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[Editorial] New CSAT, Expectations and Worries

Posted December. 29, 2001 14:00,   


The uniqueness of the new College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) that the 3rd graders of the middle schools (K-9) will take in 2005 is that the examinees may choose the subjects for their exams.

The introduction of the new system seems inevitable by the completion of the 7th Curriculum, which allows more selective classes and reduced compulsory classes in 2004 but the students and parents are confused by the frequent changes of the CSAT systems.

The new system is heading to a positive way in that the students can concentrate on their interests, aptitudes, and specialties more early and apply to the colleges suitable to their interests, being free from the burden of encyclopedic studies.

However, the application of the new system raises many problems in reality. First of all, the new system is based on the 7th Curriculum. Since the 7th Curriculum has not been introduced to the high schools and many teachers hold negative attitude towards the new Curriculum, many problems may burst out. If the problem is not treated appropriately, the school education and the entrance exams will be diverted.

In addition, students may be negligent of the classes except for the selected classes which they have chosen, collapsing the high school education to an `unbalanced education`. The narrowly concentrated study of the exam subjects will accelerate the subordination of the high school education to the entrance exam, turning the high school into only prep-school for college. The necessity of the advanced study on the selective classes may facilitate the narrowly concentrated school education, increasing the burden of the private education expenses.

In addition, the new system may encourage students to study easy subjects and shrink the subjects that are related to the natural science. The secure supply of the science and engineering human resources is already undergoing difficulties by the reduction of the applicants to the departments of natural science and engineering.

The most students, who do not clearly recognize their specialties and interests, may have to study all areas for college, increasing rather their burdens for the preparation.

The education authorities must prepare the countermeasures and adjust the revision to minimize the side effects of the new system. It is necessary to establish countermeasures to the crisis of the public education and the increasing burden of the private education expenses.

First of all, the government must acquire of the trust of the people on the new CSAT and the education system. The trust of the people cannot be expected in such condition when the CSAT is frequently changed. The education system must keep consistent without being affected by the political fluctuations.