Academic Admission for Israelis
Study In Israel - Academic Admission
Taking the PSYCHOMETRY test (PSYCHOMETRY or פסיכומטרי in Hebrew, is the equivalent of the American SAT test) is an action you take with a very clear purpose and that is to determine the likelihood of your acceptance to various universities and colleges in Israel. It has been our experience that this issue raises many questions among students looking to enrol to universities and colleges, so we have assembled all the relevant information if you want to study in Israel. Everything you wanted to know about the academic admission process in Israel and never dared to ask.
Why and how to set admission requirements to study in Israel (or anywhere else)?
The need to set admission standards is due to two main reasons. The first reason is the desire of academic institutions to accept only the appropriate students - those with the highest chances of succeeding in school. The second reason is related to supply and demand - in many cases the number of people who want to enrol to certain schools and/or programs is huge, so strict filtering is needed. Any academic institution and study program sets their own conditions and criteria for acceptance – according to which they will filter students applying. Most commonly, acceptance is dependent on any combination between BAGRUT scores (BAGRUT or בגרות in Hebrew is the Israeli equivalent to the British A level exams) and the PSYCHOMETRY score.
What is MITAAM score, and why it is used for candidates who want to study in Israel?
MITAAM score, also called SECHEM score, is actually a weighted numerical value of your BAGRUT score and your PSYCHOMETRY score (from a psychometric test of the National Institute for Testing and Evaluation) according to a formula determined independently by each educational institution. The MITAAM score is used to determine a uniform scale to evaluate and determine applicants’ acceptance sections for each educational institution
As mentioned, the way the score is calculated varies from one institution to another. Moreover, it may be that the institute will use different formulas for different courses of study. Some institutions publish the formulas they use on their web sites, or offer an online calculator to calculate your MITAAM score. One example is the University of Tel Aviv’s website.
Candidates who want to study in Israel and have taken a PSYCHOMTERY test can enter their BAGRUT scores with their PSYCHOMTERY score (the PSYCHOMTERY score is valid for seven years after the date of the exam), calculate their MITAAM score at each institution, and find out exactly what schools and classes they can be accepted to.
If you haven’t taken the PSYCHOMTERY test, but know in advance that you would like to study in Israel, what course of study you would like to be accepted to in the future, and what university or college you would like to enrol to - check the MITAAM score required to be accepted to this course of study first, and consider what PSYCHOMTERY score you need to achieve, given your BAGRUT, to reach the desired MITAAM score.
Why does the MITAAM formula vary from one institution to another? Can’t they decide on a uniform formula and save us the headache?
Every institution has its own considerations in determining the formula for calculating the score, depending on different factors important to it. For example, there are institutions or faculties (especially in engineering and sciences) computing the MITAAM score with greater weight for the quantitative PSYCHOMETRY score, or for the BAGRUT in mathematics and physics.
Is it possible to know in advance the exact admission requirements for every school and faculty if I want to study in Israel? Does it not change according to supply and demand?
Typically, any curriculum pre-determines their acceptance cut and rejection cut. Any that score higher than the required score are automatically accepted, and any that score lower than the required score are automatically rejected. But the final acceptant score is ultimately determined depending on the number of applicants that year, and can be lower than the required initial acceptances score (the more applicants compared to the number of available places - admission requirements will rise).
For example, suppose a study program at Tel Aviv University determines its initial automatic acceptant score to be 640 and its automatic rejection score is 600. A candidate with a score of 660 will automatically be accepted and one with a 580 score automatically declined. And a candidate with a score of 630 could enrol, but will have to wait for the final acceptance score to be determined to know whether he is accepted or not.
You can find the acceptance/decline automatic scores on each university’s website. Some institutions will also present the final acceptant score determined for the previous year, allowing each candidate to assess his chances of acceptance, but of course the final score can go up or down from year to year.
Are there additional requirements if I want to study in Israel?
• • Universities and some colleges have a requirement for a minimum level of English as a condition of admission. English level is determined by specifying the English PSYCHOMETRY segment score, or for those who did not take the PSYCHOMETRY test, by their AMIR test. Required level varies from one institution to the other and for different courses. In most cases, you must achieve a level of "Basic" English (over 85 in PSYCHOMETRY English segment / 185 AMIR). Some universities impose a higher standard (100 in PSYCHOMETRY English segment / 200 AMIR) and certain degrees (e.g. medicine) are required to reach an even higher level (over 120 English chapter psychometric exams / 220).
• • In addition to the weighted BAGRUT score, some degrees have specific requirements of BAGRUT - for example, an extended BAGRUT (level 4 or 5 units) in mathematics or physics above a certain score.
• • Sometimes there is also a reference to a candidate’s PSYCHOMETRY score separately from his BAGRUT score (meaning with no MITAAM between them). Thus, a candidate with a high PSYCHOMETRY score can be accepted even if his MITAAM score does not pass the admissions requirement. On the other hand, sometimes a PSYCHOMETRY score below a certain level may result in automatic rejection, regardless of MITAAM mark adjustment.
• • Each faculty may set additional requirements, such as taking specific exams (e.g. MIRR medical test or entrance exams for architecture) or a personal interview.
I decided to study in Israel. Is it possible to get accepted without a PSYCHOMETRY score?
There are degrees, both in universities and colleges, which accept candidates on the basis of a high school diploma only (BAGRUT), without the need to perform psychometric testing. In most cases they require BAGRUT above a certain score. Thus, a student may be accepted to school based on only a high school diploma (BAGRUT), and another student with a lower BAGRUT would also have to take the PSYCHOMETRY exam and get a certain score in order to be accepted to the same exact school. It should be noted that anyone who did not take the PSYCHOMETRY test must take the AMIR exam for a grade in English level.
If my grades are not high enough, is there a "bypass route"?
There are several options for special acceptance for those who did not make the cut in the usual route:
Pre-academic preparatory class - Universities and colleges offer their candidates with low BAGRUT to participate in pre-academic preparatory classes. Preparatory classes span over a year in which students take courses on various subjects needed for their course of studies and take a university internal BAGRUT at the end of that year.
Acceptance through another institution or program - there are degrees that allow acceptance based on a partial academic education. In this case, a candidate who was declined for a certain program can register in a different program or school (if he meets the admission requirements to it) and one year later re-submit his application to the original program based on his 1st year grades.
We hope we’ve helped you with your decision to study in Israel and how to go about it.