Fri, Nov 05, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Civil service exam quandary resolved by inclusion of test

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The dust has settled in January's entry-level national civil service examinations as the Examination Yuan yesterday approved the inclusion of a history and geography test in the exam.

The Examination Yuan, however, remained evasive about the scope and percentage of questions dealing with Taiwan and China on that test.

Minister of Examination Lin Chia-cheng (林嘉誠) told a press conference yesterday that the scope of the test will be handled "in accordance with regulations and precedent" and determined by the entry-level civil service examination committee.

By regulations, Lin was referring to the Examination Question Formulation Regulations (命題規則), which stipulate that examiners should equally allocate questions from each chapter of the textbook for the tests without specified percentages.

The textbook for the history, geography and civics test for January's exam is those used by junior-high school students.

There are a total of 80 questions in the test.

The regulation mandates that if there are multiple-choice questions and short essay questions, then the multiple-choice questions should make up at least 50 percent of the total.

In January's history, geography and civics test, Lin said that there would be 40 civics questions, 20 on history and then 20 on geography.

As for the ratio of questions on Taiwan to those on China, Lin said the final decision was up to the entry-level civil service examination committee to decide.

Lin is also a member of the committee.

Examination Yuan member Lee Chiung-hsiung (李慶雄) told the Taipei Times that the ratio of questions dealing with Taiwan and China was about one to nine before 1998. The balance later shifted to four to six and by 2002 it was half and half.

Because the number of geography questions in the Examination Yuan's question databank is below the legal minimum limit, Lin said the committee will have to draw up more questions for January's test. Lin said that the committee has not ruled out writing more history questions, though there are enough in the databank right now.

An internal document obtained by the Taipei Times showed that of the questions for the national history, geography and civics test in the question databank, 50 percent are Taiwan-oriented questions and 50 percent deal with China.

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