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Taking the Al-Azhar Oral Entrance Exam

The oral exam takes place in the Ma3had Al-Bu3ooth Al-Islaamiyyah building.  The schedule for the exam is posted in front of the building the Thursday prior to the exam.  Each student is assigned a room (lajna) as well as a date to take the exam.

There are usually several weeks of oral exams.  The earlier a student turns in the registration packet the early they will take the oral exam.  A student may need to go to the Ma3had building several times on Thursday afternoon to find out if his/her exam date is the following week.

The exam takes place inside the building on the second or third floor.  The student must come between 8 AM and 10 AM on the assigned date to take the exam.  Students are required to bring their passports to confirm their identities.


Exam Format

Students sit in the back of the room waiting for their turn to take the exam.  There are usually two instructors that conduct the exam.  When a student's turn comes, he/she comes to the front of the room, presents the passport to one of the instructors, and then is asked questions by the one or both of the instructors.  All students entering the Al-Azhar system take the oral exam, so there may be middle school or high school aged children taking the exams as well.

The exam usually does not take up more than five minutes and is open-ended, meaning the instructors can ask any question they want.  The questions tend to be fairly simple, as the exam determines a student's level in middle school.

The following are generally expected from a student taking the oral exam:

  1. Memorization of a portion of the Qur'an, generally believed to be at least 2 Juz.  The student should be proficient in their recitation.  It is not a problem to make some mistakes.  It is also not a problem for the student to specify what is stronger in his/her memorization.
  2. Ability to converse, read, and write in Arabic with ease.  Some of the proctors will speak in the Egyptian dialect, but if this is a problem the student should respectfully ask them to speak in Fusha.  The student will likely be asked to read something and may be asked to write something through dictation.
  3. Basic knowledge from the Azhar curriculum.  Most students are asked some grammar questions.  Sometimes basic fiqh questions such as the obligatory parts of prayer are asked.  Sometimes students are asked to recite a hadith from memory.

Some students have been asked science or math questions.  If a student does not know the answer it is fine to say so.



The result is posted on Thursday the week after the student takes the exam outside of the Ma3had building.  The student can be placed into first year middle school, second year, or third year.  If the student is placed into the third year then he/she has the right to take the written exams to place into high school.  If a student feels that they were mistakenly placed into the wrong year, there is an appeals process that is available to the student.

Created by: admin. Last Modification: Thursday 12 of February, 2009 18:28:14 IST by admin.