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Natural sciences become popular among high school students

Natural sciences become popular among high school students

Posted June. 20, 2022 07:44,   

Updated June. 20, 2022 07:44


It has become increasingly obvious that a majority of high school students choose to study natural sciences over liberal arts. A survey of high school seniors in autonomous private high schools and major normal high schools across the nation showed that around 70 percent of their classes study natural sciences.

According to Jongro Academy on Sunday, students who study natural sciences take up 387 out of 564 classes (68.6 percent) of seniors in 52 South Korean high schools consisting of 28 autonomous private high schools and 24 normal high schools that sent more than 10 students to Seoul National University in the 2022 college admissions.

Classes of natural sciences choose to take the science section in the College Scholastic Ability Test. Only 177 classes out of the survey schools will take the social studies section in the upcoming college entrance exam. Nine out of 10 classes in Haeundae High School study natural sciences, making the school the one with the highest rate among the respondents. Many high schools in the survey have way more natural sciences students than those who study liberal arts including Incheon POSCO High School (87.5 percent), Bugil high School and Kongju National University High School in South Chungcheong Province, Whimoon High School, Boin High School and Gangseo High School in Seoul, Bundang Daejin High School in Gyeonggi Province and others.

High-ranking high schools demonstrate an obviously clear trend that students lean toward natural sciences. Back in 2014, 46.3 percent of classes of seniors in these 52 schools studied liberal arts while 53.7 percent chose natural sciences. Over the last eight years, the rate of natural sciences classes has increased from 50 to 70 percent while that of liberal arts classes down from 50 to 30 percent. Bundang Daejin High School showed a double increase in the rate of natural sciences classes from 44 percent in 2014 to 83.3 percent this year.

The predominance of natural sciences among high school students seems attributable to high unemployment rates among liberal arts majors and students’ preference toward medical and pharmaceutical schools. However, 51.9 percent of admission quotas in Seoul-based universities are dedicated to liberal arts departments, higher than 48.1 percent for engineering and science students.

“Since the College Scholastic Ability Test was unified for both natural science and liberal arts students, the cutoff lines of liberal arts departments in high performing universities in Seoul have significantly gone down,” Jongro Academy’s head Lim Sung-ho said.