Discard ranking systemChaos surrounded the national college admission test last week. The blame lies with the newly introduced ranking system of the national college scholastic ability test and the ranking system of high school grades.
Students’ raw scores are not reflected fairly under the test’s ranking system. Instead, scores are divided into nine categories. For instance, students whose scores belong in the top 4 percent of all scores rank first, and students whose scores fall below the top 4 percent, but above the top 7 percent, get ranked second.
A test must be fair, rational and accurate to identify applicants’ different abilities. But the new ranking system fails to do this. Whether a student scores 100 or 80, if the score is slightly out of the top 4 percent, the student gets ranked second.
This doesn’t make sense. In some subjects on the recent test, some students got ranked second even though they had got only one answer wrong. The difference in ranks is much more decisive than the difference in raw scores.
Many students say this is unfair. Those students who have mediocre scores in some subjects, but excellent scores in one particular subject, fall victim. In the ranking system, students need to be good in every subject. This is not good in the age of diversity, where smart and creative people are required.
University authorities didn’t think the new ranking system was reliable, so they gave more weight to essays and interviews. But students could not escape the Scholastic Ability Test and the ranking of their high school grades. This is why people are talking about the “deadly triangle” of the Scholastic Ability Test, high school grades and essays, and referring to the “cursed ones who were born in 1989.”
And this is why private tutoring increased during the Roh administration.
The ranking system must be discarded as soon as possible, but not until a major revision of the college entrance system has taken place and is announced three years before its implementation. This means that the current system will continue for at least three years.
While revising the entrance system, universities must be given the autonomy to recruit students and to solve urgent problems. If universities introduce a variety of admission systems, the weight of the national college admission test, high school grades and essays will be reduced. This will help diversify the college entrance system, thus mitigating these testing problems.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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