Change in admission exam

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Change in admission exam

Students preparing for entrance tests for prestigious high schools - foreign-language schools or science schools regarded as merit toward entering prestigious universities after high school - will lose marks if they write their foreign-language test scores on their resumes, said Seoul education superintendent Kwak No-hyun.

Kwak announced a policy for “eliminating the epidemic craze to get admission for ‘special purpose high schools.’”

If students applying for prestigious high schools include any slight comments about their foreign-language scores on their resumes, they will be penalized by admissions officers, Kwak said.The move was taken to prevent students from using expensive, private institutions to prepare for admission tests for highly regarded schools.

“We will send an officer from the Seoul office of education to the admission board to monitor the entire admission-procedure interviews so that there will be no violations of the new policy,” Kwak said.

Kwak also changed the current student selection system for “the educational institute for gifted children,” special schools run by the government and universities for smart students only during the summer and winter holidays.

They are regarded as an essential tool to enter science high schools. The new selection system will select students by recommendation of teachers only, a replacement of the previous system that consisted of an interview and admission test.

“We will choose students using ‘the four-step observation system,’” said Jeong Hoe-tae, a city education official.

First, 10 percent of all students in Seoul will be selected with a special questionnaire and will be observed by an observation committee for three months.

The committee will consist of teachers and parents and they will narrow down the students to 3 percent.

The education office recommendation committee will set the total number students for the schools.

Some parents raised questions about the effectiveness of the system.

“I do not think the new system will calm the epidemic in Korea,” said a mother of a elementary school child.


By Lee Won-jean [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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