Nothing left to chance as CSAT held during most trying of times
To the usual drama of test day, add hazmat suits and urea stockpiles as the annual ritual continues full speed ahead despite the unique challenges of the times.
Around 400 personnel, including police and security guards, will pick up the freshly printed 2022 College Scholastic Ability Tests (CSAT) Monday from a printing plant -- location undisclosed -- and escort the papers to the districts administering the test, according to the Ministry of Education on Sunday.
The papers will remain securely locked and stored at a designated location in each district until being transported to the individual testing centers on the morning of the test day on Nov. 18.
This year’s CSAT will be administered at 1,394 facilities in 86 districts.
Of those facilities, 31 hospitals and residential treatment centers, which can in total accommodate up to 383 people, have been designated for virus-positive test takers, and 112 facilities for up to 3,099 people have been set aside for those expected to be in quarantine on test day.
As of Tuesday, 66 test takers were virus-positive and 12 were expected to be under quarantine for Thursday’s test day.
Last year, 41 Covid-19 patients and 456 individuals under quarantine took the CSAT.
Test supervisors in hospitals and health centers will be required to wear a level-D virus-protective gear, which includes a head-to-toe hazmat suit and a pair of gloves and goggles.
These supervisors will begin training in their respective facilities starting Monday in order to learn how to properly put on the protective suits, according to the ministry.
If a test taker displays Covid-19 symptoms on the day of the exam, the individual will be placed in a separate room that is set aside at regular testing facilities.
Measures are being taken so that the tests will be delivered on time despite the national urea shortage.
"We have checked with the transportation company delivering the tests, and they have confirmed that they have extra stockpiled."
But in the unlikely case that there is a shortage, the ministry assured test takers that the exams will proceed as planned, saying that they will resolve the issue even if it means they have to buy the needed urea themselves.
Urea is a major component of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). DEF is necessary for diesel-powered vehicles such as large trucks and motorcycles.
Korea's recent DEF shortage resulted from China’s tightening of urea export restrictions last month, and hundreds of thousands of diesel trucks were taken off the roads.
These large vehicles are used to transport CSAT test papers.
BY MOON HYEON-KYEONG, LEE JIAN [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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