An update to public school curriculum rolled out in August. It has incorporated the use of calculators into mathematics courses for junior high and senior high school students. However, the College Entrance Examination Center recently announced that students will not be allowed to use calculators for the 2022 entrance exams.
A new curriculum went into effect at the beginning of the 2019 academic year. Calculators were incorporated into mathematics courses for junior high and senior high school students. However, the College Entrance Examination Center recently announced that test takers will not be allowed to use calculators during the 2022 General Scholastic Ability Test, which will be based on the new curriculum. Several teachers started a petition calling for students to be allowed to bring calculators that meet required specifications to the test. Meanwhile, scholars who helped to create the mathematics curriculum under the 12-year compulsory education system said calculators are a learning tool and have been incorporated into the curriculum. Moreover, many exercises in textbooks require calculators. The ban on calculators for the test may violate the curriculum.
They're being used in classrooms, because it says so in the curriculum. Textbooks also have exercises where we are required to use them. If calculators can't be used during the test, the proportion of exam or quiz questions that we create requiring calculators won't be so high.
Other teachers believe the ban won't have much of an impact. The CEEC also explained that this decision was made by the Ministry of Education after consulting with involved parties and reaching a consensus. The CEEC will assess whether allowing the use of calculators will help to achieve the learning objectives of the curriculum and whether there are any hidden risks.
We estimate that 150,000 calculators will be entering the exam rooms (every year). All calculators need to meet certain standards and requirements, and it will require a large amount of administrative resources to ensure that these calculators haven't been modified. Will the practice of using calculators to answer questions become a standard situation? If it doesn't, then there may be an effect on performance and students may end up with lower scores.
The CEEC added that there may be an issue with fairness without proper planning. Results may also be affected by how proficient students are with calculators. Therefore, it must take a cautious approach as it doesn't have complete information. A decision on whether to allow calculators during the 2023 test is still pending.