5-step entry exam plan for universities
High school students will be given five rounds to compete for university places next year under new changes to the entrance system aimed to ensure more equality among those vying for university seats.
The new system, unveiled Monday by the Council of University Presidents of Thailand (CUPT), revamps the university admission process.
It will give each successful candidate only "one right at a time" to confirm whether they want admission in a department they have been accepted into, said CUPT chairman Suchatvee Suwansawat.
Students must first forfeit the place they gained in the first round before trying their luck in the second round, or their new entrance examination will be invalid.
This will help avoid situations where students who have secured university places unfairly "block" others as they explore other channels to enter their most preferred departments, according to the CUPT.
Under the new system, to take effect in the 2018 academic year, students can choose from five rounds, said CUPT secretary-general Prasoet Khanthamanon.
The first round is a quota method in which students' records, or their "portfolios", will be considered by universities as the main entrance criteria, with no written exam.
The second round is another quota method for gifted students where the universities will also have written tests in their selection process.
The third round is called the "joint direct admission" in which students will have to sit for central exams organised by the National Institute of Educational Testing Service.
The tests include Ordinary National Educational Test (O-Net), General Aptitude Test (Gat), Professional Aptitude Test (Pat) and national nine core subject examinations. Candidates are allowed to choose four department options.
The fourth is a "general admission" where the tests are similar to those in the third round and students are again allowed four department choices.
The last round is called "independent direct admission" which allows universities to use their own criteria to admit students.