Posted December. 15, 2004 23:00,
On and Off Line Consulting Business for College Entrances is Booming-
Consulting services, providing one-to-one information on conversion of standard scores to raw ones and applicable colleges for each student, have enjoyed a boom right after the CSAT and have gained more popularity after the notification of the scores.
A private institute in Gangnam, Seoul provides a consulting service for 300,000 won per hour. However, appointments for the service are fully reserved until next Wednesday, the day of application. Other institutes who charge 100,000 to 400,000 won are also already booked.
Consulting through e-mail and phone is also prospering. Phone and e-mail services offered by B institute in Seoul cost between 3,000 and 5,000 won for each case. The service usually received 50 to 70 inquiries a day before the score notification, while more than 5,000 users contacted it on Tuesday alone, the day of the score notification. About 500 students even bought 50,000 to 60,000 won Passes to be used for the service until the end of the year.
A H High School senior in Seoul, known as Cho said, My school only consults students based on old materials on college applications. So I had to use services offered by the cram schools or by the Internet.
Internet Sites Presenting a Mock Application and a Score Conversion Table are Also Booming-
On the Internet, sites offering a mock college application have been hastily formed, and signs that exam takers with similar scores want to actively share information are evident. On one Internet portal site, hundreds of sites that share categorized information according to universities, levels, and places have been launched, including the site, the Gathering For CSAT Research.
One Internet café even presents a bulletin board in order to have high score holders reveal their marks, allowing exam takers to study colleges to apply to by comparing their scores.
At one site, operated by prestigious medical school graduates, its server was down for a while on Tuesday with teachers and students visiting this site at the same time. This site has an average of 1,000 daily visitors.
In addition, 70,000 visitors logged on a website operated by M private institute on Tuesday alone in an attempt to calculate their raw and average scores.
The sale of college charts presented separately by popular scram schools has been sky rocketing despite their high price, from 20,000 to 40,000 won.
What Are the Education Authorities Doing?-
A parent, aged 49, known as Lee, said, If I wasnt doing anything, I got frustrated. So, I wanted to have a consulting service, even after spending the high cost. Although the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development said it prepared a custom-made college entrance system, it seems to have deprived students of opportunities to enter schools instead, she complained. An official from a cram school pointed out, Im very sorry to watch students being anxious. College entrance policies should be prepared to help relevant parties be able to predict admissions.
Prof. Gang Seon-bo at Korea University said, If the system keeps changing like this, it will just confuse schools, students, and parents all together by repeatedly patching up matters which would create another problem.
Meanwhile, the Education Ministry and the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation on Tuesday only provided a 16-page press release and a 26-page basic analysis report including standard scores with nine separate grades, accumulative distribution tables according to fields, and subjects without offering materials to reveal levels of difficulty, such as percentage scores.
While warning, Dont depend on the college charts of cram schools. They are fake, the Education Ministry is not even prepared to provide a test item pool service, a service it promised to launch a few years ago.