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Despite the war: the average grades of the reservists are higher than the general average

Photo credit: IDF Spokesperson Unit
As part of a data analysis at Tel Aviv University, which examined the average grades of those who served 28 days or more in the first semester, it emerged that their achievements in the Faculty of Exact Sciences and Engineering were 5-10 points higher. It should be emphasized that the basket of academic and financial support provided by the university allowed the bridge on the gaps created due to the reserves.

Tel Aviv University conducted a first-of-its-kind data analysis that examined the achievements of reservists in undergraduate studies at academic institutions in general and Tel Aviv University in particular.

The test was conducted in the faculties of engineering and exact sciences, where about 7,000 students study, of which about 2,300 served in the reserves since the outbreak of the war. As part of the inspection, the heads of the faculties compared the grades in sample courses in the first semester of reservists who served 28 days or more, during the semester and the exam period, with those of the other students and found that in most cases the grades are similar, with a slight advantage specifically for the reservists – these are mandatory courses in which many hundreds of students learn. Also, the inspection revealed that the basket of academic and financial support that the university gave to students who served more than 28 days, made it possible to bridge the gaps and even achieve higher grades than the general average.

The Faculty of Exact Sciences:The faculty checked the general average of the first semester students, and from the test it emerged that the average grade of the reservists was 74.9 while the overall average was 70.5. These achievements were also maintained when courses were examined individually, and among others the following courses were examined: classical physics 1, organic chemistry 1, light waves and optics and data structures. In each of the courses, there was a gap of 5 points or more in the average score precisely in favor of the reserve servants.

Faculty of Engineering:

The average grade of the group of reservists in the programming (Python) course, intended for the first year in all majors of the faculty, was 80.4 while the average of the other students in the course was 70.0. It should be noted that the first year is considered the most difficult year in engineering studies.

This trend was also maintained in other courses tested in electrical engineering, such as linear algebra and classical mechanics, and also in first year courses in mechanical engineering such as engineering graphics and differential and integral calculus, in all of which a gap in the average score was found in favor of the group of reserve servants.

It should be emphasized that students who served more than 28 days in the reserves were entitled to the relief plan approved by the university, and within it they received, among other things, personal mentoring and individual accompaniment by faculty members, help with homework, flexibility in submitting exercises and assignments, a “marathon” for the exam, 25% extra time In exams, exemptions from elective courses and more.

Also, the university announced at the beginning of the year that there is no obligation to attend classes, and all courses were recorded and made available to students for learning in their free time. This academic assistance comes alongside extensive financial assistance that the university provided to the reserve officers.

The deans of the faculties Prof. Tova Milo (exact sciences) and Prof. Noam Eliaz (engineering) expressed great satisfaction with the data, but emphasized that it is still too early to conclude: “We take our hats off to those students who returned from grueling reserves and managed to complete the material and even excel. There is no doubt , that the broad envelope given to the reservists helped most of them pass the sharp transition from defending the homeland to the classroom. The university contributed its share, but this amazing achievement belongs to the students and only them. At the same time, we must remember that the nature and length of the reserve service varies from soldier to soldier , and there are cases where students served for many months in the reserves, some of them even missed the exams, and unfortunately it will be more difficult to make up the gaps.

The rector of Tel Aviv University, Prof. Mark Steif, added that the two faculties that were examined are faculties in which it is very challenging to complete material: “From the moment the school year began, we announced that we intended to do as much as possible so that the reserve servants complete the year successfully, and we are determined to meet this national goal. This is a challenge complex that requires us to constantly make adjustments according to the needs and the continuation of the war and of course without harming the academic quality. It is also clear to us that the data we found reflect the average and there are cases in which a certain student still has difficulty filling in the gaps, we will continue to monitor the issue closely and do everything possible to help.”

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