[EDITORIALS]Students still can't think

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[EDITORIALS]Students still can't think

The graded test samples that were used to determine the level of difficulty of the College Scholastic Ability Test on Wednesday show that the average score will be a bit lower than last year's. The predictions of educational institutes were wide of the mark. Last year's average score was 66 points lower than that of the previous year, reigniting controversy about the year-to-year swings in the test's difficulty. The results this year, however, were probably not so much different as to stir a new controversy. But the problem of changing our education system to provide education in logical reasoning and comprehensive thinking still remains.

The tentative results from the tests show that the average score in the humanities sections dropped 2.1 points and those in the natural sciences were 3 points lower. The education institutes had predicted a 10- to 15-point rise. The reason their predictions were off is because the test results of students who will graduate in February are much lower than scores of those who graduated from high school this year but failed to enter a college in March. That, in turn, reflects the lower scholastic ability of the current crop of high school seniors, who belong to so-called "second generation of Lee Hae-chan" ?students who started their secondary education after former education minister Lee Hae-chan adopted a policy of easier tests.

One big problem is that students have not adapted to tests that stress logical reasoning and creative thinking. Students who are accustomed to multiple-choice questions and memorizing answers are flustered at logical problems. In the language test, which was easier than last year, students had more difficulty because of their poor vocabulary and reasoning abilities.

The educational authorities should keep the level of difficulty of the CSAT steady because it is the standard for college admissions. Education policy should be changed to improve students' power of comprehensive thinking through readings and lively discussion in the classroom.

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