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Universities Decide to Take National History Exam

  • June 4, 2007
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Prestigious universities located in Seoul and its adjacent areas, such as Korea University and Yonsei University, have decided to require applicants to take an exam on national history as a mandatory subject on their college entrance examinations. This will start in 2010 when current first-year high school students will be entering into college.

Since Seoul National University has required applicants to take a history exam, there have been a few students who chose history among other subjects available in the social inquiry part of the college entrance exam. From 2010, most of the students who plan to study in the field of the humanities will have to prepare for a history exam.

It was confirmed yesterday that this is the conclusion of a meeting of admissions office directors from seven private universities located in Seoul, including Korea University, Sogang University, Sungkyunkwan University, Yonsei University, Ewha Woman's University, Chungang University, and Hanyang University, which was held in Busan recently. They all decided to adopt history as a compulsory subject on their college entrance examinations.

Following this, other major universities in Seoul and its adjacent areas, such as KyungHee University, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Inha University, and Sookmyung Women’s University also announced that they would make taking a history exam mandatory for their applicants.

Under the plan that directors from the initial seven universities agreed to, all applicants applying to departments related to the humanities will have to submit their history test scores.

This plan is to be presented to the admissions committees of each university to be confirmed.

Currently, most universities require applicants to submit four subject scores in the social inquiry part of the college entrance exam, and the schools allow applicants to choose three subjects from them to be considered in the applicant screening process. Therefore, if school authorities continue this system, applicants who choose history but get a low score on the exam still have a chance to make their history score not affect the screening process.

Regarding this, Kim Yeong-su, admissions office director of Sogang University, said that, “Since only Seoul National University has required applicants to present a history score, many students have tended to give up history in order to avoid competition with high-scoring students,” adding, “College students should know the history of their own country; thus, we decided to make history a mandatory course.”

May 23, 2007
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