By SARUN SAELEE
On March 3, 2012, Thai Grade 12 students nationwide gathered at their arranged examination places across the country. It was the time playing an important role to draw their future life, including careers. It was the time with full of tension. It was the first day of the second General Aptitude Test (GAT) and Professional Aptitude Test (PAT).
GAT and PAT are one of the main factors in the university admissions system of Thailand. They account for 10-50 percent and 0-40 percent respectively. The rest comes from Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPAX) from Grade 10 to Grade 12 with six semesters in total, at 20 percent and Ordinary National Educational Test (O-Net) at 30 percent, according to the Central University Admissions System. GAT and PAT are arranged twice each year whilst O-Net is only once.
Considering the said criteria, about 80 percent of the total score is purely from the exam rooms. The scores judge if students are qualified to study in their preferred fields and universities. Therefore, many Thai students must inevitably be studying very hard in order to ready themselves for a series of tests coming at the end of their high school life. They take many tutorial classes outside their schools and keep studying until late night. Their joyful life has somehow turned to be troublesome.