After college exam, Korean students exhale

Updated:  2012-12-06 10:25:50

Nathan Schwartzman  (China TEFL Net)

With the end of the College Scholastic Ability Test, known as the suneung, the long year of study ends for another cohort of Korean high school graduates. Apparently the foreign language and math portions were considered tough this year.

The 2013 CSAT appears to have been more difficult than last year’s with regard to the N sections of math and foreign languages. Last year the G sections of language and math were difficult, so their scores rose this year.

At 2 am on the 9 the test-preparation company Megastudy published its estimated cut-off scores for each level of each section, based on 52,437 scores of its students.

According to Megastudy’s estimates, the cut-off score for the first level in language is 98, which is four points higher than the score of 94 last year, with the cut-off in the G section of math being 92, three points higher than the score of 89 last year.

In the N section of math the cut-off was 92, four points lower than last year’s 96, and in foreign languages the cut-off was 92, five points lower than last year’s 97.

In the foreign language section the cut-offs for the middle to upper-middle section stumbled. The cut-off for the second level dropped 10 points and the cut-off for the third level dropped 12 points.

In the somewhat easy language section, the first level drifted upward and widened and the second through fifth levels increased seven to 12 points each over last year.

In the G section of math, which was found to have been quite difficult last year, the cut-off apparently increased a bit this year but not enough to make much of a difference.

The N section of math was found to have been more difficult than last year, with the gap between the first level and the second to third levels having increased.

The three sciences sections, like the math N section and the foreign language section, were generally more difficult than last year, the company found.  Differences among the scores were more pronounced than last year.

The social studies section was mostly easier than last year, with the first level being 46 to 50 points, which was 42 to 48  points last year.

In the science section, the first sections of physics, chemistry, and biology were about the same as last year, but the second sections of physics, biology, and geology were more difficult, with the cut-off being lower.

Another large hagwon found that, like Megastudy’s results, the first-level cut-off was98 inlanguage,92 inmath G,92 inmath N, and92 inforeign languages.

When normalized, those scores would come to131 inlanguage,131 inmath G,137 inmath N, and132 inforeign languages.



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