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`Admissions Officers Value Talent and Aptitude Most`

Posted February. 06, 2009 09:13,   


College admissions officers value talent and aptitude most in selecting freshmen this year.

The Dong-A Ilbo surveyed 51 admissions officers at 11 major universities in the country, including Seoul National, Korea and Yonsei.

Sixteen officers said the most factor was potential and 16 others cited aptitude in a specific field.

Admissions officers said they compared educational environment including family background with academic achievement, and analyzed whether these criteria fit in the major they applied for to assess their development potential after admission.

Officers also considered achievement related to the intended major and passion.

Twelve admissions officers said they want to see tangible achievements such as academic record and awards, while only four cited character and attitude.

On which areas they gave the most points to among transcripts (curricular and extracurricular), documents and in-depth interview, 20 people (39.2 percent) said documents, usually a personal essay and statement of purpose.

One admissions officer said, “The documents candidates submit are essentially most useful in judging their potential and aptitude.”

Only three officers said that they would give the highest scores for an excellent academic record in extracurricular activities, which are also useful for gauging student potential and aptitude.

There was a huge difference in the amount of time spent on assessing a student.

Some said 20 to 30 minutes are needed to cover both documents and interview, while others said they spend more than an hour to interview each candidate.

On what needs to expand most in the admissions officer system, they answered a consensus on the need for the system and confidence.

The program began pilot operations in 2007 to evaluate students using a number of criteria, including scholastic record, talent, background and potential instead of the traditional method of mostly using academic records. Seventeen universities will use the admissions officer program to select freshmen this year.

ruchi@donga.com foryou@donga.com