First University-based Grade 12 National Examination Management in Ethiopia: Challenges Encountered

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Fisseha Mikre
Kinde Getachew
Frew Amsale
Ashenafi Belay
Tekle Ferede
Netsanet Workneh
Nega Jibat
Abel Worku
Jemal Abafita
Getachew Tilahun
Berhanu Nigussie


This study examined the challenges encountered in the first university-based Grade 12 National Examination management in Ethiopia, a model where centralized organization was delegated to designated hosting universities. Recognizing the potential influence of challenges on such large-scale assessments, the study employed a phenomenological qualitative research design to capture the lived experiences of diverse stakeholders involved in the process. Using purposive sampling, we conducted 62 in-depth interviews with stakeholders including the Educational Assessment and Examinations Service (EAES) experts, university officials, students, supervisors, and invigilators from diverse regions. Thematic analysis of interview data revealed major challenges related to student health and psychological adjustment (stress, homesickness, adaptation difficulties), student disciplinary issues (rumormongering, dormitory disturbances, property damage, and harassment), and budget constraints. These challenges were attributed to the universities' limited experience managing large-scale exams, insufficient preparedness at various levels, and hosting institutions' capacity constraints. Participants reported a higher frequency of negative incidents compared to previous years. To mitigate these challenges for future examinations, collaborative preparedness efforts involving all stakeholders from national ministries to secondary schools are recommended, alongside targeted interventions based on the specific needs of students and universities. By minimizing these challenges, Ethiopia can improve the national examination experience for students and optimize future examination management.

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Fisseha Mikre, Kinde Getachew, Frew Amsale, Ashenafi Belay, Tekle Ferede, Netsanet Workneh, Nega Jibat, Abel Worku, Jemal Abafita, Getachew Tilahun, & Berhanu Nigussie. (2024). First University-based Grade 12 National Examination Management in Ethiopia: Challenges Encountered. Ethiopian Journal of Education and Sciences, 19(1), 50-64. Retrieved from

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