nationally to measure and assess the learners’ competency in particular subjects in primary and secondary education (Kemdiknas, n.d.). Clause 3 of the Decree No. 75/2009 from the ministry of education states four purposes for conducting the UN. Firstly, mapping the competency and quality of Indonesian national education; secondly, determination of students graduation from one education level; thirdly, selection basis into the next education level; and lastly, a basic supervising and providing support to a particular school due to an effort to improve the education quality (Permendiknas, 2009). The vice president of Indonesia, Boediono, currently said that “the objective of the National Examination (UN) is to raise the standard of education in the country. It is intended to measure the level of their scholastic abilities and to improve their standard” (Embassy of Indonesia, 2011). The UN practice in Indonesia is conducted three times after the completion of each level of education: primary-grade 6, lower secondary-grade 9 and upper secondary-grade 12 (SEAMEO, 2001). Those exams differ from the exam for entering the higher education which also done nationally. Thus, if Indonesian students want to have a full education, they have to sit in four different exams. This situation of course is really difficult for students because all they have to do is prepare their selves for the examination.
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UN Characteristic
Focusing on the characteristic of upper secondary UN, one of the main features is that the government uses the “minimum threshold” for the students to achieve in order to pass the examination. This threshold, commonly known as a passing grade is increased year by year. In the beginning year of the UN implementation, the minimum score was 3.01 (within the scale 1-10) for each subject. This mean, to pass the exam, the students have to have 30.1% correct answers to get 3.01 (out of 10). This threshold then increased to 5.01 in 2006 (Afrianto, n.d). In 2008, it increased to 5.25 and based on the decree No. 75/2009 clause 20, the government stated the average minimum score is at 5.50 with a minimum score of 4.00 for 2 subjects and 4.25 for other subjects-6 subjects in total (Permendiknas, 2009). These increments have the purpose of increasing the quality of the students and also increasing the national education competencies (Pikiran Rakyat Online, 2008). Since there are serious consequences from the UN result, this national testing could be categorized as a high stakes testing. Hubber (2011a:2 ) defines high stakes testing as “a testing program whose result have important consequences for students, teachers, school and districts which could includes promotion, certification, graduation, denial or approval“. The other characteristic of UN is it is a formal assessment using multiple choice type questions. This is also called an objective test as it has a fixed answer (Wragg, 2001). There are some benefits of having this type of question such as its objectivity in scoring which might not be influenced by human judgments, as well as its time efficient. However, there are also some disadvantages in terms of when it is used in UN. The questions only assess a basic cognitive skill, and with four possible answers available, students might guess the answer. The number of questions in Chemistry subject for UN is 40 and should be finished in 2 hours. An example of a UN question in chemistry subject is shown in appendix 1. 3

The Impact of UN
As UN is a very high stakes test, it is believe that such exam could have a significant effect on the education system. Many arguments that the UN has had negative impacts on students’

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education, but there is actually some positive effect. However, I personally believe that the negative side outweighs the positive side.

Positive impact of UN
There are a number of important advantages of applying the high-stakes testing. National examination “engenders a degree of national homogeneity in educational standards and practice” (Madaus, 1991:229). Madaus also explains that this kind of testing influences curriculum, teaching and learning in desirable ways. Hence, high-stakes testing can lead to a focus instruction and also will give students and teachers a specific aim to achieve. This is highly relevant to the Indonesian situation with its large area to control. UN can assure that every student would have the same education. It also could trigger a motivational force for students and teachers. A fear of achieving a low score which could lead to failure would motivate the learners to study harder and teachers to teach better (Shepard, 1991). However at some point this situation will be misleading which will be discussed in the next section. Another obvious advantage of UN is it could uncover the standard of education in all districts/area. The assessment which is done in one school will be different from another school and also there is a possibility that the relationship between learners and teachers could affect the evaluation (Madaus, 1991). Since the UN is done nationally and held by the external institution, the results will be more reliable because it uses the same evaluation system for all schools across all provinces. Later, the result of UN could be used as a mapping tool to evaluate the competency and quality of Indonesian education and could also be used as an achievement comparison tool between one school and another.

