중앙데일리

Test-score suicide as twins fear they failed

Dec 11,2007
The twin sisters had been under enormous stress lately, worrying about their scores on last month’s national College Scholastic Ability Test.
The stress may have been enough to cause the high school seniors from Changwon, South Gyeongsang to plunge to their deaths from a high-rise apartment building. “I wish you happiness with mom and brother. Sorry I wasn’t a good daughter,” one of the victims wrote in a text message to her father’s cell phone just before committing suicide, police said.
Sadly, such suicides are not uncommon around this time of year as students and parents agonize over test scores that determine the future academic career of high school seniors wanting to enter universities.
Police noted that a Seoul student, who had taken the CSAT three times, also jumped from a tall building last month shortly after taking the test on Nov. 15. The student was worried about test scores, police said.
Measures to reform the overwhelming influence of the CSAT on admissions have been introduced by the government in the form of assigning “levels” to students on the basis of test scores. Colleges are then required to give greater weight to additional criteria in admitting students, but the changes have been slow to take effect as universities resist the government imposition and parents and students say the new system is vague and imprecise.
It is not known if the grading system had any impact on yesterday’s victims, who were discovered by a newspaper delivery person in front of an apartment building at about 4:10 a.m. yesterday.
The police confirmed that the victims were twin high school seniors, both 18, who went to school in Changwon.
The twins had been in agony since they received their test scores last week, according to an initial investigation by police. The sisters left home after receiving the test results and had been missing for two days, police said.
The personal belongings of the two sisters, who were not identified, included a cell phone and a watch that were found near an emergency exit staircase on the 25th floor. A window was open beside the stairs, police reported.
Police also said that a friend of one sister had received text messages from her saying she was worried about her future because of low test scores. The twins had received low scores in mathematics, science and history. They had apparently done well in languages, police said.
In computing admissions, universities are now required to give greater emphasis to high school records than in the past. But universities have long seen CSAT scores as the deciding factor in admissions and have been unhappy about the changes.
Parents’ groups have protested against the new CSAT grading system and some have threatened legal action. But as yesterday’s tragedy appears to show, for some students the CSAT remains a life or death matter.


By Kim Sang-jin JoongAng Ilbo/ Lee Yang-kyoung Staff Reporter [enational@joongang.co.kr]



dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장