CSAT a breeze for science students

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CSAT a breeze for science students

The College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) spurred anxiety among students nationwide as they sat down Thursday to take the annual college entrance exam.

But it appears the test was noticeably less stressful for general science students, who found the English and math sections particularly easy.

In Korea, high school students are divided into two tracks: those who choose to specialize in general science and those who opt for liberal arts. CSAT subjects are broken up into A and B sections, which are designed around those majors and take into account the curricula and the student’s skill set.

General science majors are required to complete Korean A and Math B on the CSAT, while liberal arts students must take Korean B and Math A.

B sections are more intensive and cover more chapters, while A sections are more general.

According to tentative results calculated by college entrance consulting institutes, the leniency of the English and Math B sections is expected to make it difficult for college admissions officers to weed out weaker general science candidates.

This year, the number of students who received perfect scores on the Math B section is expected to be five times last year’s total. If that prediction is correct, it would account for the highest number of perfect scores in CSAT history.

The English section also is expected to see perfect scores for 3 percent to 4 percent of its test takers.

College entrance strategy experts have determined that the influence of results in the Korean A section or natural science will be critical for general science students.

For liberal arts students, the Korean B section was determined to be difficult. Those scores for arts students will play a huge role in whether they are accepted to high-raking colleges.

The annual CSAT is considered pivotal for college applicants in Korea and contains five sections: Korean language A or B, mathematics A or B, English, social or natural sciences, and a second language.

A total of 640,621 high school seniors and graduates took the exam at 1,216 testing sites, according to the Ministry of Education. Scores will be reported by Nov. 27.

BY PARK YUNA [ypc3c@joongang.co.kr]

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