More CSAT questions to come from EBS lecturesThink you can’t learn anything from TV?
Think again, if you’re a high school student gearing up to take the national university entrance exam this year.
From 2010, 70 percent or more of all College Scholastic Aptitude Test questions will come from lectures aired by the Education Broadcasting System, Education Minister Ahn Byong-man announced yesterday.
“Up to now, around 30 percent of [university] entrance exam questions were from EBS high school lectures, but from now on, this will be 70 percent,” he said at the EBS headquarters in Dogok, southern Seoul.
EBS, a state-run broadcaster specializing in education, offers high school tutoring lessons via TV, radio and the Internet.
Ahn’s statement marks the first time the Education Ministry has revealed the exact weight given to EBS tutorials in the national university entrance exam, called the suneung in Korean.
The news came after the education minister signed a memorandum of understanding regarding future collaborations among the Education Ministry, EBS and the Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation.
Up until now, 20 to 60 percent of the questions on any given edition of the CSAT were taken from EBS lectures. The average among all tests was around the 30 percent level.
Exam questions that were the same or similar to questions in EBS lectures came to 30 percent of the total for the Korean language section, 30 percent for English and up to 50 percent for math and science during the 2010 test given last November, according to data compiled by EBS.
The CSAT is held once a year.
The ministry had worked closely with EBS in recent years to diversify its programs and raise the quality of the lectures, in order to reduce pupils’ dependency on outside study, such as classes at hagwon, or private education institutes. To do so, the Education Ministry invested 17.5 billion won ($15.5 million) last year to raise the quality of EBS lectures that prepare students for the CSAT. The ministry said that it will boost investment to 26.2 billion won this year.
Meanwhile, Ahn’s announcement brought concern to some in the education sector.
“If the quality of the EBS lectures does not improve drastically, it will only lead to an adverse effect,” said a high-ranking official at the KICE.
Others said dependence on only EBS programs might lead students’ to ignore lectures at school. But EBS CEO Kwak Duok-hoon said, “We plan to change the program structure so that lectures will be an in-depth analysis as opposed to simple problem solving and explanations.”
By Cho Jae-eun, Lee Won-jean [firstname.lastname@example.org]