Full (test score) disclosure

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Full (test score) disclosure

Sungkyunkwan University is breaking the mold in a highly competitive race among universities to scout academic talent by planning to disclose entrance test scores of applicants accepted in early 2009. The school will provide in-depth test results and analysis of its freshmen class to a nationwide community comprised of college guidance counselors at high schools. It hopes that by sharing this data it can help teachers offer better advice to students applying to universities. The data include averages of all applicants and those in the top 80 percent by test score.

Additionally, the university will offer a chart on the competition ratio among applicants for the last three years and the number of students accepted from each high school.

We applaud the university’s groundbreaking move to offer a practical reference guide for college applications.

Other colleges have in the past revealed the score rankings of their freshmen. But none have been willing to go public with the actual scores of new students, as such a move can lead to an overall ranking for the universities themselves.

So bewildered seniors and their parents inevitably had to turn to cram schools or pay a fortune to independent consultants. Public schools, in fact, had surrendered their roles in the realm of college guidance to private institutions.

Sungkyunkwan University’s posting of test results will likely help ease the excruciating process and reinforce the role of teachers in assisting and guiding students to universities that best fit their needs and capabilities.

Admissions criteria have now become diverse and multi-inclusive so that college exam scores no longer serve as the sole metric for choosing who gets in and who doesn’t. But most colleges still hold test results as their primary gauge in accepting new students. Access to scores of successful applicants will better empower teachers in guiding students to choose suitable academic paths and universities.

College guidance and counseling is an important part of the role of high schools. If more universities share test results with public high schools, the function and role of the public education system will be reinforced.

Korea University and Yonsei University are also mulling over whether to disclose actual test results. We hope that more universities will in fact follow suit, as it would provide a great benefit for the part of the student population aspiring to enter college.
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