The main feature of the Unified State Exam is its uniformity. In all parts of the country everybody will be given the same test at the same level of difficulty. The test is controlled with the help of electronic technology. The Unified State Exam was experimental for about 5 years, but in 2009 it became official and compulsory for all Russian schools.
The Unified State Exam has some advantages and disadvantages. Firstly, it takes place in the same time in the all schools of the country and has the same contents. Secondly, each exam is corrected by a teachers from different schools. Also, it eliminates the possibility of subjective estimation. Finally, the Unified State Exam was designed as an alternative of college exams because it would be the final exam after the complete course of secondary school.
However, the practice of the Unified State Exam differs a lot from its project. Exactly, in its organisation the weak points of the Unified State Exam have been manifested, which lead to sharp criticism. For example, the formulation of the exam questions is often complicated and unintelligible. There are a lot of doubts if knowledge at such subjects as history or literature, could be controlled in this sort of tests. Moreover, most colleges make there own exams nowadays. They do not accept the results of the Unified State Exam.
To sum up, I think that the Unified State Exam is a good idea for education, but its organisation should be much better.