Go to contents

No. of Illegal Midterm Prep Sites Mushrooming

Posted April. 22, 2008 04:05,   


Middle and high school students will rack their brains with midterm exams starting this week. Illegal sites offering prep test materials are trying to cash in, charging students 20,000 to 30,000 won (20 to 30 U.S. dollars) for a one-time membership or 200,000 to 300,000 won for an annual membership.

Certain sites say they are “recruiting” grade schoolers, dangling a huge discount or just 100,000 to 150,000 won for an annual membership.

A prep material site is posting analyses of previous midterm exams, saying it has a database incorporating tests from 1,600 schools. For example, the site confidently predicts how many of the questions will be based on class handouts.

Most subscribers cannot verify the authenticity of the sites until they join. In certain cases, students cannot find the materials they are looking for or cannot absorb the volume of the necessary data.

One 17-year-old high school student said, “I paid a lot to get good grades on the midterm. But the site I signed up for did nothing.”

Around schools in Seoul, notices ask students to sell last year’s midterm tests. For example, one notice posted on a street lamp near a middle school offers 15,000 won for a copy of last year’s midterms.

Worry is rising over copyright violations, as experts say the tests are for public use and not for commercial purposes.

The Korea Federation of Teachers Associations are urging authorities to curb such practices since unauthorized use of the tests violates the rights of the teachers or schools that originally prepared and administered them.

The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education said, “It’s hard to patrol each and every commercial transaction. We are working hard to come up with measures against unauthorized commercial use of the prep materials.”