Universities Adopt History in Admission Test

Major universities will adopt history exams in their admission tests beginning 2009.
Admissions deans from the seven universities, including Korea University, Yonsei University and Ewha Womans University, Tuesday agreed on requiring applicants for social science colleges to choose history exam on College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT).

“A growing number of college hopefuls avoid history subject and choose other subjects which are easier for them to get higher scores. However, we believe history is essential for students if they want to study in universities,” Lee Jae-yong, admission dean of Yonsei University, told The Korea Times.

The CSAT gives a total of 11 optional tests for students studying in social sciences such as ethics, politics, economics and geography, from which they can choose four subjects. Last year, history ranked seventh as college applicants’ favorite subject.

The universities will propose the revision to their admissions committees by the end of June and confirm a new admission plan before September.The universities’ move is expected to influence admission guidelines at other universities. Only Seoul National University makes history exams mandatory in its admission test.

The move is on the same line with the government’s policy to strengthen history education. The Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development has released guidelines on history education in the early part of this year.

Under the plan, high-school students will have revised curricula for history education and new textbooks that highlight the distortion of history by two neighboring countries, China and Japan, starting in 2012.

China claims heritage to Gojoseon and other kingdoms such as Goguryeo (37 B.C. – A.D. 668), which Korea maintains are part of its national history with its five-year research program on Northeast Asia.

Japan claims Korea’s easternmost territory, the Dokto islets, and denies colonial atrocities such as wartime sex slavery between 1910 and 1945.

05-22-2007 18:04
By Kang Shin-who Staff Reporter kswho@koreatimes.co.kr