The National English Ability Test (NEAT), recently developed by the government as a local alternative to TOEFL and TOEIC, may replace the English language section of the nation's college entrance exam starting in 2016, the education ministry said Sunday.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said four rounds of NEAT will be administered in a pilot project before it makes a final decision on the replacement in 2012. If successful, the NEAT will replace the current English language section of the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) that every 12th grader is required to take to enter university, the ministry said.
The ministry also plans to allow universities to refer to students' NEAT scores as an unofficial guide starting in 2013.
Since last year, the government had been developing the Internet-based NEAT as an alternative to TOEFL and TOEIC to evaluate Koreans' English ability. There are three different versions of the NEAT -- one for adults and two for students - that are tailored to specifically test English proficiency required for certain fields of study.
For the student versions, the 145-minute test consists of four sections -- listening, reading, speaking and writing.