In the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) test for the 2024 school year, the proportion of ‘N-students (including GED)’ soared to 35.3%, the highest in 28 years.
This is believed to be because the demand for graduates to enter medical school has increased compared to previous years in accordance with the Ministry of Education’s policy of ‘excluding killer CSAT questions’. Recently, while the world is putting a lot of effort into securing talent for next-generation high-tech industries such as semiconductors , AI (artificial intelligence), and space, the phenomenon of top talent being concentrated on medical schools is actually strengthening in Korea. In the end, concerns grew that it would inevitably have a negative impact on national competitiveness.
The Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation announced on the 11th that the total number of applicants for this year’s CSAT was 504,588, a decrease of only 3,442 (0.7%) from the previous year. This is because although the school-age population has decreased significantly, the number of so-called ‘N students’ has increased accordingly. The number of students who applied this year was 326,646, a decrease of 23,593 from the previous year, but the number of graduates and qualification exam students increased by 17,439 and 2,712, respectively.
According to Jongno Academy, the proportion of N-students among all applicants this year was 35.3%, the highest in 28 years since the 1996 CSAT (37.3%). Lee Man-gi, director of the Uway Educational Evaluation Research Institute, said, “Following the policy of not asking difficult killer questions on the CSAT, the number of N students who say, ‘It’s worth giving medical school a try’ has increased significantly.”
Preference for medical schools has existed since the past, but recently it has reached the level of a ‘craze’. Even if they are admitted to a prestigious engineering school, the number of students who take a leave of absence or drop out and then try to enter medical school again has increased significantly. Recently, in famous academies such as Daechi-dong and Mok-dong in Seoul, the number of academies that prepare students for medical school entrance exams starting from elementary school is increasing.
It is analyzed that the background for this preference for medical 안전놀이터schools reflects the younger generation’s tendency to prefer stable high salaries and the social atmosphere. Korean doctor’s income is the highest in the world. According to the ‘Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ( OECD ) Health Statistics 2023’ published in July , the average annual wage income of doctors receiving salaries at domestic hospitals and clinics was $192,749 (about 256 million won). . It is the highest among the 28 member countries that submitted related statistics.
Even if you graduate from a prestigious university, it is not easy to find a job and you face an uncertain future. The reality is that a career as a doctor with a high salary and the ability to work even after retirement is attractive to young people. Some analyzes say that this is the result of neglecting the so-called ‘distortion of the incentive system’ for a long period of time.
Above all, there are concerns that the medical school craze, which sweeps away talented people like a black hole, is becoming a factor that is eroding national competitiveness.
Park Jeong-il, director of the Gyeonggi Province Education Research Institute, said, “If Einstein had been born in Korea, he would have entered medical school,” and added, “We must not forget the lesson that a country that dominated science and technology conquered the world. “If it becomes ‘Gongsong’ (sorry for being an engineering school), there is no hope for Korea,” he pointed out.