[EDITORIALS]Muddled college testSaying that two answers were correct to a verbal question on this year’s College Scholastic Ability Test was a choice that had to be made to settle the controversy over scoring the test. Now that school admissions are beginning, this could not be a worse time to debate the question. Following the selection of a private institute instructor as an examiner for the test and the confusion about correct answers, this is the time to re-evaluate the ten-year-old test and its administration. In revising the current system, a new set of questions and a new management system must be created to guarantee the fairness and impartiality of the test.
The Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation must also speak clearly about one question from the social studies section and another from the natural sciences section of the test. In responding to the issue of the correct answer to the verbal question, it aggravated the situation by saying that the issue is not so serious as to change the answer; the institute must take care not to make things worse. One problem is enough.
Next year, we need a new system to verify the test’s answers before the results are announced. Other national examinations allow time for objections to be raised and answers verified before grading, but this has never been done for the college entrance test.
We must also discard the system of selecting an examiners’ committee and isolating them to come up with questions. In the information age, the list of examiners is no secret, and with the vastly increased number of workbooks, questions booklets and mock examinations, it is virtually impossible to come up with new questions and text every year. A large question pool should be accumulated and reused, and the examination should be given at least twice a year.
Recognizing two answers has triggered lawsuit threats, making the families of the 639,000 students who took the test either happy or bitter.
Expressions of regret by the prime minister and the resignation of the chief examiner are not enough; the minister of education must say how he intends to repair the test.