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If you think you had it hard in high school المَدرسة الثانَوِيّة, ask any Jordanian about their experience تَجْرِبة, and for sure they will have an interesting story to tell about their year as a “Tawjihi” student.
What is Tawjihi تَوجيهي?
Tawjihi is the General Secondary Education Certification Examination in Jordan and serves to determine يُحَدِد which university (public/private) the student is accepted into. In addition to which subject the student is permitted يَسْمَح to study. Of course, the student must pass يَنْجَح with at least a 50% average مُعَدَّل in order to apply for university. You may be thinking, what’s the big deal? Everyone takes exams such as the American SAT’s before college.
Jordan is technically a small country with only a limited مَحدود number of universities. Therefore, students must compete يَتَنافَس in order to get a high enough score to be able to study in a public university such as “The University of Jordan”. Public universities have lower tuition and usually a better reputation سُمْعة than private universities. Students also strive to get high scores so they can choose their major. Many students are not able to study what they want. Technically, the “score” dictates their future.
Another important aspect is Jordanian society. People are very family oriented, so relatives basically know all your business. One’s reputation is important. No student wants to fail and bring shame الخجل/الفضيحة/ العار to his or her family. So, you can imagine the pressure ضَغْط one’s family puts on their son or daughter to study and get a high score.
Tawjihi begins with the studying period lasting all year preparing for the exams. Then comes the exam period where the student is sleep deprived and nervous متوتر/ قلق/ مرتبك (including family). After that, is waiting for the results while trying not to panic, then finally, the day of the results, where you either party like crazy because you passed and got a high score, or you go hide in a hole from shame and embarrassment because you either failed or got a lower score than you and your family anticipated توقع.
The day of results (for successful students الطلاب الناجحين) include endless phone calls from relatives asking “أديش جاب؟؟” “How much did he get??” Followed by lots of sweets and students driving down the streets with friends and family playing loud music, chanting, and beeping. Here is a YouTube video showing tawjihi students celebrating in Amman after the results. Some students tell their score. (Listen to the numbers being said in Levantine Arabic).
For those of you interested in Jordanian culture, tawjihi is a critical حاسم stage in every young Jordanian’s life. Tawjihi can tell a lot about Jordan’s educational system and how society views the success نَجاح and failure فَشَل of students.
What do you say to a student who passed? !مبروك النجاح literal meaning “Congratulations on the success!”
Can you relate at all to the Tawjihi experience?