The National Institute of Education Testing Service (Niets) has vowed to hold talks with agencies to find a way out if the general election is declared for Feb 24 next year, which coincides with the date on which university entrance examinations are held.
The organisation is worried that a clash of dates will affect those sitting the GAT and PAT tests, referring to the General Aptitude Test and Professional and Academic Aptitude Test.
The results from these influence a student's chances of getting a university place.
Those who sit the tests must be studying Mathayom 6 or higher, and most of them will already be 18 and have the right to cast a ballot in the general election, based on the charter, Niets said.
"If it is confirmed the election will be held on Feb 24, 2019, Niets will talk with state agencies about the matter," the exam organiser said.
The organisation learned from a news conference on Aug 22 by the Council of University Presidents of Thailand that the GAT and PAT tests would be held during Feb 23-26.
The Niets said it was aware from the media that the poll would be conducted on Feb 24, so it wrote to the Election Commission (EC) on Aug 23 to inform the poll regulator about the time frame of the tests so the EC would take that into account when considering the poll date.
The EC replied on Sept 13, saying Feb 24 was set only for its own administrative reasons and the actual date will be determined by those in power.
According to the Niets, it also wrote to the education minister on Sept 27, asking him to bring the matter to the government's attention to ensure the election date it chooses will not affect those sitting the GAT and PAT tests.
Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin said Tuesday he had reported the issue to Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.
"I believe there will be no problems," Dr Teerakiat said, without elaborating.
Speaking after a cabinet meeting Wednesday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said Mr Wissanu and the Education Ministry would come up with a solution.
"If there are problems, they must be addressed," said Gen Prayut, noting the royal decree for the election date has not yet been rolled out.
Meanwhile, the "New Gen Network" Facebook page, affiliated with the Future Forward Party, has appealed to Niets and the EC to either change the dates of the tests or change the projected election date to ensure young people have a chance to cast their ballots.
It also urged people to put their names on the page to back its demand. At least 500 people had signed by Wednesday evening.
Writing on his personal Facebook page, party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit said 6.4 million people would have a chance to cast ballots for the first time in February and if the poll and the exams are to be held on the same day, this would hinder their rights.
"They should not have to shoulder two important things at the same time," Mr Thanathorn posted, noting his party wanted the two events to be held on different days.
EC secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma said the election date must fall between Feb 24 and May 5, and the decision would depend on the government, which has to issue a royal decree on the issue.