‘Stomach problems’

Doctors warn against ‘relax pills for students’, as they might do more harm than good. Newspapers have been publishing sample exams for weeks. Private schools drill their students for the last time. What’s going on? Tomorrow the university entrance exams take place. About one and a half million students compete for one of the approximately 200 thousand places at universities all over the country. Most of the secondary schools don’t prepare students for the exam properly, so thousands of students attend a so called ‘dershanesi’ (private school) to get extra classes. Which means that in the last year before the exam, these children go to school seven days a week. The exam doesn’t only decide whether you can go to university or not, but also to which university you can go. So even very smart students do extra study, to get a place in one of the best universities in Ankara or Istanbul. Only then can you find a good job in an office, a future dream for many middle class Turks. A bad university only provides the status of having a university degree, which might at least help a bit to find a good marriage partner. Tomorrow morning at 9.30 it starts: 180 questions to be answered in three and a half hours. I’m sure thousands of students are developing ‘stomach problems’ already…

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