Second year into pandemic: national university entrance exam kicks off

June 30, 2021 - 12:29

TEHRAN – As the COVID-19 pandemic still poses a serious challenge, Iran’s national university entrance exam (Konkur) started on Wednesday under health protocols and will run through July 3.

The exam will be attended by 1,367,931 candidates, compared with 1,393,233 candidates last year.

Of the total participants, 662,114, equaling 59.5 percent, are female. The national universities have the capacity to enroll some 1.09 million students this year.

A total of 86 contesters have declared being infected with the coronavirus. They will be sitting for the exam at a specified building.

Konkur includes three main groups of mathematical sciences, experimental sciences, and human sciences along with two other groups of art and foreign languages.

Large halls have been selected with a suitable capacity and the seats are arranged with an approved physical distance of 180 cm from each other. Meanwhile, the venues and all equipment are disinfected.

The oldest candidate is 81 years old and the youngest is 13 years old.

The exam is simultaneously held in 11 other countries, namely Qatar, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Kuwait, and Oman.

Konkur is held annually in June or July in Iran and in some other countries as well, however, this year due to the pandemic, it was postponed till August. Every year the participants sit for the multiple-choice exam to vie to get the best results possible as the seats at tuition-free public universities are limited. Based on the figures only 20 percent of the students would manage to win the seats at top charge-free public universities.

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