Students about the EUCIP Core exam

In order the EUCIP Core to be successful, it is important to get feedback from those students who were the first participants of EUCIP Core education and exams. Materials to help the preparation for the exam were given to the participants. Moreover, trainings in various periods were held.  The students prepare for the exam partly in these trainings, partly by themselves.

The examination was held with the involvement of students who had taken part in the pilot training and had taken at least one exam (in one module). An online questionnaire with 21 questions was made. The access to this questionnaire was given to the students. Most of the questions were multiple-choice but open questions were also asked.

It was supposed that the previously given materials helped the preparation of students but further development/improvement of the materials/ methods of preparation is necessary. It was believed that on the three fields (Plan, Build, Operate) both the materials and the trainings are necessary. The aim was to get to know the opinion about the materials and the circumstances of the exam. Another aim was to find out whether there is a difference of opinion between students who have chosen English as language and students who have chosen Hungarian.

In the questionnaire, questions about the language were asked after the ones about the partners and raw data. The question asked about the chosen language and whether the student would change the language on the next exam. In the next part, the questions were about the success of the exam and the disturbing factors. This part was followed by questions about the time of the exam, the difficulty of the exam material, the circumstances of the preparation and the lucidity of the questions and answers. Finally, a question asked whether the knowledge is useful and up-to-date.

In the survey, both the organizer of the pilot program and the partner which held the exam were participants (SZÁMALK, ÖJSZIGK, NJSZK, GJMSZI). 74 students filled in the questionnaire. Distribution of the students among the institutions is shown by Figure 1. At the moment all of the students are participants of IT study.

Most of the students (91%) are students of a full time training; the others are students of a part time training (a.k.a. evening training). The students- with the exception of one- are from the 12-14 (in part time training the second) college years.

Questions about the language

The questions about language were separated according to the modules (Plan, Build, Operate).

In further cases when the questions were examined separately according to the modules, the answers of those students who had not chosen any of the languages were eliminated. Accordingly, in case of Plan 41 (Hungarian) and 10 (English), by Build 38 (Hungarian) and 10 (English) and by Operate 48 (Hungarian) and 26 (English) answers can be examined (see Figure 2.). From the survey, it can be concluded that the field of Operate is the most popular. All 74 students of Module Operate who gave answer had taken exam. Thus, the results of Module Operate were mainly brought as an example.

More interesting is the rate of students who want to change language (see Figure 3.). Most of the students took the exam in Hungarian and do not want to change it. About 10% would like to change from Hungarian to English and also 10% from English to Hungarian. The rate of the change is small. At the right end of Figure 3., there is 9%, which represents the students who give different languages by the different modules so they had already chosen different languages to take the different Modules.

The evaluation of the exam and the circumstances

By each module, about 40% of students had not made extra preparation. Less than the half of the rest thought that they succeeded in the exam and about 31-38% is uncertain. The results of module Operate is shown in Figure 4.

Most of the students (89%) had an undisturbed exam. Seven students marked that they had some disturbing facts. Among them were five who implied for mistakes in translation. This fact is shown by Figure 5. too, where the questions asked immediately about the understanding of the questions and answers of the exam. Apart from the language in each module, most of the students (more than 50%) stated that the texts were mostly or utterly understandable.

Similar results can be seen, when questions about the time were asked (see Figure 6.). Very few students thought that they had not enough time. Most of the students found the time enough. There were some students who saw the time as too much.

Opinion about the difficulty of the exam material

In the followings, questions to find out how difficult was the exam and whether it came up to the expectations based on preparation were asked. Figure 7. represents the results of the different modules.

The orange and blue stripes show that the tasks in the exam were similar to the expectations or even easier. 35-38% found the tasks more difficult than expected.

By Module Plan, teachers had feared that it would have been the most difficult, but with extra attention they can achieve similar results than in other modules. Moreover, by Module Plan, there was the biggest rate of “easier” answer.

An open question was asked about the most difficult field. 16 students gave substantive answer. There was not a field which got much more notations than the other. Each got about 3-4 notations. 3-3 students thought that both or neither of the fields was difficult.

The discrepancy of the exam and the material was also examined. Thus, the question: How different was the exam material from the previously learned material was asked. The answers are shown in Figure 8.

Those who learned the material in English did not find difference, but those who learned the material in Hungarian found a little difference. This fact urges for more work in the field of translation. Similar were the results in the case of other modules.

Opinion about the preparation

Every student could fill in freely how many periods of training they had. According to the answers, the data was grouped (see Figure 9-10.).

It is interesting that about 40% of the students took part rarely in the trainings. Similar is the rate (35%) of those who had more than 20 periods of training. On the other two fields, about 50% of students had no or little participation in classes. Only 20% attended the classes regularly. This data should be further examined with the comparison of the achievements of the exam, but the final results of the exam were not asked in this questionnaire.

The answers for the question about the efficiency of preparation were mainly positive. However, there was a number of students who had not taken part in the preparation. This is shown by Figure 11. in Module Operate. The case is alike in the other modules.

For the preparation, extra materials were accessible to students partly on the portal. Questions about the efficiency of these extra materials were asked.

There were students who would have like to have more materials for the preparation. Similar is the number of students who had not used any of these materials. It was also asked whether they had used the materials available on ? 70% of the students had not used the extra materials on the portal. Students were asked open question about the reason of using or not using the extra materials of the portal. 19 substantive answers were given. 5 out of 19 had used the portal for the preparation, 3 examined the tests, 2 examined the descriptions. Figure 13. shows the different reasons why students had not used the portal. Many students (43%) believed that it was not necessary to use the portal. It can be deduced that students had not feel to use the portal because the preparation in classes was enough. When the number of students taking exam increase, then the number of portal-users will increase, too.

Opinion about usefulness

After summarizing the results, it can be concluded that:

  1. The answers are not influenced by the fact that some students took the exam in English and some in Hungarian. Only a few students were uncertain about the suitability of the chosen language. The rate of students who had chosen Hungarian is extremely high.
  2. The opinion about the preparation is extremely positive.
  3. The good preparation in classes seems to lead to the leaving of online materials. Very few students used the online extra materials. By the possible increase of examinee and the spread of the exam, the rate of online materials’ using may change and so increase.
  4. The circumstances of the exam were suitable. The students felt the information useful and up-to-date. The opinion of students, which claim the material useful and up-to date, came up to the expectations that were declared in a previous survey.

Follow-up recommendation and suggestions:

  1. The EUCIP Core is up-to-date enough to be introduced in the IT education.
  2. There is a need of elaborated Hungarian materials. However, it is also important to have trainings and exams in English.
  3. The translations need some correction.
  4. The extra trainings are useful to be held and organized.
  5. The hard copied materials and online materials are necessary to increase the exam and also to help individual learning.

The questions of the survey, the answers and materials connected to this examination is found here:

The issue 8. edited by Tóth Lajos Péter from Öveges József Vocational and Grammar School. You can read more about it here:

Newsletter issue 8.