[EDITORIALS]College entry transparency

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[EDITORIALS]College entry transparency

This year, high school seniors who want to attend universities will have to take a new College Scholastic Ability Test. The change was announced four years ago, but because the testing system will become much more complicated and diverse this year, confusion among students and their parents is likely. The Education Ministry should look for likely problems because of the change and prepare thoroughly to minimize confusion and bad repercussions.
The Ministry and the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation, which draws up the test questions, should first of all do their best to equalize the degree of difficulty of questions in all the sections, including the individual sciences. The new test includes verbal, quantitative, first foreign language, social and natural sciences and a second foreign language elements. The science sections include 79 categories; 26 general science categories and 53 advanced science choices.
To equalize the difficulty of all those sections is a daunting task. It is very likely that the categories a student chooses will determine success in the test. A large number of “testing” tests must be conducted before the examination date.
The ministry should thoroughly inspect and monitor the test preparation to prevent embarrassments like last year’s question that had two correct answers for two multiple choice questions.
How our public education system will manage so many new subjects is another problem. The quality of our schools is already in doubt, and schools can probably not teach so many diverse subjects in depth. The problem could result in a boom in lessons at private educational institutes.
Admissions criteria at universities also will vary widely next year. Private cram schools often hold forums to explain to students the various admission procedures and requirements ― and to advertise their courses. They are exploiting students and parents who are not well informed about the new test and the new admissions criteria.
Providing such information without the help of cram schools should be the ministry’s job. High schools and colleges should also expand their counselling services to meet the demand for information.
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