In Korea and Japan, entering university is based largely on the scores that students achieve on entrance examinations. Students applying to universities in Korea take the College Scholastic Ability Test, which is comparable to the National Center Test for University Admissions in Japan. This examination has five sections: Korean Language, Mathematics, English, various elective subjects in the social and physical sciences, and 'Foreign Languages or Chinese Characters and Classics'. For 'Foreign Languages', there are German, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic.
The German examination, for example, was taken in 2009 by about 3,500 students in Korea. On the other hand, in Japan only 125 students took the German part of the National Center Test. The reasons are that all students in Korea study English and another foreign language in secondary education, and that a certain number of universities require the foreign language results of the examination.
This article reports on the system of college administration and the German section of the College Scholastic Ability Test in Korea. The German test in Korea is analysed by means of comparison with the Japanese National Center Test. The findings show that the Korean test is based on the contents of study at high school, whereas the Japanese test is more difficult, not only in grammar but also in vocabulary. In Japanese high schools, the curriculum for German depends on the teachers and the textbooks, and Center Test administrators give no guidelines for required German vocabulary items. The number of German examinees will not increase until this opaque condition is improved.