Some 2018 (really 2017) Suneung 수능 English questions

Today was Suneung day again here in Korea (although 2017, this test is for the upcoming Spring 2018 college entrances so it officially gets called the 2018 test). This year's test was remarkable for being delayed a week after the Pohang earthquake - the first time in history it's been delayed.

Suneung 2018 English section. Image: Naver

Here are four of the questions from this year's English test. How well would you have done? Answers are at the bottom of this post.

22. What is the best title for the following passage?

Sensory-specific satiety is defined as a decrease in appetite, or the subjective liking for the food that is consumed, with little change in the hedonics of uneaten food. As a result of sensory-specific satiety, when people consume a variety of foods, they tend to overeat. A greater variety of food leads people to eat more than they would otherwise. So, being full and feeling sated are separate matters. The recovery of appetite or the motivation to eat is apparent to anyone who has consumed a large meal and is quite full, and does not require additional energy or nutrients to meet their daily needs, but decides to consume additional calories after seeing the dessert cart. Small changes in the sensory properties of foods are sufficient to increase food intake. For example, subjects who were presented with different shapes of pasta showed increased hedonic ratings and increased energy consumption relative to subjects eating only a single shape of pasta.
* satiety: 포만(감) ** hedonics: 쾌락 *** sated: 충분히 만족한

① necessity of consuming a varied diet in daily life
② reasons for people’s rejection of unfamiliar foods
③ changes in people’s preference for basic food items
④ impact of food variety on the amount of food people consume
⑤ importance of maintaining food diversity to prevent overeating

34. Which phrase best completes the passage?

Over the past 60 years, as mechanical processes have replicated behaviors and talents we thought were unique to humans, we’ve had to change our minds about what sets us apart. As we invent more species of AI, we will be forced to surrender more of what is supposedly unique about humans. Each step of surrender ─ we are not the only mind that can play chess, fly a plane, make music, or invent a mathematical law ─ will be painful and sad. We’ll spend the next three decades ─ indeed, perhaps the next century ─ in a permanent identity crisis, continually asking ourselves what humans are good for. If we aren’t unique toolmakers, or artists, or moral ethicists, then what, if anything, makes us special? In the grandest irony of all, the greatest benefit of an everyday, utilitarian AI will not be increased productivity or an economics of abundance or a new way of doing science ─ although all those will happen. The greatest benefit of the arrival of artificial intelligence is that _____________________.
* replicate: 복제하다

① AIs will help define humanity
② humans could also be like AIs
③ humans will be liberated from hard labor
④ AIs could lead us in resolving moral dilemmas
⑤ AIs could compensate for a decline in human intelligence

35. Which sentences does not belong in the following passage?

In the context of SNS, media literacy has been argued to be especially important “in order to make the users aware of their rights when using SNS tools, and also help them acquire or reinforce human rights values and develop the behaviour necessary to respect other people’s rights and freedoms”. ① With regard to peer-to-peer risks such as bullying, this last element is of particular importance. ② This relates to a basic principle that children are taught in the offline world as well: ‘do not do to others what you would not want others to do to you’. ③ Children’s SNS activities should be encouraged when we help them accumulate knowledge. ④ This should also be a golden rule with regard to SNS, but for children and young people it is much more difficult to estimate the consequences and potential serious impact of their actions in this environment. ⑤ Hence, raising awareness of children from a very early age about the particular characteristics of SNS and the potential long-term impact of a seemingly trivial act is crucial.

40. Which words correctly fill in the blank in the following summary of the passage?

Time spent on on-line interaction with members of one’s own, preselected community leaves less time available for actual encounters with a wide variety of people. If physicists, for example, were to concentrate on exchanging email and electronic preprints with other physicists around the world working in the same specialized subject area, they would likely devote less time, and be less receptive to new ways of looking at the world. Facilitating the voluntary construction of highly homogeneous social networks of scientific communication therefore allows individuals to filter the potentially overwhelming flow of information. But the result may be the tendency to overfilter it, thus eliminating the diversity of the knowledge circulating and diminishing the frequency of radically new ideas. In this regard, even a journey through the stacks of a real library can be more fruitful than a trip through today’s distributed virtual archives, because it seems difficult to use the available “search engines” to emulate efficiently the mixture of predictable and surprising discoveries that typically result from a physical shelf-search of an extensive library collection.
* homogeneous: 동종의 ** emulate: 따라 하다


Focusing on on-line interaction with people who are engaged in the same specialized area can ___(A)___ potential sources of information and thus make it less probable for ___(B)___ findings to happen.

① limit ……unexpected
② limit ……distorted
③ diversify ……misleading
④ diversify ……accidental
⑤ provide ……novel

And of course it wouldn't be the English subject Suneung test without some useless debate about foreigners thinking it's too hard.

Anyway, Naver conveniently has a site up where you can download the full test sheets for Korean, math, and English subjects in PDF format:
🔗 2018 대학수학능력시험 : 네이버 뉴스

Answers are hosted by various media outlets, such as at the Joongang Ilbo. They also have the English listening test scripts and actual listening files. So if you feel like taking the entire thing, have at it! To mimic proper Korean test conditions, try to imagine that your entire life depends on your result.

Regarding the week long delay, I think it will be interesting to see what affect if any the delay will have had on average scores. Lots of kids had planned trips abroad for the days after the test, and doubtless had headaches getting refunds or schedule changes. Some had plastic surgery appointments scheduled, you know, to really prepare them for the real world now. Some had thrown out their study books before learning of the delay and extra week to study. Some were just plain flustered.

And if you're interested I've got a few of the questions from other years up here:

Congrats to the test takers and re-takers. Now get some well deserved rest.


  • # 22 = ④
  • # 34 = ①
  • # 35 = ③
  • # 40 = ①


Curious Lady said…
The first question is awful the rest are ok. It's awful because it's trying to define a compound word (sensory-specific saiety) that exists within a system of thought that we the test takers aren't privy to. The paragraph was taken out of a larger body of text that must of at least redefined "variety of food" in a non-trivial way. As differently shaped variety of pasta were defined as being "varieties of food" with nothing else changed.
That is not the generally accepted definition. The only way that you know that definition has been modified because that is the only way to make the sentance "As a result of sensory-specific satiety, when people consume a variety of foods, they tend to overeat." evidenced by what is stated in the rest of the paragraph.
What I did here is a ham fisted method to make a cohesive paragraph in order to answer a question. The very definition of a leap of faith done in order to have something to answer a question about. I can't imagine resorting to such vocabulary butchery in a test situation .