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Too Much Confusion in School Standard Grade Screening

Posted December. 15, 2004 22:58,   


The subjects in the social sciences area of the College Scholastic Aptitude Test (CSAT) for the 2005 school year are showing score differences that are more serious than expected, and universities are bent on preparing countermeasures.

Some universities still have not come up with adjustment plans until December 15, causing much confusion and anxiety among the test takers.

Seoul National University and Korea University had agreed, even before the scores came out, to use their own standard grade systems derived from the total percentage of test takers. However, the schools are concerned over the fact that even though the standard grade is revised, it would be impossible to completely erase the score differences according to the subjects selected.

Ewha Womans University announced on December 14, the day the test scores were announced, that “we originally planned to apply the CSAT score as a percentage in the college entrance screenings, but for the social sciences area only, we will use our ‘own modified percentages’ instead, in order to reduce the score differences.”

Ewha Womans University said, “Before the scores were announced, it was difficult to make an exact prediction of the score differences between electives,” and continued, “We will reveal our ‘modified percentage formula’ on December 19.”

Chung-Ang University, which is using the standard grade system, is also working on adjusting grades for electives.

Chung-Ang University announced, “We originally said we would ‘use the standard grade but control its levels,’” But considering the results of the test, it would be disadvantageous to the students who received full grades, thus it will be difficult to use the standard grade as it is,” and continued, “We are revising the rules to make sure students who receive full grades can receive equal points regardless of subject.”

Certain universities are expected to dramatically lower the percentage of the social sciences area, which shows great score differences by subject, starting from the 2006 school year.

Sungkyunkwan University is considering a plan to lower the proportion of the social sciences area from the current six percent, and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies is considering a plan to increase the proportion of foreign language in order to decrease the proportion taken up by the social sciences area.

Na-Yeon Lee Seong-Chul Hong larosa@donga.com sungchul@donga.com