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CSAT Fails to Manage Elective Subjects’ Difficulty Levels

CSAT Fails to Manage Elective Subjects’ Difficulty Levels

Posted December. 14, 2004 21:59,   


After scoring the 2005 College Scholastic Aptitude Test and failing to differentiate the difficulty levels among the social discovery sector subjects, more than 17 percent of the examinees were found to have achieved full scores in some of the subjects in that sector. This resulted in cases of moving down to the third level without passing the second when one question was answered incorrectly.

Following the failure to manage difficulty levels, confusion in the university entry system is expected; you might not be accepted to the university because you did not obtain the second level although you were accepted for on-demand recruitment or you may not even apply for regular recruitment.

The Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation announced the SAT score to this year’s 574,218 examinees (excluding the 229 cheaters) through their high schools yesterday.

Exam takers and teachers who received standard scores instead of the original scores showed their perplexity, saying, “I have no idea of how to choose my university.” There were also joys and tears of the examinees according to the subjects of their choice.

According to the scoring result, questions in Language, Mathematics, and Foreign Language were acceptable. However, the difference of social and science discovery’s elective subjects’ difficulty levels was too high.

The standard scoring system, introduced for the first time this year, states the borderline of level one and level two as 128 for Language, 131 for Mathematics “ga”, 140 for Mathematics “na”, and 132 for Foreign Language.

Full score earners in social discovery was 4.35 percent for Law and Society, 5.19 percent for Social Culture, 5.36 percent for Politics, and 5.25 percent for Economics, which showed a normal distribution.

However, Ethics, Korean Geography, and Korean History were 17.37 percent, 11.86 percent, and 10.80 percent, respectively, 2-4 times higher than the target level ratio (four percent for level one). Thus, there is no level two for Ethics, Korean Geography, and Biology 1.

Furthermore, if calculated as percentile rankings instead of a standard score, the score gap among subjects widens. Therefore, whether or not the student is accepted depends highly on how the university takes into account the SAT score and the entry method.

The standard score for those who received full points in the original score were 135 for Language, 141 for Mathematics “ga”, 150 for Mathematics “na”, 139 for Foreign Language, 61~68 for Social Discovery, 63~69 for Science Discovery, 66~79 for Job Discovery, and 63~100 for Second Language and Chinese Characters.

In Social Discovery, the social culture’s standard score was the highest with 68 points, and Ethics and Korean Geography were the lowest with 61 points, showing a 7-point difference. Science discovery’s largest score gap was six points, with Chemistry 2 at 69 and Earth Science 1 at 63. Job Discovery’s maximum score gap was 13 points.

In Second Language and Chinese Characters, Arabic’s original score full point earners received a standard score of 100 points, while Russia 1’s maximum standard score was 63, resulting in a 37-point difference.

Meanwhile, universities are announcing their successful candidates of the second semester on-demand recruitment from today till Sunday and are accepting regular recruitment applications from December 22 to December 27.

In-Chul Lee inchul@donga.com