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Korean Section on College Exam Gets Tougher

Posted April. 22, 2009 07:03,   


An educational company yesterday said the Korean section of the College Scholastic Aptitude Test in Korea has gotten harder.

In a study on the tests given between 2005 and this year since the introduction of the seventh national curriculum, the length of passages for the Korean section got shorter while the number of vocabulary and the lengths of passages for the English section increased.

Uway Joongang Education, which conducted an in-depth analysis of the five tests, said, “We distributed strategy reports on the college entrance exam for next year with the analysis to high schools.”

According to the report, the Korean section has grown steadily more difficult since the 2005 test. The percentage of literary passages decreased while that of non-literary texts outside of the curriculum increased.

To level off the differences in the two math sections, the test got easier or more difficult every other year, but generally became more difficult to separate good and poorly performing groups. The trend is expected to continue in next year’s test.

In English, the number of vocabulary in the reading and writing sections increased from 90 to 120 from 2005 through 2007, but soared to an average of 130 (120 to 150) this year.

Every year, the difficulty of vocabulary and passages and the length of passages have risen, but standard scores to divide levels apparently do not show changes in all groups.

The Korean Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation changed several principles to allow using a text containing the same keyword that already appeared in the Korean and English sections of the test for this year’s exam.

Uway executive Lee Man-gi said, “This report includes a list of passages of the tests and keywords over the past five years that should be helpful for next year’s test.”