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2023 CSAT English Controversy: ‘Same Except For One Sentence’
  • By Park Seong-eun,cub-reporter
  • 승인 2022.12.05 00:45
  • 호수 313
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▲The question written as question number 23 in the 2023 CSAT English domain (Source: KICE)

On November 17, 2023 CSAT was held. CSAT is an exam which examinees go through in order to gain entrance into college once a year. For a day, examinees show up showcasing their efforts and capacity that they have been enhancing. However, it erupted as it rose to the surface that part of a question of this CSAT English domain, was similar to private mock test questions for the Major Entrance Examination Company. The controversy arose as the question of CSAT, which tens of thousands of examinees take every year, was judged to be a violation of fairness and objectivity.

The question under controversy is question number 23 in the 2023 CSAT English domain. Question number 23 is a query in which examinees must choose an appropriate subject of text based on the given text. They choose one of the five English choices, and three points are allotted to this question. The original text is, ‘Too Much Information,’ published in 2020 by Cass R. Sunstein, a law school professor at Harvard University in the U.S. However, question number 23’s' text was raised as a problem that most of them were similar, except for the text of the private mock test question, provided by a famous instructor at Major Entrance Examination Company, and it was against equity.

Appeals were posted, 19 cases as of November 21st, the last day of the objections period, which were related to question number 23 of the English domain in the, ‘2023 CSAT Questions Answers Objection Bulletin Board,’ of KICE (Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation), the institution set CSAT. The objection period was closed and the appeals of the 23rd English question, a total of 127 articles, were received on a bulletin board. Impugners argued, “It is absolutely advantageous for students who solved this mock test in advance and even took explanatory lectures. This is because this text is the same as the private mock test’s text, provided by an outstanding instructor, except for one sentence.” The other impugners pointed out, “Students who have already solved it once and listened to the explanatory lecture, can solve the question quickly without interpreting and analyzing the text.” They all have an opinion to deal with the correct answer because of unfair competition. About the controversy, netizens insisted, “This is an unreasonable treatment for students who didn’t buy the private mock test paper due to family circumstances.” Additionally they criticized, “How can the question designer give the question of this same text, who should check on all the most available references.” Then, they mentioned the question designer’s attitude, saying “It was a question of the top instructor, so it was not a lack of qualifications and negligence to miss the review.”

Regarding the issue, an official from KICE said, “It is a coincidence, and the exam preparatory books that all students can access on the market are excluded from the test headquarters as much as possible. We search all previous questions and take measures not to write the same content. Understanding all the lecture materials and having them be apart from them, is actually impossible when writing the questions. Additionally, the text under controversy was not officially published in bookstores, but made by an individual instructor, so it is not enough to check them one by one, individually. However, depending on examination processing procedures for subsequent objections, we will evaluate objectively.” Some believe that it will be difficult to regard this issue as a mere coincidence.

The CSAT, which will end as the last test of adolescence. Finally, on December 9, examinees will be informed of their real grade. As it was a once- in- lifetime test for examinees, we hope that more objective examination results will be announced. This year, we hope they will also relieve the stress from receiving the CSAT by encouraging the hard work of examinees, who successfully completed CSAT in the pandemic situation.

By Park Seong-eun,cub-reporter  pseun1017@naver.com

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