The consensus? Test wasn’t easy

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The consensus? Test wasn’t easy


A supervisor checks identities of students taking the College Scholastic Ability Test yesterday, at Seoseok High School, Gwangju, South Jeolla. [NEWSIS]

Students who took the College Scholastic Ability Test yesterday said they felt the test was difficult, although the test committee said that about 70 percent of this year’s questions came from workbooks published by EBS, the government-run education TV channel.

“Although the test writers made questions similar to workbooks of EBS, students were required to understand the principle and concept [of the questions] to get high points,” Ahn Tae-in, head of the writers for the entrance test, said yesterday.

Figures show that 712,227 students registered for the university entrance exam and 51,515 were absent yesterday.

The test committee announced in March that it will borrow abut 70 percent of the contents of EBS’s workbooks to reduce the burden on parents, who pay for private institutes to help their children do better on the test. Since the announcement was made, Korean students were busy solving as many questions as possible on about 90 books published by EBS. Some critics worried that the test could lose its level of difficulty by adopting content from EBS.

But no questions on the test were exactly same as the ones in the workbooks. Students said yesterday it didn’t matter that most of the content came from workbooks.

“Although there were some passages in the Korean language test that I have seen in EBS workbooks, questions were totally different,” said a student surnamed Jang.

Hong Seong-tae, an 18-year-old student, also said, “I think most of the difficult questions were not borrowed from EBS’s [workbooks].”

Experts said yesterday that the math test had a series of difficult questions, especially Part I of the math test, which is taken by students applying in the science, math and medical fields.

They said the math test was very important. “For students applying to medical school, [incorrectly answering] just one question in the math test could decide whether or not they get accepted into the university,” said Park Jong-pil, of Gangnam Girls’ High School, in Suncheon, South Jeolla.

When it comes to the Korean language test, experts and students said the passages about fiction were easier than they expected, but questions about nonfiction passages were more difficult to understand, because they dealt with more difficult subjects such as science, technology and computer software.

Some critics were skeptical of adopting questions from EBS, saying that students can’t analyze the workbooks of EBS alone and still need private institutes’ help.

By Park Su-ryeon, Kim Hee-jin []
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