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Examination Results in DU : Acheivements and Problems
  • Song Ji-won, Post Reporters
  • 승인 2009.05.29 14:01
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 "What is CPA? And how should we prepare for it?” These are some of the reactions from Dongguk University (DU) students after observing the list of successful candidates for CPA.

 On 24th of April, the results for the first CPA test were announced. Sixty three DU students passed this test. Statistics said that DU ranked 9th among all colleges in Korea. DU also obtained impressive results in other exams too. For example, the teacher’s exam and bar exams (Judicial Examination). Because of the successes as in these exams, many students are now interested in them.

 In Korea, there is a generally agreed conception that if anyone passes the Judicial examination or the Higher Civil Service Exam or, for that matter, any one of the exams cited above, the future will be very prospective. This is the reason why DU’s students have fallen in line with other universities and are now putting much effort on these tests. The reason behind this is that the higher the number of students passing these exams, the better it will be for the reputation of our university. With this in mind, the Post has decided to research all things related to these popular exams.


Part 1. Remarkable Accomplishments in DU


DU Ranked 9th in CPA

 On campus you can find a big placard advertising CPA at DU. It gives details on those successful candidates who have passed the first stage of CPA (Certified Public Accountant). The majority of students on it are Accounts majors, but there are other majors on the list too. As mentioned in the above, in 2009 in terms of successful candidates DU was ranked 9th out of all the universities in Korea. Getting such a high-rank is very difficult. For this reason alone, DU has accomplished something significant.

 

The ranking list of 2009 CPA primary examination

Rank

University

The number of students

1

Korea University

223

2

Yonsei University

215

3

SungKyunKwan University

148

4

Hanyang University

140

5

Sogang University

123

6

Seoul National University

111

7

Kyunghee University

101

8

Chungang University

79

9

Dongguk University

63

10

Pusan National University

53

11

University of Seoul

53

12

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

50

 

Outstanding Results in the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) Exam

 The number of students passing the GCSE exam increases yearly. For instance, there were forty students in 2006, fifty-two in 2007, and sixty seven in 2008. This year eighty four students passed their GCSE. This was a much higher number compared to other universities. In 2008 and 2009, DU also had the largest number of students with a secondary education certification and home economics endorsement in Seoul. Student grades have also been outstanding. In 2008 and 2009, Lee Jae-young and Min Taeok, students in the Department of Home Economics, were at the top of the exam list in Seoul - coming in first and second respectively. Yang Ji-dong, a student in the Department of Korean Language & Literature was also at the top in Japanese studies.


Growing Achievement in the Judicial Examination

 The number of students passing the judicial examination in DU has not yet reached the highest level nationwide. But the results are constantly improving. The final number of DU passed in the 2008 judicial examination was twelve. This ranked us (DU) 14th nationwide and 11th in Seoul. It is DU’s best record and amounts to three points increase from 2007. The special feature of the 2008 judicial examination was that the gap between male and female winners was much closer than previous years. DU students passed this exam consisted of seven males and five females. Eleven out of these students studied in a special preparatory class for the judicial examination.


Part 2. The Secret of DU’s Results: Offers of Preparing Classes


 This year, DU obtained an excellent achievement in examinations. There are two main reasons for this result. The first is that DU students made an incessant effort to study really hard. The second factor is DU’s supports to the classes for students preparing for the examination. The post investigated about DU’s preparing classes.


The Class for the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)Exam

 The College of Education in DU has made every effort to produce successful GCSE candidates. For example, in October, 2007, they opened an academy for supporting appointments in education. The academy’s major programs are based on three steps of exams for GCSE. It organizes and supports student study groups and develops and manages an intensive course on field practice. It also designs a program that trains students as professionals. Last but not least, they provide mock entrance examinations for GCSE and inform students about any special lectures. On their webpage (http://educenter.dongguk. edu), they provide students with information about education employment.

 Student groups preparing for exams are thus activated by having the information already at hand. Each study group consists of four or five students from the department. The study groups are organized voluntarily. When they are selected for the GCSE, they are provided with an application form and study plan. The selected teams’ members are then each given a fifty thousand won endowment. This program is planned for nine weeks and the student groups have to submit a weekly report for the GCSE webpage.

 After the final report is submitted, teaching staff evaluate group activity for nine weeks. A student group that goes under the moniker Samkukmussang is comprised of students from the Department of Home Economics. One of its members, Park Ah-young, said: “The pre-test for teaching is very hard if you prepare alone. In a study group, we share opinions and knowledge about educational theory; we believe it is really helpful.” Department of Education students have a lot of small learning societies.

