TREY gave a statement on the draft of the new entrance exam model

The development project for student admissions, initiated in 2022, has drafted a new model for entrance exams, intended to come into effect in spring 2025. The purpose of the project is to enhance joint entrance examinations, improve the pedagogy of entrance exams, and digitise the exams. Additionally, the aim is to streamline the schedule of entrance exams, enabling the results of certificate-based admissions to be available well in advance of the exams.

The draft introduces a model of nine entrance exams. Unfortunately the draft is only available in Finnish.

TREY submitted its statement to the Otakantaa service, but the main points of the statement can also be read below.

TREY’s comments on the new entrance exam model as a whole

The starting point of collaboration in entrance exams and the tightening ofselection schedule are excellent developments from the current situation. In addition to developing national cooperation, it is important to consider the specific characteristics of different fields. 

Many of the proposed exams have good foundations to start operating according to the model. However there are aspects of the model that raise concerns especially considering the proposed schedule. Therefore, we see that there is no reason to strictly focus on a certain number of exams, but rather to genuinely plan the exams with quality and the needs of the fields in mind. This also applies to the digitalisation of the exams and especially to automation: we hope that exams are designed with pedagogy in mind rather than for example prioritising automation in the assessment of the exams. For instance, multiple-choice questions may not be the best way to assess competence in all fields.

It is important to ensure that the prerequisite knowledge required for exams does not disadvantage applicants based on their previous educational background when applying to higher education institutions. The tasks in the exams should be designed to measure fundamental knowledge relevant to the field. 

TREY’s comments on the individual exams

In entrance exam A, physics, information networks, chemistry, mathematical sciences, nanoscience, computer science, and engineering are combined into the same exam. Many of these fields already have a long tradition of joint selection, and TREY believes that collaboration between them will undoubtedly continue successfully in the future. Similarly in the entrance exam D, which covers psychology, logopedics, and health sciences, there is already some existing collaboration in entrance exams, indicating that the model could work well. 

Entrance exam E would consist of educational sciences and physical education pedagogy. We see it as a positive change that educational sciences are now separated into their own exams in this model, as in the previous model it was combined with entrance exam D. It has been noted in the background material that combining psychology and logopedics with educational sciences into the same exam would have been very challenging, and we agree with this assessment. 

Entrance exam G combines administrative sciences, public law, social sciences,, communication sciences, and law. Entrance exam G is a combination, where collaboration of the different fields has not yet been tested, and now efforts are being made to foster collaboration among these major fields. Regarding this exam, we see the schedule as challenging because results from the current development of collaboration have not yet been achieved. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to predict the success of collaboration. Regarding the entrance exam, we also see a risk of it becoming too generic. Exams should take into account the specific characteristics and requirements of the fields more precisely. However, we are pleased that in communication sciences, a separate section for measuring textual skills has been added, as it is justified for the field.

We however question the placement of law within entrance exam G. We believe that relocating law to its own section, similar to educational sciences, could facilitate exam preparation, especially considering it is a high-demand field. 

We also see challenges regarding entrance exam H, which combines philosophy, history, cultural studies, arts studies and theology. These fields share some common features, so it is justified that they are combined into the same exam in the model. However, since there is no previous experience of collaboration among these fields, predicting the effectiveness of the model is difficult. Additionally, initiating collaboration within this timeframe to meet the desired objectives may prove challenging. There is also a risk with this exam that it may become too generic, and we hope that the specific characteristics of the fields will be taken into account.

Entrance exam I combines language and literature fields into one exam. The exam is designed to include common sections on general language skills and text analysis and interpretation skills, which we view positively, as we believe these skills are beneficial across all these fields. In addition to these, there are separate sections in the exam for each study program. Concerning the specialised sections, we are worried about the time allocated for the entrance exam and how applicants will manage to complete all sections. For instance, if an applicant wishes to take exams in multiple languages, will they be able to allocate their time fairly across all of them.

Additional information about the development project for student admissions can be found in this news article published by the University of Helsinki.


More information

Jenna Rantanen

Specialist in educational affairs and international affairs


Picture on the banner: TT-kamerat/ Henri Tammi