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Math, English Sections on College Exam Get Tougher

Posted November. 13, 2009 08:01,   


The Collegiate Scholastic Aptitude Test given yesterday was relatively easy but the English section was more difficult than in previous years.

Accordingly, the math and English sections are expected to serve as critical variables in gaining college admission.

Compared to last year, both parts of the math section were relatively easy but the subject will still play a critical role in assessing outstanding students.

Jeong Byeong-heon of Sookmyung Women’s University, who is in charge of the test, said yesterday, “In general, the degree of difficulty has not changed. The difficulty of the Korean and English sections was easier or similar compared to last year’s. And math was relatively easier.”

Nevertheless, students and civic organizations say the Korean and English sections were more difficult than last year’s.

College entrance organizations forecast that the math and English sections will determine success or failure on the test. Since the average math score is far lower than those of other sections, the standard math score will be set higher. In English, difficult questions are worth more points, meaning a decrease in points will be larger than the perceived difficulty.

Joong Ang TCC President Kim Yeong-il said, “The overall degree of difficulty of this year’s test is similar to last year’s. Given that last year’s was difficult, however, this year’s was not easy, either. Many say this year’s math section was easier than that of last year, but it was still difficult. Accordingly, math will determine success or failure in getting college admission.”

The Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation will listen to formal objections to questions and correct answers by next Monday and officially announce the final answers Nov. 25. The grade sheets containing standard scores, percentile and grades will be delivered to students Dec. 9.

Of 677,834 students who took the test, 2,717 who had or were suspected of having the H1N1 flu virus did so in separate rooms. Another 39,296 students who signed up failed to take the test, raising the test absentee rate 0.85 percentage point from the previous year to 5.8 percent.