SEOUL, Korea, April 11 (Korea Bizwire) – Despite the government’s constant threat of crackdown on illegal tutoring on college-bound students, the so-called “college entrance exam consulting” is still thriving.
Often it is evolving in quite unusual ways. Some of them visit the student’s house just before the application deadline to pick and choose schools that are most likely to get admitted for the handsome fee of several million won.
In some cases, the mother of a student who was accepted in a prestigious university in the previous year takes full care of another in preparing for the exam. In still other cases, an exam manager comes to the home of the applicant like a tutor to plan highly elaborate strategies.
For example, a high-school senior Park said he has been getting advice from an exam manager for more than two years since advancing to high school at 1 million won a month. At the urging of the manager, he chose the science and engineering track just because it was easier to get accepted than the humanities and social sciences track.
Lee Beom, an education expert, commented on the state of affairs, “All these strange job titles like exam managers and exam foster moms came out because of excessively complicated nature of the current college entrance exam scheme.”
According to college test prep organization Etoos Cheongsol, the total number of screenings including early and regular decisions offered by 215 colleges and universities for the school year 2015 is 2,988, up 105 from the previous year’s 2,883. It means that the government’s measures to simplify college exam process have not made any difference at all.
Haneul Education president Lim Sung-ho concurred by saying, “Too many screenings mean more complexity and anxiety for parents with college-bound students, which naturally leads to hiring of high-paid exam consultants.”
Ahn Sang-jin, vice president of a non-profit organization “World without Private Tutoring,” said, “There is so much room for consultants to proliferate because there are too many things for college applicants to prepare including interviews, recommendations, extracurricular activities, and so on.”
Lee, the education expert, warned, “Without active interference by the government to increase the number of college admissions counselors and other college entrance guidance services sharply, students from families with money will keep going to good colleges while those of families without are left out in the cold.”
Written by Sean Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org)