The Education Ministry yesterday rejected accusations that the forthcoming Grade 12 national exams will be easier than in previous years.
Education Minister Hang Choun Naron said rumours about a downgrade in the difficulty of the tests were untrue.
He insisted the exams would be based on the same principles as in previous years, saying a total of 103,112 students would sit the tests at 178 exam centres on August 21 and 22.
The results of the tests will be announced on September 12 for Phnom Penh and Kandal province and September 13 for the rest of the country.
The number of candidates has increased by almost 10,000 compared with last year, when 93,752 students sat the test.
Mr Choun Naron said the ministry would spend about $3.5 million on holding the exams this year.
“Some people have said the exams this year will be easier because we are nearing the national election. I want to confirm that the standards will be as strict as ever. We need quality students,” he said.
“We will continue to enforce strict measures on not being allowed to bring documents, phones or electronic devices into the exam room. No one knows the content of the test, which has been kept secret.”
He added that this year, candidates must score at least 237 points to pass the exam while last year, they had to score 224 points.
“Last year, 62 percent of students passed. We hope the students this year get good results because they have studied hard,” Mr Choun Naron said.
Last year 5,000 moderators oversaw exam rooms nationwide. The Anti-Corruption Unit is currently in the process of recruiting moderators for this year.
San Chey, executive director at the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said his organisation has put forward candidates to become moderators.
“We want to join the effort to ensure the quality of the exams,” he said.