National Organization for Development of Exceptional Talents
National Organization for Development of Exceptional Talents (NODET, also known as SAMPAD, Persian: سمپاد , which stands for سازمان ملی پرورش استعدادهای درخشان in Persian, Sazman-e Melli-e Parvaresh-e Estedadha-ye Derakhshan) are national Middle and High Schools in Iran developed specifically for the development of exceptionally talented students in Iran. NODET was first established in 1976 re-established in 1987 having its first branches in Hamedan and Kerman.
Admission to schools
Admission to Nodet schools is selective and based on a comprehensive nationwide entrance examination procedure. Every year thousands of students apply to enter the schools, from which less than 5% are chosen for the 99 middle schools and 98 high-schools within the country. The process of entrance to these schools includes two tests devised to measure intelligence and talent of the participants rather than their acquired knowledge. Once students are considered competitive, they are allowed to take the first test, the result of which determines if they are allowed to take the second test. The source of questions is not pre-announced.
The style of the questions in the entrance exam varies from one exam (or one section of the exam) to another, but rather unique types of questions are included in the exams each year. There are some questions that describe a certain phenomena and a problem surrounding it, asking the student to choose from one of the four possible answers, but also describe the reason of their choice. And the evaluation of the answer wouldn't be based on the choice, but on the described reason, trying to distinguish students with higher reasoning abilities. To mention another uncommon type of question, starting with a brief introduction on a certain scientific concept that most students don't have any knowledge about, the student is given a problem with enough description to make the student be able to solve the problem through mental mathematical calculations, scientific reasoning or even their instinct, making it possible for students with different types of problem solving skills to be selected.
All applicants must have a minimum GPA of 19 (out of 20) for attending the entrance exam. In 2006 87,081 boys and 83,596 girls from 56 cities applied, and finally 6,888 students were accepted for the 2007 middle schools.
The entrance exam gets very competitive in larger cities, especially in Tehran, in which 120 students are accepted after two exams and interviews, out of over 50,000 applicants.
Statistics show that NODET alumni usually pursue higher education until post-graduate level. Some NODET alumni are world class leading researchers in Science, Engineering, and Medicine.
The manager of the organization was Hojjatoleslam Javad Ezhei who managed this organization from 1988 to 2009. The new manager is Dr. Etemadi. The schools for girls are named Farzanegan School and the boys' schools have different names in different cities.
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