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Introduction to CSAT

College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) is designed to measure students’ achievement of National Curriculum standards and scholastic ability required for college education. It is developed and managed by Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation (KICE), commissioned by the Ministry of Education. CSAT aims to assess high-order thinking skills in the six study areas - Language Arts, Mathematics, English, Korean History, Investigation and Second Foreign Languages/Chinese Characters & Classics. Language Arts is to measure the ability in the usage of Korean language required for college education. Mathematics is to measure the mathematical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities in applying basic Mathematical concepts and principles for college education. English is to measure the achievement of National Curricular standards of English and the proficiency of English for college education. Korean History is to measure the grounding knowledge stated in the Korean History Curriculum. Investigation is to measure the thinking skills and problem-solving abilities on the basis of basic concepts and principles in the field of Social Studies, Science, or Vocational Education required for college education. The Second Foreign Languages and Chinese Characters & Classics are to measure the basic communication competence of such languages as German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Arabic & Vietnamese and the knowledge of Chinese Characters and the understanding of Chinese Classics.

Key Features of CSAT

College Scholastic Ability Test:

  • assesses high-order thinking abilities together with the students’ understanding in Language Arts and English tests and area-specific ideas or information in regards to each test; such as Mathematics, Korean History, Investigation(Social Studies, Science, or Vocational Education), and Second Foreign Languages/Chinese Characters & Classics.
  • is as reliable and valid as possible when measuring achievements and learning abilities required for college education.
  • provides reliable data for college admissions.
  • seeks to achieve a positive impact on teaching and learning practices in high schools.

Candidates MUST:

  • take Korean History as a compulsory subject and failing to take the exam will cancel the CSAT score report.

While Candidates can:

  • take all or some of the tests in five study areas: Language Arts, Mathematics, English, Investigation(Social Studies, Science, or Vocational Education), and Second Foreign Languages/Chinese Characters & Classics.
  • choose to take Type A or Type B in Mathematics, following their academic interest at colleges.
  • choose any subjects in the sub-areas as follows:
    • up to two out of nine subjects in the Social Studies tests
    • up to two out of eight subjects in the Science tests
    • up to two out of ten subjects in the Vocational Education tests
    • one out of nine subjects in Second Foreign Languages and Chinese Characters & Classics

Tests and Subjects Covered

CSAT consists of six tests which cover the subjects of various fields as followed:

Tests and Subjects Covered
Test Subject Covered
Language Arts Speaking & Writing, Reading & Grammar, and Literature
Mathematics
(Choose One Type)
Type A Differential & Integral Calculus II, Probability & Statistics, and Geometry & Vectors
Type B Math II, Differential & Integral Calculus I, and Probability & Statistics
English English I and English II
Korean History Korean History
Investigation
(Choose One)
Social Studies Up to 2 out of 9 can be selected from: Life & Ethics, Ethics & Thought, Korean Geography, World Geography, East Asian History, World History, Law & Politics, Economics, Society & Culture
Science Up to 2 out of 8 can be selected from: Physics I, Chemistry I, Biology I, Earth Science I, Physics II, Chemistry II, Biology II, Earth Science II.
Vocational
Education
Up to 2 out of 10 can be selected from: Understanding of Agriculture, Basic Techniques in Agriculture, General Industry, Basic Drafting, Commercial Economy, Principles of Accounting, Understanding of Oceanography, Basic Fishery & Shipping Industry, Human Development, Understanding of Life-Related Service Industry
Second Foreign Languages or Chinese Characters & Classics
(Choose One)
One can be selected from: German I, French I, Spanish I, Chinese I, Japanese I, Russian I, Arabic I, Vietnamese I, Chinese Characters & Classics I.

Test Rubrics

Test Rubrics
Test Number of Item Time Allocation Item Format
Language Arts 45 items 80 min multiple-choice
Mathematics 30 items 100 min multiple-choice (70%) and short answer (30%)
English 45 items (17 listening items and 28 reading items) 70 min multiple-choice
Korean History
(compulsory)
20 items 30 min multiple-choice
Investigation Social Studies 20 items per subject up to 2 subjects 30 min per subject(Max. 60 min) multiple-choice
Sciences 20 items per subject up to 2 subjects 30 min per subject(Max.60 min.) multiple-choice
Vocational Education 20 items per subject up to 2 subjects 30 min per subject(Max.60 min.) multiple-choice
Second Foreign Languages or Chinese Characters & Classics 30 items per subject one subject 40 min multiple-choice

Test Administration Schedule

  • Students should enter the designated room by 08:10
  • Students should enter the room 10 minutes prior to the start of examination from the second session on.
  • The English session includes a listening test which is administered for about 25 minutes from 13:10.
Test Administration Schedule
Session Test Schedule
Entrance By 08:10
1st Language Arts 08:40 ~ 10:00 (80 min.)
Break - 10:00 ~ 10: 20 (20 min.)
2nd Mathematics 10:30 ~ 12:10 (100 min.)
Lunch - 12:10 ~ 13: 00 (50 min.)
3rd English 13:10 ~ 14:20 (70 min.)
Break - 14:20 ~ 14:40 (20 min.)
4th Korean History, Social Studies/Science/Vocational Education 14:50 ~ 16:32 (102 min.)
Break - 16:32 ~ 16: 50 (18 min.)
5th Second Foreign Languages/Chinese Characters & Classics 16:20 ~ 17:00 (40 min.)

CSAT Scores

Only the grade on Korean History will be provided.

  • The grades, ranging from 1 to 9, derive from the division of raw scores with pre-set cut score points.
  • The grades represent the degree of achievement on the subject.

The CSAT score of each test below is a standard score calculated with the linear transformation method.

  • Language Arts, Mathematics and English have a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 20.
  • Social Studies, Science, Vocational Education, Second Foreign Languages and Chinese Characters & Classics have a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10.
CSAT Scores
Test Number of Items Maximum Raw Score Standard Score
Mean Standard
Deviation
Range**
Language Arts 45 100 100 20 0~200
Mathematics 30 100 100 20 0~200
Social Studies/Science/Vocational Education* 20 50 50 10 0~100
Second Foreign Languages/Chinese Characters & Classics* 30 50 50 10 0~100

* The numbers represent the number of items in each subject, maximum raw score, and standard score.

** Range = (test or subject mean) ± 5 X (test or subject standard deviation).

CSAT Score Report

  • CSAT Score Report includes the background information of students, the tests or subjects taken, standard score, percentile rank, and grades for each test or subject.
  • Percentile indicates the percentage (%) of students who fall below the midpoint of the given score interval.
  • Grades, ranging from 1 to 9, are determined based on students’ standard score, of which grade 1 being the highest.
  • Korean History and English only show one of the grades, representing the degree of achievement and grade 1 representing the highest achievement.

2017 CSAT Score Report(Sample)

2017 CSAT Score Report(Sample)
Registration Number Name Birth Date Gender High School
12345678 Kim, Gil-Dong 951234 Male Seoul High School (0009)
Test Korean History Language Arts Mathematics English Social Studies 2nd Foreign Language /Chinese C&C
A Life & Ethics Economics Japanese l
Standard
Score
N/A 131 137 N/A 53 64 69
Percentile
Rank
93 95 75 93 95
Stanine / Grade 2 2 2 1 4 2 2