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College Entrance Exam Math, Korean More Difficult This Year

College Entrance Exam Math, Korean More Difficult This Year

Posted November. 16, 2007 03:03,   


The Korean college entrance exam held nationwide on Thursday was slightly more difficult than last year’s.

The “Na-type” Korean language questions, mathematics section, and social studies section were more challenging than last year’s. Many students who studied in humanities division in high school found it harder than their counterparts in math and science division.

Professor Jeong Seong-bong at the Korea National University of Education, who is also the head of exam committee, said on Thursday, “We kept the level of this year’s exam more or less the same as last year’s exam, and as test exams held in June and September this year. Since students are only finding out what category of scores they are in starting this year, we made sure to throw in a combination of easy, difficult and somewhere-in-between questions.”

Jeong added, “We adjusted the difficulty of questions in subjects where many students scored in the 96th percentile in the mock exams.”

This was in response to criticism that the test exam held in September failed to make sure there was a wide distribution of categories. Students who received high scores in this September were concentrated in certain subjects such as mathematics (6.17%), Korean history (5.94%), and economics (5.64%).

Since most of the subjects contained two to three “tricky” questions, experts projected that there will not be any category distribution problem with the exam held yesterday.

Consequently, the category of students will be determined by relative category distribution according to the difficulty of each type and the questions contained in them, as well as by the relative category distribution in selective subjects.

Kim Yeong-il, the head of JoongAng Academy, a cram school, said, “In a system where students’ scores are shown by category, relative category distribution is more influential than the difficulty of each subject. Since many students will be crammed into the same categories, they need to think of ways to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack in school records and exams held by each university.”

The Educational Broadcasting Service (EBS) said in a self-analysis, “Around 75-85 percent of the questions in each subject had some relation to those covered in lessons offered by EBS.”

The organization in charge of the exam will receive and review any objections to the answers and confirm all the answers on November, 28. A score report will be sent to students on December 12 with only the categories of each subject students belong to written on them.