In Turkey, getting accepted to the university you want requires a difficult and serious preparation period, as you have to take a 3-hour difficult exam in which you are competing with about one million eight hundred thousand people. Although such a huge number of people are taking the exam, only three hundred thousand of them can be admitted to a university. It means that preparing for this exam, which is called the OSS, involves a number of important steps that you must be careful about.
The first step of the OSS preparation marathon is choosing your division in high school. There are four divisions called “science studies”, ”Turkish and math” and “languages”. Making a decision of your division is very important because your choice of division in high school determines which fields of study are open to you in college. For example, the “science article” division gives you the chance of choosing many engineering departments and medicine, whereas the “Turkish and math” division has the options like economics and administrative sciences, international trade etc. Also your decision determines which lessons you will take in your second and third year of high school. For instance, you won’t take any geography lessons in school if you are a science studies student. If you want, you can change your department in the last year of high school but then you will have to pass the exams of the other lessons, which you didn’t take in your ex-division. So it is absolutely vital that you make the right decision. You’d better talk with a counselor in the second term of your first year. And you should follow the system changes very carefully. You ought to listen to the ideas of your family and counselor but you must make your own decision in the end.
The second step is enrolling in an OSS course. I advise you not to think very much about which course you will enroll in because in general they actually are the same. So you can choose one according to your location and income. Another decision to make is in which year of high school you should start to go to a course. I went to “Fen Bilimleri Merkezi” in both second and the last year of high school. It was boring to go to a course for two years but on the other hand it was good for me to plan my study program. In fact, it is a good idea to decide it according to your personal circumstances.
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The third step is studying for both OSS and school. In OSS there aren’t any questions from the second and the last year of high school. But you shouldn’t give up studying for school lessons because your high school grade in Turkey also has a big effect on your OSS scores. You shouldn’t give up studying for school completely. Just listen to your teachers carefully. They will be giving you the clues for the exams. Also I can add, “studying at home” stage to the studying step. You continue to study at home. These days are very important because you have more time to study and the exam day is coming. So you should always study according to your program.
The next step is finally taking the exam. Although I went out on the day before the exam, I couldn’t sleep all night. I was excited. So I advise you to overcome your excitement if you can. A good sleep is going to be an advantage to you. You should have breakfast and check the documents necessary for the exam. Also you’d better see your exam building a few days before so as not to get lost and panic on the exam day. During the exam you must try to be as calm as possible. You can take a deep breath and start answering the questions. After the exam you should at least be able to say that you have done your best.
The last step is making your choice. You get an exam score and you’ll make choices. You must be realistic according to your score but also you shouldn’t lose sight of your aims. You ought to consider all the conditions while you are making your choices. You should answer questions like “Can I stay in a dormitory?” or “Can I be happy if I choose this department?” I believe this is one of the hardest steps so you should talk with your family and counselors before you make a decision. After making your choice, you start to wait for the news from ÖSYM. During this waiting period it’s a good idea to go on a holiday if you can. Finally, you get the results.
In conclusion, after following all these steps, luckily all my efforts had a happy end. I reached one of the most important goals in my life. And I believe that by following these steps in the OSS marathon you can make one of your dreams come true too!
Ozge Kocabas Adv 2004