Far more student teachers than the youngest fail math

Far more student teachers than the youngest fail math

National partial examination

Nearly half of student teachers in grades 1-7 in the nation’s largest teacher-training program have failed the national partial exam in mathematics. Knockout’s manager is concerned.

Student teachers performed significantly worse on the national partial exam in mathematics this year than last. The photo was taken in a different context.

Nearly 1,200 primary school students took the National Mathematics Education Partial Examination on May 23. The results are now clear and show a failure rate of 33.9 percent. It’s well above results from similar numbers from spring 2022, when 22.5 percent failed.


National partial examination

  • On a mission From the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Nukut is responsible for four different national partial examinations in universities and colleges.
  • one for students in nursing and one for elementary school students, both grades 1-7 (GLU 1.-7.) and grades 5-10 (GLU 5.-10.) New for fall 2022 was also a national partial exam for child care students.
  • For student teachers Is there a significant difference between students in grades 1-7 and grades 5-10. Students in grades 5-10 who have been tested have chosen mathematics and want to become mathematics teachers. Students in Stages 1-7 include all students, regardless of preferred subject.
  • For student teachers Examinations are held in the spring and fall semesters. Most students are tested in the spring. Many of those who take the exam in the fall fail in the spring, and it must be assumed that this affects the result.
  • that it About 1,800 students, spread across 12 institutions and 22 study centers take the exam each year.
  • results Mathematics for the partial exam Spring 2023 (the result from Spring 2023 is in parentheses)
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GLU 1-7, Spring 2023

  • 764 passed the exam, and 316 failed, with a failure rate of 41.4. (24.1 percent failed in spring 2022).

GLU 5-10, Spring 2023

  • 422 students took the exam, and 87 of them failed, with a failure rate of 20.6. (16.8% failed in Spring 2022).

The repetition rate is particularly high for student teachers in grades 1-7. 41.4 percent of the 764 students who passed the national partial examination failed. For student teachers in grades 5-10, the figure was 20.6 percent.

Knockout director Christine Feigny is worried. She finds that there are significant differences between educational institutions, but the trend is for grade point averages to decrease and for completion to be lower.

It is not a good idea to present a negative result. Many of us support training for Norwegian teachers, and mathematics is a central teaching subject, Wenge says in a press release.

Math exam

Almost a quarter of them failed math

– worried

At the country’s largest teacher training course at Oslo Mitt, the failure rate among student teachers in grades 1 to 7 was about 47 percent.

OsloMet’s head of primary and vocational teacher education, Vibeke Bjarnø, reacts the same as Vinje.

“I have just received the results, and my first reaction is that the numbers are alarming. More targeted measures are clearly needed. To make this better, the authorities need to get serious and do something about the underfunding of Norwegian teacher education. It simply seems like Students need more teaching and closer follow-up than we can provide in the ad-hoc framework.

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She would like to see Knockout investigate in more detail whether changing admission requirements for teacher education may have played a role. As is known, the government chose to abolish the four condition in mathematics and allow students who wish to become teachers to have at least 40 school credits and grade three in mathematics and Norwegian.

– It was interesting that Nokut checked the background data of those who sat for this test, and whether there was any difference between whether they had a score or a four in mathematics upon admission.

She adds that they have developed an additional measure to enhance students’ core competency in mathematics for teachers starting in 2023. Existing students will also be integrated into the same scheme in due course.

Little works well

There are also fewer people who score well on the exam.

Of the students who will become primary school teachers for younger children (grades 1-7), 15 percent have achieved grades A or B in 2022. This year, the number is down to 7.7 percent.

For students in the teacher training course for grades 5-10, there was a smaller drop. 13.7 percent had an A or B in 2023, down from 15.3 percent.

– We see that some institutions that have traditionally performed well in this test are still doing well, such as the University of Agder. There are now less than five percent of student teachers who fail, so it looks like they did something right. But, unfortunately, there are not many such examples, so there is still a lot of potential for improvement, Finney says in the press release.

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difference erased

In recent years, there have been consistently better results in the spring than in the fall.

There are more study programs at primary school teacher level 1 to 7 that hold regular examinations in the spring than in the fall. Results are always somewhat worse in the fall term, but some of this can be explained by the fact that there are more exams being taken in the fall. Therefore, directly comparing numbers for the spring and summer seasons can be somewhat misleading, Knockout previously reported.

This time the results show that the difference is being erased, Knockot writes.

The National Partial Examination in Mathematics for Student Teachers is held twice a year, in May and November. There are approximately 1,800 students spread across 12 institutions and around twenty study locations.

– We know that algebra is an area that Norwegian students find difficult, and these challenges start already in elementary school. One of the desirable effects of placing algebraic reasoning as a national microtest subject is precisely to strengthen this part of mathematics education. Getting out of this vicious cycle will take time, says Vinny.

Correspondent ● Christine Ran Choi Hina

Is the national partial exam in mathematics the solution?

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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