Students No Longer Take SAT Korean Subject Test

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The number of students taking SAT Korean subject test is decreasing continuously.

According to College Board, the number of high school seniors who took SAT II Korean this year was 1,712. Compared to previous year’s 1,891, it was a 9% decrease.

The decrease rate is rapid, considering that the number was 4,625 in 2009. The number decreased to less than 2,000 last year, and the decreasing trend is continuing this year as well.

Korean language became an official SAT II test subject in 1997. The subject showed increasing trend, recording over 3,000 in 2005 and 4,000 in 2007. However, it’s been showing downward trends ever since it reached the peak at 4,625 in 2009.

Such trend reflects test takers’ perception that Korean language test results don’t affect college acceptance so much. Although related educators suggest that good results in the language subject test can show colleges that the student is working hard to study various languages, students and their parents stay unconvinced.

The downward trend also reflects the decreasing number of SAT subject tests in general. In five years, the number decreased 30% from 312,000 to 219,000. The number shows that only 12% of the SAT test takers took subject tests.

Previously significant number of colleges including Harvard required applicants to take at least three subject tests. As most colleges no longer require subject test results by now, test takers have decreased significantly.

Most of the schools asking for subject test results are limited to engineering schools. Even those schools, including CalTech, Harvey Mudd, MIT, and Webb Institute, list only mathematics or science subject tests among the mandatory test.

These trends result in a rumor that College Board doesn’t regard subject tests as important. However, the organization denies the rumor, commenting that they continue to invest much in subject tests.


Original article by Seo Han-seo