With student-candidates physically present, Pierce’s entrance examinations for A Gymnasium and interim year classes in both Gymnasium and Lyceum took place on the weekend of May 23 and 24!
Up until that weekend, due to the pandemic, schools had stopped operating and so the College had planned to conduct the entrance examinations online, making use of the Proctorio application. This is an electronic distance monitoring application which ensures the inviolable, valid and reliable conduct of examinations. The application is used at top educational institutions all around the world, among which are Harvard, Columbia and Berkeley Universities. In this way, the examinations could have taken place in the best possible way and would have minimized the anxiety and disruption of candidates and their families.
However, when it was announced that schools would reopen and, of course, with the approval of the Ministry of Education, the examinations took place with the candidates physically present and, as was demonstrated, there was a large turnout on both days. Overall, over the two days, 1,050 candidates attended, and the reception and allocation of students were carried out with special care and attention in order to prevent crowding. Every classroom was arranged to accommodate 8 to 10 children.
On the subject of security and reliability, the College “aced” the test, as the entire Pierce campus and part of the Deree campus were used. It is worth noting that each classroom functioned as an autonomous examination center: instead of reporting first to the central office, candidates were escorted directly to the classrooms, where the identity of each candidate was checked and the exam papers distributed. A total of 150 teachers took part as supervisors, proctors, escorts, etc.
The College took care to provide the students with all the necessary materials, from stationery to masks and antiseptics, which were essential during the examination. There was also nursing care available to candidates and the Campus parking area remained open throughout for the entrance and exit of parents’ vehicles.
The students’ departure was carried out one class at a time, exactly as their arrival had taken place.
Finally, masks and social distancing may keep us a bit further apart, but nothing could hide the smiles of optimism on the faces of students, parents and teachers on their performance and the sweet anticipation of the best possible results!