Aspirants, many with excellent academic results, have yet again put up a poor performance in Dhaka University's admission test for the 2020-21 session, mainly owing to a lack of subject-based knowledge.
Only 10.76% have obtained pass marks in the "Ka" unit admission test under the Science Faculty, according to the results published on Tuesday.
The "Kha" unit admission test results were upsetting too as 83% of aspirants failed to secure even pass marks.
Even the performance of many GAP-5 holders was frustrating as in previous years. All HSC examinees of 2020 have passed and as many as 161,807 obtained GPA-5.
Education experts say such admission test results reflect poor quality of education at schools and colleges.
They have put these poor pass rates down to admission seekers' lack of adequate knowledge in basic subjects.
Students must improve their competence at secondary and higher secondary levels to perform better in university admission tests. At the same time, universities can consider students' capability while setting question papers.
Dr Syed Anwar Husain, former professor at Dhaka University's History Department, told The Business Standard, "The poor pass rate in the DU's Ka unit admission test is very regrettable and shameful for us."
"The government has been publishing results with high pass rates, considering political goals. Quality education is still uncertain in the country. Students who take admission tests have good results, but they have a lack of basic knowledge. In fact, the education ministry has no such plan to improve the education system," he pointed out.
Dr Mohammad Ali Zinnah, a professor at Dhaka University's Institute of Education and Research, told TBS that aspirants are not accustomed to the university admission test system as they are used to sitting in exams under the traditional question-answer system.
"Students are growing with a lack of basic knowledge. They do not get proper teaching at secondary and higher secondary levels. That is why many of them fail in university admission tests," he said.
Admission seekers have to prepare themselves with general knowledge that they hardly learned in their previous academic life, he added.
Wishing anonymity, an admission seeker told TBS that he failed to pass the admission test as he did not understand many questions.
"We studied only for passing examinations with a good GPA. But I now realize that we should focus on basic education. Even our teachers never directed us in this regard," he said.
Professor AKM Maksud Kamal, pro-vice-chancellor (Academic) at Dhaka University, said they tried to hold admission tests, considering all the aspects. "We always try to get the best students through a standard admission test. We did the same this year."
"It is clear that many students cannot pass the Dhaka University's admission tests. We have no fault here. Students as well as teachers should take initiative to make them qualified for any competitive examinations and obviously, students must have basic knowledge about their studied subjects," he said.
Dhaka University sources said a total of 117,957 aspirants took part in the admission test for the 1,815 seats under the "Ka" unit (Science group). A total of 65 students fought for a seat.
The test's total marks are 120 - 60 marks for multiple-choice questions, 40 marks for the written test and the remaining 20 marks based on their SSC and HSC results.
Only 20.75% of admission seekers passed the admission test of Dhaka University "Ka" unit, under science and biological science faculty for 2015-16 academic session, 13% for the 2016-17 academic session, 17% for 2017-18 session, 13% for 2018-19 session and 16% for the 2019-20 academic session.