National Exam (Indonesia)

National examination in Indonesia.

National Exam (Indonesian: Ujian Nasional, commonly abbreviated as UN or UNAS) is a standard evaluation system of primary and secondary education in Indonesia and the equation of quality of education levels among the areas that are conducted by the Center for Educational Assessment, The Department of Education. The Law of the Republic of Indonesia number 20 of 2003 states that, in order to control the quality of education nationwide to be evaluated as a form of accountability of education providers to the parties concerned. Further stated that the evaluations conducted by independent agencies on a regular basis, comprehensively, transparently, and systematically to assess the achievement of national education standards and the monitoring process evaluation should be done continuously. Evaluation of the monitoring process is carried out continuously and continuous in the end will be able to fix the quality of education. Improving the quality of education begins with the determination of the standard. Determination standards continue to rise is expected to encourage increased quality of education, which is the determination of educational standards is the determination of the limit value (cut-off score). One is said to have passed the exam when it has passed the limit value of the boundary between learners who have mastered certain competencies with learners who have not mastered certain competencies. When that happens on the national exam or school then the boundary value function to separate the students who graduated and did not pass is called the limit of graduation, graduation delimitation activities called standard setting. Benefits of standard setting final exam:

It has been proposed to do an computerized version of National Exam, with trials starting in 2015.


Elementary school (Sekolah Dasar/Madrasah Ibtidaiyah (SD/MI))

Middle school (Sekolah Menengah Pertama/Madrasah Tsanawiyah (SMP/MTs))

High school (Sekolah Menengah Atas/Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan/Madrasah Aliyah (SMA/SMK/MA))

Streams Main course Vocational course
Natural science Indonesian
Physics, Chemistry, Biology
Social studies Economy, Geography, Sociology
Language Indonesian literature, History/Anthropology
Choice of foreign language(Mandarin, Japanese, German, French, Arabic)
Religion (MA) Science of Tafsir, Science of Hadith, Science of Kalam, Arabic
Vocational(SMK) History, Vocational theory, Vocational Practice

National Education Standards

During this national exam graduation delimitation is determined by agreement between the decision makers only. Limit is determined the same grade for each subject. Whereas the characteristics of subjects and skills students are not the same. It was not a consideration of education decision-makers. Not necessarily in a certain education level, each subject has the same standard as a minimum standard of competency achievement. There are subjects that require a high minimum competency achievement, while other subjects do not specify that high. This situation becomes unfair for students, because the required capacity exceeds the maximum capability.

Standard strategy

Preparation of standard setting begins with the determination of the approach used in setting standards. There are three kinds of approaches that can be used as a reference, namely:

At the end of each learning activity is concluded and accounting standard setting based on three approaches to determining the limits of graduation.


Main test

Start Finish Start Finish Start Finish
2005 30 May 1 June 6 June 8 June N/A
2006 16 May 18 May 22 May 24 May
2007 17 April 19 April 24 April 26 April
2008 22 April 24 April 5 May 8 May 12 May 14 May
2009 20 April 24 April 27 April 30 April 4 May 8 May
2010 22 March 26 March 29 March 1 April 5 April 7 April
2011 18 April 21 April 25 April 28 April 10 May 12 May
2012 16 April 19 April 23 April 26 April 7 May 9 May
2013 15 April 18 April 22 April 25 April 6 May 8 May
2014 14 April 16 April 5 May 8 May 19 May 21 May
2015 (paper-based) 13 April 15 April 4 May 7 May different by each province
2015 (computer-based) 13 April 21 April 4 May 7 May
2016 (paper-based) 4 April 6 April 9 May12 May
2016 (computer-based) 4 April 12 April 9 May 12 May N/A

Cutoff score

Years Minimum
2005 4.25 5.25
2006 4.50
2007 5.00
2008 4.25 5.25
2009 5.50



National Exam has been subject of controversy since its inception. It became notorious for answer key leakage, cheating, fraud, and corruption. Some argue that the exam is too hard and demanding for students and teachers. Schools are forced to allocate more time for drilling students, putting more workload to both teachers and students.

National Exam fail rate is usually very low. Critics argue that it did not give an accurate picture about Indonesian student's real competency, because of cheating problems and other issues.

The 2010 National Exam fail rate for middle and high school is unusually high. Explanations given of the cause of increase in failure rate attributed to test date in March, giving schools less time for prepare, question difflicuty, and increase in cutoff score. National Examination remedials are held in 2009 and 2010, but abolished the following year.

Some called for the National Exam to be abolished. The Education and Culture Ministry have so far defended National Exam.

There is a site dedicated for groups that try to abolish it. It can be found here.[1]

Exam fraud and cheating issues

Cheating is very rampant, because of the huge pressure to passing the exam. Schools and teachers are either ignoring it, encouraging it, or even do it. Examples include using mobile phones to send answers to other students, giving the answer key, either openly or discreetly, and changing the answer on the answer sheet. School principals and teachers has been arrested on that case.

To deter cheating, National Exam question variation had increased for middle and high school, from one to five in 2011, and from five to 20 in 2013. Other measures are inclusion of barcode in 2013 partly to determine question variation codes and to tackle cheating. Even then, cheating still occurs.

Exam material shortage and quality

In 2013, National Exam for high school are delayed in 11 provinces because of printing and packing confusion and errors. It was attributed to increase of question variation. Schools are forced to self-copy the question papers. Some demanded the then-Education and Culture Minister, Mohammad Nuh, to resign.[2]

See also


  1. "Tolak Ujian Nasional". Tolak Ujian Nasional (in Indonesian). Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  2. Ujian Nuh. Jakarta: Majalah Detik 73. 22–28 April 2013.
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