 They study educational theory in great depth in the hope that such diligence will manifest the powers latent within them. “Cosmos”, an anthropogeography study group (this is a society for the study of space & society), is another group which studies in depth and gives presentations on all things anthropogeographical. One of its members, Min Gwan-seok, said: “One of the members prepared a lecture and presented it on a designated date. In this way, we were able to get experience in teaching and speech. It also helps to extend our range of knowledge and thought on anthropogeography. Furthermore, it allows us to consider other different point of views.”

 

Interview : Min tae-ok, the top of the 2009 GCSE exam in Seoul.

 Q. Give your impression when you know that you are passing the exam.

 A. To be truth, it was too tough time for me during preparing for the exam. I tried my best in this exam. As a result, I could be the top of the exam and I was very pleased and happy.

 Q. Tell me about your efforts during preparatory period.

 A. I failed when I first challenged the teaching exam. I just failed exam at the decimal points in secondary test of the examination so it’s too regrettable. After that I even tried to give up but my only dream was to be a teacher so I studied for the exam again, I took notice of my weak points and try to complete it.

 Q. What is special point of the Department for Home Economics Education?

 A. Students in home economics education start to study for the teaching exam since they are freshmen. School provided students with scholarship and mock test. It might motivate students to study hard. The number of students in Home Economics Education is small prepared to other departments, so students communicate well each other. They often share information each other about studies.

 

Donghyunjae; the Class for CPA

 Why does DU produce so many successful candidates? There is CPA preparatory class (Donghyunjae) that DU laid on. Donghyunjae select students for an examination each semester. Any DU student can participate in the exam. This semester, thirty seven students studied in Donghyunjae. DU gives Donghyunjae its own study room in the business administration building. Here, students prepare for both the primary and secondary CPA in the same class. The best feature of Donghyunjae is that it awards some students with scholarships. Students who pass the primary test in CPA are provided with complete tuition fee cover, or 70% or 35% of the tuition fees depending on academic accomplishment. Donghyunjae also gives on-line lectures as well as school lectures.

 The College of Economics & Commerce has plans to give more support to Donghyunjae. Won Seung-hwan, a student in the faculty of Accounting, passed his CPA in 2008 after studying at Donghyunjae. He said: “At Donghyunjae, I studied as part of a group preparing for CPA and learned to share information with other students. Donghyunjae provides students with study-aid books and on-line lectures. This enables them to study in the school without going to a private academy.” He kept saying that “financial support in the form of a scholarship is very helpful.

 In addition, Donghyunjae’s own room makes it convenient for students to study in school at anytime.” There are 27 Donghyunjae students preparing for the secondary test after passing their primary test. As a result the benefits, we should note that 43% of DU students pass the CPA primary test.


The Class for Students Preparing for the Judicial Examination

 These days, more and more donggukians are passing the judicial examination test - an examination which attests that, after passing, the candidate is qualified to practice law in a given jurisdiction. The judicial examination is known for its difficulty. Therefore, we should be curious about this. Is there a secret method for passing this test?

 There is an actual class for students who wish to prepare for the judicial exam in DU. About 80% of the successful candidates in DU belong to this class. The class has a lot of merits. As a consequence, most students who major in law want to enter the class. The class recruits students for 7 months a year. There is also an entrance exam on May 9th. Many students enter on their own volition for the exam.

 If students enter the class, they will get up-to-date information about the exam. Several lectures are given. For example, the very well-known cyber lectures of Sinlim-Dong are especially useful to them. Although there are many notable programs, the “Senior Mentoring Program” is considered to be the best among them. 6 to 8 students are organized as one team. In addition, each team has a senior who has already taken the exam. The senior has abundant experience and can help students a lot. DU provides a unique service: no other university has a program like this.


The Class for Students Preparing for the Administration Exam.

 The class for students preparing for the administration examination is located on the 4th floor of Manhae Hall. Every Donggukian, including alumni, can apply for admission.

 The class has a very suitable system for students preparing for the exam. It provides a study room with 42 seats available. This means students can study here anytime they want. They can also form groups as a means of exchanging information about the exam. Moreover, they can bask in the atmosphere of friendly competition.

 The manager of the class, Lim Yu-suk said: “If students pass the first phase of examination, we will follow this up with personal interviews. In this way, we can immediately check on their particular circumstances. Some professors can act as good mentors and teach them some tips. For example, how to write a good answer sheet. Furthermore, students who get through the first phase will be afforded high-quality lectures. However, those who fail the exam have to take basic courses such as TOEIC or PSET lectures.”


The Class for Students Preparing for the National Technical Examination

 Since 2008, there has been a class in DU which prepares for the national technical examination. DU established this class for this very purpose. Although specific rooms for the students have not yet been allocated, the managers support each student in many ways.

