[EDITORIALS]This test failed on all frontsCollege Scholastic Ability Test scores have been delivered to students who applied for university admission. The universities will decide on successful students who applied for rolling admission in the second semester, and start accepting applications for regular admission. In short, the admission procedure is in full swing.
But according to the CSAT scores announced, there are big differences in the standard scores and grades among different fields and subjects. Enormous confusion will arise in the admission process. In the second foreign language test, the differences of standard score are as wide as 37 points, depending upon the language chosen. In national geography and biology 1, as over 4 percent of students got perfect scored, one who missed one question was in the third grade. In ethics, 17.37 percent of those who took the test got top grades.
Clearly, the CSAT has failed to adjust its degree of difficulty. As standard scores are uneven according to subject, students can find themselves in favorable or unfavorable positions for admission depending on electives.
It was the first time that a standard test score and grades based on percentage have been used in college admissions. Students and parents are at a loss over how to apply to colleges. Schools and private cram schools can’t provide proper counselling.
Meanwhile, the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation, the body responsible for CSAT, is busy making excuses: “It is not possible to adjust the degree of difficulties of electives, because the contents of curriculums, testers and the number of students taking the test are different according to subjects.” Or it evades responsibility, saying, “As students took 3-4 electives, the gap in standard scores will fall when their scores are added up.”
A CSAT tainted by cheating and unable to adjust its degree of difficulty shouldn’t be left as it is: An overall change in the test is urgent.
The closed-door system of questionnaire selection must be improved. If a questionnaire bank that accepts questions year-round is established, numerous questions will be accumulated, easing adjustments to the degree of difficulty. We should consider turning CSAT into a qualification test for college application.
It is no time for the Education Ministry to watch with folded arms. It must reform a test that agonizes university applicants.
A special reform plan is needed.