With the announcement of the revision of the 2022 College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) that includes absolute evaluation, many students, parents, and even universities are in a state of disorder. Demonstrations and press conferences are being held here and there, and universities mostly have opposing positions. Is it possible to gain the positive effects that the Ministry of Education (MOE) intended, such as competition relief and reduction of the burden of studying? Wouldn’t the reorganization matter intensify students’ academic burdens, especially because of fiercer competition regarding school records? It is too early to present an absolute evaluation plan at this time since absolute evaluation for English has not yet been implemented.
First of all, the expansion of absolute evaluation in the CSAT only adds chaos for test-takers. In a typical case, there is a movement of dropping out of school among freshmen in high school (originally the revision was to start in 2021, but it was delayed one year). Many students are trying to focus only on the CSAT and take the exam twice before the revision. JoongAng Ilbo surveyed 583 middle and high school students and 63.4% of them replied that they are opposed to absolute evaluation. The students expressed anxiety over the expansion of the total student admission process as absolute evaluation leads to a discriminatory decrease in the importance of the CSAT. One of the students said, “Don’t count on us as experimental rats” and complained about changing the admission process. Moreover, if the influence of the CSAT decreases, students who fail to control their school transcript will lose their chance to turn their life around with the CSAT. In the 2022 College Entrance Exam, integrated science and social studies will also be added, so it is clear that students will experience great confusion.
Secondly, even universities are not favoring the opinion of expanding absolute evaluation as: 77% of universities in the capital are opposed to the revision and they will face difficulties in selecting students. Baek Kwang-jin, the Head of the Admission Office at CAU, said, “Since the absolute evaluation will take effect this year only for English, the uncertainty is too big. It is better to maintain the current CSAT system.” Furthermore, there is a concern that wealthy students can benefit from the expansion of the total student admission process due to its unclear standard. The total student admission process is controversial even now, so the dissatisfaction of the people would be hard to avoid.
Thirdly, competition to enter universities will not be lessened but become fiercer. One of the main reasons why the MOE intends to expand the absolute system is to competition, but it is not likely to be effective. Rather, competition will be overheated among the remaining relatively evaluated subjects and private education will become more concentrated. In particular, it is evident that the competitiveness of the school exam will be intensified due to the lack of distinction in the CSAT. In addition, it may become more difficult for students to prepare because universities may conduct other exams or strengthen the interviews. In other words, there will be more negative side effects than positive ones.
In order to successfully conduct the expansion of absolute evaluation, there must be a solution that can handle the “reduction of discrimination” in the CSAT. However, there is no solution in the current situation, so a great confusion over entrance examinations is obvious if the revision is enforced. The MOE should carefully consider the situation of students and universities. Also, they need to see the big picture by interlocking with other policies, such as absolute assessment in school grades, and a high school credit system. There definitely won’t be any good results by simply focusing the absolute evaluation onto the CSAT.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >