American College Grads Try to Take the Korean ‘SAT’ for the First Time

South Korea’s crucial college entrance exam, known as College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT), has gained international fame for being notoriously difficult.  

Described as “the chance to make or break one’s future,” the exam has been praised for its efficiency, meritocratic factors, and high international results. The results of the challenging CSAT exam determine which university the student will enter.

As the standardized test is somehow equivalent to the American SAT, Buzzfeed thought it would be interesting to see how high-ranking school students fare in answering CSAT questions. 

In a video published in February, Buzzfeed employees who attended Yale, Stanford, and UC Berkeley attempted to solve a few questions from the foreign language section of the 2011 College Scholastic Ability Test.

In the intro, before they took the test, the video revealed some heartbreaking truths about the Korean Education System, noting that it often places pressure on the students and has been seen to affect their happiness and health in a negative way. To allow for their hectic 13 hours a day study routine, an average South Korean high school student only gets to sleep for about 5.5 hours per night.

According to the video, there has been an observed correlation between self-worth and academic performance as suggested by the majority (53%) of the suicidal Korean youths who attributed their destructive tendencies to their “inadequate” performance in school.

Upon taking the exam, the three Americans expressed that they felt the questions were very confusing and extremely longer that those normally provided in the American SAT.

Here’s the first question, which 81.51% of Korean test-takers answered incorrectly. Try to check if you can crack it:

This next question had a 90% error rate:

For the first question (answer: choice number 1), everybody got the correct answer but most noted how the question was made extremely confusing. How does something constitute as a“midwife of thought,” seriously?

For the second question, (answer: choice number 5)  two of the three Americans chose the correct answer. How did you fare?

Here’s the full video:

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.

NextShark is a leading source covering Asian American News and Asian News including business, culture, entertainment, politics, tech and lifestyle.

For advertising and inquiries: info@nextshark.com