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Students jitter over sudden shift in CSAT direction

Posted June. 21, 2023 07:59,   

Updated June. 21, 2023 07:59


"Originally, I planned to prepare for the test without private education, but there is a high possibility that this year's college scholastic ability test (CSAT) will become easier, so I can't afford to make any mistakes or my grades will drop. Feeling helpless, I came to register at a private academy."

In a classroom on the 6th floor of a private academy in Daechi-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, on the afternoon of Tuesday, Kim (20), a college freshman preparing for another college entrance exam this year, said, "For the past few days, I couldn't grasp the direction of the test questions as I watched the news." He diligently listened to the words of the entrance exam specialist during the admissions briefing session held for third-year liberal arts students that day. Other participants in the classroom also had uneasy expressions due to the unexpected variables that arose just five months before the CSAT.

Parents and students began filling up the lecture hall with over 100 seats 30 minutes before the start of the briefing session. A rumor said, "Famous lecturers will discuss admission strategies related to the sudden change in the government's CSAT question patterns." Lee, a parent whose child is currently retaking the CSAT, said, "I left the kids at home and rushed here even though it's dinner time. My child was so anxious that I had to attend the briefing session myself." This academy, located around Eunma Intersection in Gangnam-gu, known as the "No.1 Private Education District," had over 20 annexes nearby. The academy's "premium mock exams," created by teachers who served as CSAT question writers, always attract a massive crowd of students.

President Yoon Suk Yeol and the ruling party previously stated that they would control private education, using catchphrases such as "power cartel," "eradication of evil practices," and "fair CSAT." However, in the field of education, students and parents were increasingly flocking to private academies, driven by uncertainty and anxiety. A representative of one academy said, "After the series of news on CSAT poured in over the past few days, we told the students to throw away all the books they've studied so far and start focusing on intensive preparation for the 'killer' questions," and added, "We need to devise new strategies for the CSAT and admissions from scratch."

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