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Korean Students to Rank First in Problem Solving Ability

Korean Students to Rank First in Problem Solving Ability

Posted December. 07, 2004 22:54,   


According to research conducted by the OECD, Korean 15-year-olds ranked first in terms of ability to solve problems in everyday life, and also ranked within the top four in three other categories regarding student performances.

At the same time, however, top-tier Korean students in the top five percent ranked relatively lower than foreign top-tier students, showing the need for their competitiveness to be enhanced.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development yesterday released a report as part of the Program for International Student Assessment after conducting a survey of 280,000 15-year-old students in 41 member and non-member nations. A total of 5,612 Korean high school first year students aged 15 from 151 high schools participated in the survey.

According to PISA result, Korean students ranked first in problem solving ability, second in reading proficiency, third in mathematics, and fourth in science.

While Korean students’ reading proficiency rank rose by four notches, from sixth to second compared to the PISA research in 2000, math and science ranks dropped from second to third and from first to fourth, respectively.

The reason for such drops in the ranks is the first-ever participation of Hong Kong, which is a non-member nation and whose student performances are high. Hong Kong ranked first in math and third in science.

The Korean Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation said, “So far, it has been pointed out that high performance of the Korean students is attributable to rote learning and cram study, but it appears students’ creativity and problem solving ability have improved due to the education reforms.”

In-Chul Lee inchul@donga.com