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2008 College Entrance Examinations: Essays Will Be a Key Variable

2008 College Entrance Examinations: Essays Will Be a Key Variable

Posted June. 30, 2005 06:27,   


Yonsei University-

Essay exams will be newly introduced in the “General Application for Outstanding Students” category of general early decision as well as in the college of sciences’ regular decision. Essays will be designed to evaluate both the applicants’ creativity and ability to reason.

A new category called “Excellence in School Curriculum” has been installed, for which applicants will be evaluated on their school record (80 percent) and other examination elements including interviews (20 percent).

In the case of general early decision, ranking, average grade, and standard deviation for each subject will be utilized in evaluating the applicant’s student record and grades. The Scholastic Aptitude Test will only be used as the minimum academic requirement.

As noted above, essays will be adopted in the general regular decision for the college of sciences, and the evaluation of student records and grades will be made according to ranking per subject. The ratio for the Scholastic Aptitude Test has yet to be decided.

Sogang University-

The ratio of applicants admitted through early decision is 10 percent during the first semester and 60 percent during the second semester, for a total of 70 percent of the entire entering class. Comprehensive curricular essays will be introduced in the regular application cycle of the college of sciences.

In the case of applications by teachers’ recommendation in the first semester, three times the quota will make the first cut. The final cut will be made by combining the scores of the first round with the second round, which consists of interviews.

Early decision for the second semester will be made either by stages (student record, essays incorporating English, in-depth interviews) or by aggregate score, depending on the examination category.

Sungkyunkwan University-

Essay exams will be introduced for the college of humanities, and applicants will have the option of taking essay-type or interview-type exams. This means that students will be able to choose between speaking and writing according to their individual strengths.

In terms of ratios, regular decision will account for 40 to 50 percent of the entering class, unique standards for early decision will account for 30 to 40 percent, and early decision for talented or specialized applicants will account for 10 to 20 percent. The increase in the ratio of talented or specialized applicants reflects a greater consideration for underprivileged regions or classes.

Kyunghee University-

To compensate for the relative lack of differentiation caused by the ranking system for the Scholastic Aptitude Test, academic aptitude essays will be instituted across all colleges. Essay topics will integrate all subjects in the curriculum, and the quantitative limit is 1,500 characters or less. Student records will be reflected throughout all application categories. To limit the number of applicants who have given up their Korean citizenship, special examination for foreign nationals and Koreans living abroad will not be granted to foreign citizenship holders who are the sole foreign national in his or her family.

Grade rankings in the student records will be converted to scores for evaluation. In the social and natural sciences section of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, only the two or three subjects with the highest rankings will be considered.

Hanyang University-

A “Regional Balance Selection” category based mainly on student records will be instituted during the second semester early decision cycle. The first cut will be made among applicants who are recommended by the principals of their respective high schools, and the final cut will be made through non-curricular evaluations, essay exams, and in-depth interviews.

In Early Decision 2-II, a “Putting Love into Practice” category will utilize applicants’ student records, history of community service, and awards and honors received, for the first stage of selection. In the second stage, essay exams and in-depth interviews will be carried out. In the “Social Consideration” category of Early Decision 2-I, aptitude tests for proposed majors and student records will take precedence. Application for talented individuals will be evaluated using student records and performance history in competitions.

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies-

Aptitude essays for each college will be diversified and given higher percentages in the overall score, while in-depth interviews will be reinforced. In evaluating student records, Korean, mathematics, English, and social studies will be taken into consideration for applicants in the humanities, while Korean, math, English, and science will be chosen for applicants in the sciences.

First semester early decisions will fill four to five times the quota through aptitude essays in the first stage of selection, then the number will be narrowed down by evaluating student records, in-depth interviews, and first stage scores.

Early decisions in the second semester will evaluate aptitude essays and student records. The Scholastic Aptitude Test will be applied as the minimum academic requirement. Regular decisions will be based on the aggregate total of student records, aptitude essays, interviews, and aptitude test scores.

Ewha Woman’s University-

The ratio of early decisions will be increased to 60-70 percent, and regular decisions cut back to 30-40 percent. For the regular decision cycle, essay exams will integrate all subjects in the curriculum, while student records will be used for supplementary evaluation. It has not been decided whether essay exams will be expanded to more colleges. Scholastic Aptitude Test rankings for each section will be converted to scores for evaluation.

For the “Excellence in School Curriculum” category of early decision, aptitude test rankings will be used as qualification, then applicants will be selected according to their student records. For “Excellence in Academic Aptitude,” essays will be used as the principal criterion, with student records used for supplementary purposes.

Inha University-

Subjects and ratio of evaluation for student records will be expanded in both early and regular decisions. Aptitude evaluations and essays will be utilized as examination elements as well. In the case of essays, narrative essays will be instituted for applicants in the humanities, summary essays for applicants in the commerce and management fields, analytic essays for pre-meds and applicants in the natural sciences, and comprehensive essays for applicants in engineering.

Chung-Ang University-

Academic aptitude essays will include more questions than in previous years, and applicants will be allowed to submit explanatory information on changes in their school grades over the three years of high school.

Scholastic Aptitude Test results will be used as qualifications for each category of application, with the rankings for each section converted to scores for evaluation. A “Self-Recommendation” category, for which an applicant submits a self-made portfolio demonstrating his or her ability and potential, is under consideration.

In-Chul Lee Seong-Chul Hong inchul@donga.com sungchul@donga.com