Negative impact of UN
The controversies of having UN have become a major focus since it was first implemented, especially in achieving the minimum average score that use to make pass/fail decision. As already mentioned, UN could motivate students to learn more and teachers to teach better, but somehow this situation is misleading. Teachers have begun to “teach to the test” (Darling-Hammond, 1991:221). Most of the class work is oriented toward recognizing the
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answer to multiple choice questions. Since UN only measures the basic cognitive skills, preparation for UN often overemphasizes on content memorization by students and the kind of “drill and practice” instruction is used as a teaching method (Shepard, 1991: Madaus, 1991). Rather than enhancing the learning quality, teachers seem to use an instant way of improving students’ learning by giving a shallow knowledge (lower-level cognitive) that is usually being asked in the exam (the competency standard being test in the UN is shown appendix 2). Thus it is not surprising that students do not have a higher-level cognitive thinking skill, such as problem solving, critical thinking and analysis that are needed in this 21st century era. The example of a chemistry question in UN: Look at the reaction equation below 2 SO2 (g) + O2 (g)  2 SO3 (g) The amount of oxygen gas used is 12 liter, how much is the volume SO3 gas will be formed? a. 6 liter b. 12 liter c. 18 liter d. 24 liter e. 36 liter From the above example, clearly, most of the time, many teachers do the drill and practice instruction to make the students understand how to solve the stochiometric equation. This type of question could identify the misconceptions of students in their calculation of finding out the amount of gas will be formed, however, this type of question only shows the misconception of the basic knowledge, not the critical thinking skills as explained above. Since there is a pressure to achieve high test scores for specific subjects, it could “narrow the curriculum” (Madaus, 1991:228). Both teachers and students give high attention exclusively to the material covered in the exam, thus the non-tested subjects as well as the
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teachers receive less attention. Later there is a misunderstood perspective from the students that the non-tested subjects are not as important as the tested subject (Afrianto, 2008). Further, teaching a narrow curriculum could limit some students who might have different academic strengths that are not tested in UN (Volante, 2004). For instance, students who have a potential ability in sports or art will not have as much opportunity to develop their skill or demonstrate their ability/talent as they are busy preparing their self for UN. Another subsequent effect of the UN is the fear of failing which has encouraged some students to cheat. The effect of failing not only affects students’ school life, as they are required to sit in the high-school for another year and repeat the exam, but also leads to the embarrassment in the society as students who fail will get a stupid stigma (The Glipmax News, 2011). The situation worsens because this situation is supported by teachers and principal. They are afraid of being judged of having a poor quality teacher or as a bad school which will affect the schools’ reputation (Dienim, 2008). Finally, implementing the UN only bring extravagance for the national budget. As we know in Indonesia, there are three UN which are done in primary, lower and upper secondary level. Thus, each year Indonesia has to do three national examinations. In 2009, the budged spent for UN almost reached 255 billion rupiah (Lubis, 2010). It would be better if these funds were used to improve the educational facilities in Indonesia.

Fairness, Reliability and Validity of UN
We already know that the purpose of UN is for graduation. However, UN seems to ignore one of the main assessment principles, namely that is should be fair, valid and reliable (Hubber, 2011b; Killen, 2005). The aspect of fairness, reliability and validity of the UN are the main concerns in evaluating whether Indonesia should implement this very high stakes examination or not. The first consideration is UN only measures one skill -the cognitive. In education, students’ performance comprises of three aspects: cognitive, psychomotor and affective (Harti, n.d.). How can the government simply decide students’ achievement by ignoring these two aspects? UN result could be “invalid and unreliable” since it cannot represent the real ability of the students and seems to measure examination ability
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(Athanasou, 1997). Moreover, the stress and pressure created from UN could affect students’ performance in the exam. Students could lose their concentration, thus, they cannot think and answer the questions given. This could make the UN result unreliable as students might have a better performance in a normal situation without any pressure. Since the UN is a standardized examination that is done nationally, the type of questions given to urban and rural areas will be similar. The controversy here is how can government fail/pass the students when the quality of education in rural and urban areas is so different? Urban areas might have better facilities and high qualified teachers compared to the schools in rural areas (Dienim, 2008). The students in rural areas must be so aggrieved, not only because they have poorer access to education facilities but also they have less chances of passing the exam. It seems government does not consider the fairness of UN (Lubis, 2010). Most of the exam candidates simply feel UN is an unfair test. If the government wants to have a standardized examination, they should also standardize the school quality, teachers’ competence and the facilities needed in the learning and teaching process for each school in Indonesia. Additionally, it is very not fair to make a fail/pass decision in three or four day exam. Three years of learning in upper secondary with its effort seems to be ignored by the government which is clearly they cannot accurately assess the actual progress of the students (Dienim, 2008). I personally believe that the graduation decision should be decided by the teacher and school who know the students’ progress and achievement from time to time.

Suggestion for Indonesian National Examination
Considering all of the negative aspects of the UN, we need to re-think how the national examination would not create such negative effects. There is a new reformulation from government that is going to be applied this year. It is similar with a previous UN which measures 6 specific subjects and has a minimum 5.50 average score. The difference is, the average score not only depends on the exam but it also depends on the school exam (ujian sekolah, abbreviated as US). The proportion of calculating the score is 60 percent of UN and 40 percent of US (Berita Fenomenal, 2011).

