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Korea Research Center Copied Commercial Exam Preparation Books for Recruitment Tests

Korea Research Center Copied Commercial Exam Preparation Books for Recruitment Tests

Posted May. 25, 2005 03:35,   


The Korea Research Center (Executive Director : Ju Ja-mun) funded by the state conducted two recruitment tests this year, but the tests have caused stir throughout the country since the center merely copied the questions of the tests from books on sale for such tests.

The state owned agency opened positions for research management in January and a job for office work this month as its capacity for the personnel increased to 20 after it streamlined its structure late last year, said the foundation and applicants on May 24.

Test takers who wanted to get a research management position had to solve an object test containing 114 questions designed to evaluate their aptitude for the job, including common sense, and people who applied for the office worker position were required to take an objective exam consisting of 50 questions.

Dong-A Ilbo identified that the questions of the two tests were exactly the same as the questions found in commercial books for preparing for employment, such as the “Samsung Aptitude Test, SSAT” (Hanguk Gosihoe) and the “SPA Comprehensive General Culture Test” (Parkmungak).

In particular, 50 questions of the writing test taken on May 14 all came from the two textbooks, and the center even did not change the order of the examples in each question.

Much worse, an applicant sent an e-mail pointing out the problem, and the foundation promised that such thing would not happen again in response to the mail. However, the agency used those questions again for the May test.

Mr. Park, a manager at the research center who designed the tests, explained, “I made the questions for the tests by myself since there was time pressure in hiring new employees and since it also takes two to three million won to get outside help.”

However, Mr. Park said, “The two textbooks are well known among job seekers and are called “bibles for employment,” so I think there isn’t much of a disadvantage or advantage for applicants by using them,” adding, “There won’t be a problem unless the two publishers raise issues over intellectual property rights.”

Meanwhile, “A” (28), who took the January test, argued that the foundation should strike the results of the tests and that it needs to conduct new tests since if the questions of the tests were copied from particular test preparation books, that is almost the same as the test papers being released before the exams themselves. He said, “I heard that some applicants were saying that they only memorized the answers of a certain textbook, but the questions of the tests were the same as the textbook.” He went on to say, “If the foundation will not make heartfelt apologies, I, along with other test takers, will consider a legal response.”

For the research position, 530 people applied and six were selected, while 131 people took the controversial writing test for the position of the office clerk, and 12 who passed the test got an interview on May 23.

Jae-Myoung Lee egija@donga.com