Korean college entrance exam at crossroads

Students leave Ulsan Girls’ High School on Nov. 13 after taking this year’s college entrance exam. (Yonhap)
Students leave Ulsan Girls’ High School on Nov. 13 after taking this year’s college entrance exam. (Yonhap)

South Korea’s Education Ministry on Wednesday launched a civilian committee to reform the country’s trouble-laden college entrance exam, Suneung, following public criticism over its inconsistent difficulty level and reccurring errors. The move was in response to the public outcry after the Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation (KICE) ― in charge of making the exam questions ― acknowledged that two questions in this year’s annual exam were flawed, marking a second straight year an error was found in the exam.

Adding insult to injury, this year’s math and English tests saw a spike in the number of high scorers, intensifying competition among students in the upper bracket. Suneung is now facing doubts from scholars, education experts and even politicians who have called for reform of the 20-year-old system.

Last month, President Park Geun-hye called for an overhaul of the college entrance exam in a way that is “true to its founding purposes.”  “Replacing people in charge (of tests) is not enough, we need to fix the defective system,” Education Minister Hwang Woo-yea’s said last week during a meeting with reporters. “I agree with the president, who is basically telling us to examine the reasons we introduced the exam in the first place. We need to diagnose exactly what is wrong with the system and if it is outdated, we could improve, augment or in the worst case scenario, abolish it.”

For full article, see Korea Herald.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s