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In my perspective this new way of assessing does not solve the problem. The government still set the minimum threshold to be achieved. Rather than improving and standardizing the quality of schools, they are still busy thinking of the new form of exam. UN is still important as it could motivate the students, but the score from the exam should not be as the decision tool for graduation –fail/pass-. I suggest the government to review the main purpose of the UN that is for mapping the education quality rather than as a graduation judgment. Thus, I believe we should use the old national examination, EBTANAS. This exam did not set a passing grade for graduation and the school decided who passed/failed based on the national exam and school evaluation. In this approach, students gained 2 certificates. The first certificate shows the graduation statement and the second show the examination values. If we implement this kind of exam where the score result is not as a decision tool, it is believed the exam will be fairer and cheating would not occur as much as students would not fear failure (Lubis, 2010). Later, the government could use the result to find out which schools are performing good or poor, hence, they could support the schools that really need supports in order to improve students’ achievement. If the government still maintains the use of the UN, they need to implement it in a fair way. This means the government should make all schools standardized with good facilities and highly competence teachers so that UN would really reflect and evaluate students’ achievements. The example of an Australian standardized examination-Victorian Certificate of Education, VCE- also could be a good alternative (Afrianto, 2008). This exam occurs in the last year of secondary school and is used as an entrance to the university level. Similar with EBTANAS, the graduation is decided by the national exam and school evaluation, and it also has 2 certificates namely graduation and values. If the Indonesian government willing to apply this, the amount of money they spent to do four high stake exams (3 UN and the university entrance test) in each year could be used for other educational purposes.

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Conclusion
National examination implementation is still needed in order to motivate students and teachers at school. However, the negative effects of UN have outweighed the positive. The need to reformulate the national exam in Indonesia is crucial due to the negative impact resulting from the current UN. The government should re-think the policy of using the minimum threshold to make a pass/fail decision which will incriminate the students. It is suggested to use the EBTANAS form of national examination in which the result does not affect the graduation decision but is used as a mapping tool so that the government can determine which schools need special attention and support. It is also recommended to adopt Australian standardize examination where the test result is used as an entrance to the university level.

Reference
Afrianto 2008. “Reformulation of national examination policy in Indonesia”, accessed on 1 February 2011 from http://adsindonesia.or.id/alumni/ASAC2008Papers/Afriantopaper.pdf Athanasou, JA 1997. Introduction to educational testing. University of Technology, Sydney. Berita Fenomenal 2011, “Syarat Kelulusan Lulus Ujian Nasional 2011(UN-UNAS-UAN)”, accessed on 5 February 2011, from http://beritafenomenal.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/syarat-kelulusan-lulus-ujiannasional-2011un-unas-uan/ Darling-Hammond, L 1991. “The implication of testing policy for quality and equality”, The Phi Delta Kappan, vol. 73, No. 3, pp. 220-225, accessed on 27 January 2011 from JSTOR Dienim 2008, “Ujian Nasional : Meningkatkan Standard Lulusan VS Kebohongan Publik” accessed on 5 February 2011 from http://organisasi.org/ujian-nasionalmeningkatkan-standard-lulusan-vs-kebohongan-publik Embassy of Indonesia 2011, ” VP: National exam intended to raise education standard”, accessed on 4 February 2011 from http://embassyofindonesia.eu/vp-national-examintended-to-raise-education-standard/ Harti, Y n.d. “Masih perlukan ujian nasional?”, accessed on 4 February 2011, http://guruvalah.20m.com/kontoversi_ujian_nasional.html Hubber, P 2011a. ‘Week 5: high stakes and normalized testing”, Power point presentation. Deakin University.
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Hubber, P 2011b. ‘Week 2: Principle for Assessment’, Victorian Education Departement, Module 1 Activity: Principle of Assessment. Deakin University. Kemdiknas n.d. “Ujian Nasional”, accessed on 4 February http://www.kemdiknas.go.id/orang-tua/ujian-nasional.aspx 2011 from

