National comparative examination: test on general prerequisites for learning
Today in the Czech Republic, applicants no longer have to take exams based on the school curriculum when applying to Czech universities for many popular specialties, such as law, psychology, media, political science, economics, and sociology.
Instead of the usual subject exams, they write the OSP (Národní srovnávací zkoušky) test for general prerequisites for studies.
Every year more and more departments of Czech universities decide not to conduct their own entrance exams, but to enroll students on the basis of OSP results.
NSZ tests are conducted in various disciplines, the main ones being: mathematics, chemistry, biology, basic social sciences, English and German. However, the most common NSZ exam is the Obecné studijní předpoklady (Obecné studijní předpoklady), or simply OSP.
First of all, you need to understand the grading system. The test is comparative, which means that the results of the exam reflect the percentage of success of the student and other examinees. For example, if the exam result is 90%, it means that 10% of the examinees have a result better than yours or the same, and therefore 90% are worse
Knowledge of the school program does not play a determining role in this test, the main task of the exam is to identify the student's skills necessary for studying at the university.
The exam itself consists of 4 parts:
- Verbal part (20 minutes, 23 questions) - the section deals with Czech language skills. Examinees will have to summarize articles, insert missing words and complete sentences.
- Quantitative (30 minutes, 23 questions) - this section tests quantitative thinking, the ability to find unknown quantities, and to solve problems involving geometric figures.
- Logical part (30 minutes, 22 questions) - logic tasks include tasks that require the application of analytical skills, understanding of graphs and tables, and logical connections.
- Argumentation section (30 minutes, 22 questions) - this section includes tasks that test the student's understanding of the meaning and focus of the text, as well as his/her ability to think critically.
The tests offer 4 or 5 answer choices. The correct answer is always one. Not only correct, but also incorrect answers are taken into account in the assessment. That is, a point is given for a correct answer, and a part of the point is deducted for an incorrect answer. Therefore, these are not tests where you can put answers "at random".
The final result will not be in points, but in percentages. There is a "percentile" system in effect here. This means that your final score is the percentage of students you beat. The percentile is calculated separately for each part of the test.
Testing is complicated by the limited amount of time allotted for each section of the exam. In addition, the test is designed in such a way that you can't skip a section to come back to it later - you have to make a decision right away, and that's why many students panic and start answering at random, which is not recommended, because points are deducted for each wrong answer."
On the official SCIO website you can see which faculties accept applicants on the basis of the above tests, find out what requirements they have and apply for the test.
You can take the SCIO free of charge if the Czech state university requires a certificate of passing the test. The certificate is paid for by the university.
You can also take any of the SCIO tests on your own for a fee and then send the results to the universities. You can make an unlimited number of attempts and submit your best result to the universities.
SCIO Test Examples:
ZSV pro navazující magisterské studium Evropských studií download test
English download test, listening
German download test, listening
Chemistry download test
Biology download test
Mathematics download test
Fundamentals of Social Sciences - ZSV download test
OSP v NSZ tests download test, take test online
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As you can see, SCIO exams are not the easiest, but you can prepare for them. On the official website of the company, you will always find actual sample assignments that can be used to prepare for the exam.
The SCIO test has two other advantages besides multiple attempts. By taking it once, you will be able to submit your results to several universities at once (more precisely, your results will be sent by SCIO to the universities of your choice automatically). The exam is held in different cities, so you do not need to travel to Prague or any other city.
If you have already decided on a specialty and know for sure that one of the entrance exams will be the OSP test, we strongly recommend you to take all 6 attempts. The first exam may be overwhelming, but each subsequent one will be easier, you will understand the test structure, and you will have a strategy for passing the test.