+ A

312 students manage to hack their CSAT scores

Dec 04,2019
The scores for the college entrance exam, which will be released tomorrow, were hacked by over 300 test takers Tuesday, according to the test administrator.

“I am sorry to confirm that 312 test takers were able to check the scores before they were to be officially released for individual confirmation on Wednesday,” said Sung Ki-sun, head of the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation (KICE), the administrator of the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT), at a press conference at the Ministry of Education’s headquarters in Sejong on Tuesday.

“Once we found out, we shut down the server so that the scores cannot be leaked further,” he said. “We apologize for the problem and will be investigating why it happened.”

On Monday, many people on social media described how to change settings on the website of KICE to be able to check one’s CSAT scores before Wednesday.

“Log in to the website of KICE, then open the DOM search function and change the date from 2019 to 2020 and you will find your scores for the latest CSAT,” one user wrote in an online community on internet portal Naver on Monday, according to JTBC.

Other users left comments on the post about how the directions worked and how they were able to access their scores.

Education authorities told JTBC that they were running a test on uploading the scores into the system when the test takers allegedly tweaked a setting in the HTML system and were able to access their scores.

The post on Naver was deleted after people sent petitions to the Blue House demanding disciplinary actions against the author and others who posted similar remarks.

Education authorities also announced in the press conference Tuesday some trends in this year’s scores.

“The CSAT scores tell us that the students appear to have found language and literature and English subjects easier than last year’s test,” said Ban Jae-chun, professor of education at Chungnam National University in Daejeon and a member of the scoring panel for this year’s CSAT.

“Compared to last year’s test,” he continued, “students appeared to have found Type B mathematics and Korean national history subjects more difficult.”

There are two types of mathematics tests in the CSAT. Type B focuses on integral calculus, probability and statistics. Type A focuses more on geometry.

A total of 484,737 people took the CSAT on Nov. 14, of whom 347,765 were students in school taking the test for the first time, according to KICE. Some high school graduates decide to take it again after graduation. It is the single standardized test for college admissions in Korea.

BY ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]