Killen, R 2005. Programming and assessment for quality teaching and learning. Thomson, South Melbourne. Lubis, R 2010, “Tinjauan historis pelaksanaan ujian nasional (UN) dampak bagi siswa dan guru”, Proceeding Seinar International Pendidikan 2010 & Lomba Karya Ilmiah Guru Sumatera Bagian Utara 2010 (NAD-Sumut-Riau-Kep. Riau-Sumbar). Madaus, GF 1991. “The effect of important test on students: Implication for a national examination system”,The Phi Delta Kappan, vol. 73, No. 3, pp. 226-231, accessed on 27 January 2011 from JSTOR Depdiknas 2009. “UN SMP dan SMA April, UASBN SD Mei 2009”, Pusat Informasi dan Humas Depdiknas. Accessed on 4 February 2011 from http://www.diknas.go.id/headline.php?id=61 Permendiknas 2009, “Peraturan Menteri Pendidikan Nasional Nomor 75 tahun 2009 tentang Ujian Nasional”, accessed on 3 February 2011 from http://www.depdiknas.go.id/produk_hukum/permen/permen_75_2009.pdf Pikiran Rakyat Online 2008, “Standar nilai UN akan dinaikkan”, accessed on 4 February 2011, from http://www.pikiran-rakyat.com/node/80683 SEAMEO 2001, “SEAMEO Library: Indonesia” accessed on 4 February 2011 from http://www.seameo.org/vl/library/dlwelcome/publications/ebook/exam/2ndindo.ht m Shepard, AL 1991. “Will national tests improve student learning?”,The Phi Delta Kappan, vol. 73, No. 3, pp. 232-238, accessed on 27 January 2011 from JSTOR The Glipmax News 2011, “National Exam System Violates Student's Rights”, accessed on 4 February 2011 from http://glipmax.com/national-exam-system-violates-studentsrights.htm Volante, L 2004, “Teaching to the test: what every educator and policy-maker should know”, Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, No. 35, accessed on 5 February 2011 from http://www.umanitoba.ca/publications/cjeap/articles/volante.html Wragg, EC 2001. Assessment and Learning in the Secondary School. RoutledgeFalmer, New York.

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Appendix
Appendix 1. Example of UN question

1.

The electron configuration of one element with atomic number 28 and mass number 59 is.... a. [Ar] 4s2 3d8 b. [Ar] 4s2 4p1 c. [Ar] 4s2 3d10 4p1 d. [Xe] 6s2 4f3 e. [Xe] 6s2 5d3 Look at the reaction equation below 2 SO2 (g) + O2 (g) 2 SO3 (g) The amount of oxygen gas used is 12 liter, how much is the volume SO3 gas will be formed? a. 6 liter b. 12 liter c. 18 liter d. 24 liter e. 36 liter The cell diagram of a Volta reaction is: Cu2+ l Cu ll Ni l Ni2+ The correct statement from the above equation is: a. Cu act as anode b. Cu act as cathode c. Ni act as cathode d. Ni experience the reduction reaction e. Un-spontaneous reaction

2.

3.

Appendix 2. The competency standard based on the Decree No. 75/2009 No 1 Competency Standards Analyzing the structure of atoms, the system periodic and chemical bonds to determine the properties of elements and compound Tested Ability Describing the elements notation and its electron configuration and the type of chemical bond can be produced Predicting the location of elements in the periodic table Predicting the type of chemical bond / type of interaction molecular Solving the chemical calculation related to chemical law Analyzing the equation of chemical reaction
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Applying the basic chemistry laws to solve problems in chemical calculations.

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Describing the properties of the solution, measurement methods and its used

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Understanding the organic compounds, clusters function and its reaction, benzene and its derivatives, macromolecules and fat.

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Determine the energy change in chemical reactions, and its measurement and calculation Understanding the reaction kinetics, chemical equilibrium, and its factors, as well as its application in everyday life and industrial.

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Understanding the oxidationreduction reaction and the electrochemical cell also its application in technology and everyday life. Understanding the characteristics of the important elements, its presence in nature, and the production and their role.

Analyzing the electrical conductivity of several solution Describing the concept of pH Calculating the concentration of acid / base in titration process Analyzing the nature of buffer solution Calculating the pH of the hydrolyzed salt Summarizing the formation of precipitation / solution from Ksp data Summing up the nature of koligatif solution based on the nature of PT koligatif solution Knowing the application of colloid properties within everyday life Summarizing the application of the petroleum concept related to fuel efficiency Describing the alkane derivative compounds Identifying the benzene compounds and its derivatives Analyzing the data related to the polymer Describing the macromolecules Summarizing the exothermic / endothermic at thermo-chemical events Determining the heat reaction Calculating the rate of reaction based on experimental data Describing the factors that affecting reaction rate Analyzing the shift of chemical equilibrium Calculating the value of Kc / Kp Describing the equations of reductionoxidation reaction Describing the voltaic cell diagram Applying Faraday's law Describe the phenomenon of corrosion Describing the minerals of an element Describing the nature of a particular group element Describing how to obtain the element and its usefulness

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