 Preparing for an exam takes a lot of money; for this reason financial support becomes essential and that is why the class provides this service for its students. Lee Sang-won, the administration office manager in the College of Engineering said: “If students pass the first part of the exam, we then provide them with a scholarship of about 200,000won a month for one year. In addition, they are also granted the privilege of free tuition fees. Students who attain exceptionally high grades in the trial examination can receive about 500,000 won. Furthermore, we buy some text books and provide dormitory beds for students who get excellent results. Moreover, if students think they need some lectures, we invite lecturers from off campus. This facility is for those who have passed the exam.”

 Due to the lack of applicants, the class has an open door policy in regard to recruiting students. This means that anyone can apply, besides the engineering college students.


Part 3. Problems & Solutions in DU : What Else Should Be Improved?


 In contrast to the CPA and teaching exams, DU did less well in other tests. In view of the fact that DU did so well in the aforementioned CPA and teacher exams, it is hard to understand why it hasn't succeeded in other areas. In addition, many people think that DU should do even better. Let’s look at some of the reasons for this.


Problems in Preparing for Exams in DU

 One of the main problems is shortage of space. Choi Beong-suk, a professor in the College of Law, said that: “For students preparing for a judicial examination, there are only sixty-eight seats available. Many students want to prepare for the judicial examination by enrolling in our class. But it’s impossible to admit any more students.” Several staff members also mentioned that the above problem is significant - these included staff from the Business Department , the national technical exam and the Higher Civil Service Examination.

 Another problem is the shortage of support from DU. A Business Department official said that: “if the school provided more student support, then the students would be encouraged to study harder. In short, more support would yield even greater results.” Professor Choi also said that it is inconvenient not to have a better plan in place to support students. According to an official speaking on behalf of the class preparing for the national technical exam, the important issue is to obtain better financial support from DU for its students.


Problems Related to Preparing for the Higher Civil Service Examination

 “Shortage of space” is a more pressing concern for these classes. There are only 42 seats available for the two classes put together. Another problem, an official said, is that: “Our classes are exclusively lecture-based. Of course, lectures are good for students in view of efficiently dealing with numbers. However students also need some seminar-based classes in order to understand the content more deeply”


Problems Related to Preparing for the National Technical Exam

 It is only recently that DU has taken over the class preparing for the national technical exam. Lee Sang-won, an official of this class, made the observation that it is difficult looking after or providing decent studying space for students because of the above problems. He added that: “It is only since 2008, that DU started supporting this class. So, as yet, it’s been difficult to get the grades that we want. Because of our poor start, the school hasn’t re-invested in our class. The worst thing is that this year we were only able to provide a few special lectures for our class students. Perhaps the low support from DU has been influenced by the tuition-fees’ freeze.”


Other Universities

 Let’s first look at the case of Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU). SKKU is well known for getting good results in Korea. The reason behind this is that the university takes a serious hands-on approach in regard to each examination. Also, its class rooms are really large. This means that the number of students in a class preparing for a judicial examination can be up to two-hundred. Furthermore, they look after their students in great detail. An SKKU official said that: “Our university gives special lectures to students. For example, we combine lectures with other universities. Also, we provide special tutoring for students.” He added that: “In the next few years, the judicial examination will be abolished. In order to adjust to this change, we will have classes preparing students for law-school.”

 Hanyang University(HYU) also has a hands-on approach when it comes to managing their exam system. The strong point of HYU is that it is interested in the national technology exam. Because of this, HYU has had good results in these areas. Fundamentally, compared to DU, such schools as Korea University (KU), HYU and SKKU have a much more efficient exam management system in operation.

 Until recently, HYU, KU and SKKU attained better exam results than DU. As you can see, compared to our school, the above universities seem to support their students much more actively. It’s a natural consequence that the above universities acquired good result. If the DU want to acquire good result like other universities, they should support students and offer more classes than now. Of course, it is very hard to suddenly increase the money for this area. Many officers for exams said that “We already make a plan. For example, we plan to give new programs or lectures to our class students. Therefore if more students enter the classes, the number of students who pass exams should be increased.” It means that if DU invest to these areas more than now, we can achieve good results.


Conclusion

 If students and management work together, good results will be obtained. Recently, however, many students have dropped out of the classes because of the amount of time needed for preparing for the exams. Also, many students said that their majors are not related enough to the exam content; and this is what makes them hesitate to enroll. This means that many students are still challenging every year. They achieve their goals in the end through hard work, even if their majors are not directly related to the exam content. Although preparing for the above exams can involve a high risk on the students’ part, success is attainable if the dream is strong. It’s a precious thing when you achieve your goal through your own effort. Of course, DU should support, and continue to support, students more actively. If this happens, the Post expects DU and its students to achieve highly in the area of examinations.

By Song Ji-won, Kim Ji-heon, Post Reporters

Heo Jae-hee, Cub Reporter

 

Song Ji-won, Post Reporters  jiwonsong@dongguk.edu

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