What was still largely discussed in February 2020 has taken a rapid fall since the spring. Universities across Europe have found that the current model of full-time entrance exams does not stand up to lockdowns and have looked for optimal online solutions.
At the Jessenius Medical School of Comenius University in Martina, the situation was even more urgent because the school offers study programme General Medicine in Slovak and English. While applicants from Slovakia could, after all, fold the receivers in the classical way, foreign applicants (Norway, Iceland, Germany, etc.) this was out of the question due to travel restrictions.
Therefore, the school decided to digitize the admissions process and approached us as a partner that it has on the Czech and Slovak markets with testing students the greatest experience.
We started developing ScioLink fully in the spring of 2020. We have therefore already told the Faculty of Medicine in the first negotiations that it will take several months before our solution is available. But we offered them an alternative — we organize entrance exams via a foreign platform, which we will later replace with a debugged Sciolink.
We chose the platform that best met the requirements of the faculty and prepared the receivers. “We took charge of the complete implementation of the tailor-made exam in biology, chemistry and physics, including communication with students,” recalls the beginning of the collaboration Jáchym Vintr, Product Owner of ScioLink. Practically, this meant:
We have become such a guide to the world of online testing. For example, we are the faculty recommended reducing the number of questions from the original 160 to 80. “It is not possible to leave the workplace during the exam, and an unabridged version of the test would take more than two hours, which is already very uncomfortable for students,” explains Vintr.
Faculty of Medicine thanks to online entrance exams enlisting hundreds of students and she was happy with the cooperation. Once we completed the ScioLink development, the school agreed to use our solution. “The main advantage is our full responsibility for the technical solution of the platform. We have everything under control, and if anything happens, we don't have to contact customer support in England, India or the Philippines.” describes Vintr.
Thus, in 2022, we organized entrance exams for both domestic and foreign applicants via ScioLink. The test parameters remained the same:
“Within five days, we tested 1400 applicants for studies in Slovak and 800 foreign students who wanted to study English in Martina,” adds Vintr, saying that the school received complete results from us within a week.
1. The organization of exams is handled by only 4 employees for the faculty
We handle the preparation, implementation and evaluation of the exam on behalf of the Faculty of Medicine. What was previously handled by 30 employees at Martina, now it is handled by 4 people.
2. The number of applicants for studies has increased by 5%
The number of applicants and the proportion of students who actually took the exam increased. Typically, 80-85% of enrollees took the full-time exam, 95% of applicants take the online exam.
3. The success rate of students is comparable to the full-time form of the exam
The difference in results is at the level of tenths of a percent.
4. Faster results
Thanks to the online form, the rewriting of data from paper to the system is eliminated, and the possibility of errors is reduced. Faculty staff may pursue a different agenda, and applicants will learn earlier how they turned out. The results of each term are available to the Faculty of Medicine within a week at the latest.
5. No employee travel abroad
The faculty no longer has to send employees on business trips in order to organize receptions abroad. It also got rid of renting premises abroad and other administration. This saves the school hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“For the third year now, we are organizing online entrance exams together with Scio tools. We were able to apply our own tests, customize the time and date of the event and save on test centers abroad, as well as internal resources at the faculty. The Scio team introduced us to things we had no experience with before, we took over their know-how in organising trials. We also value good information and technical support towards our bidders.” Juraj Mokrý, Vice-Dean of the Faculty