[KS] Distortions by SAT and AP test prep

Jonathan Best jbest at wesleyan.edu
Fri Oct 16 12:18:05 EDT 2020

I believe that Mark's concern is misdirected, the prep or "cram" books for the SAT and AP are produced to make a profit by publishers that are wholly independent of the College Board: Kaplan, Barron's, Princeton Review, etc. They are the publishers that produced the stacks of paperback volumes appearing in the video clip. Publishing companies of this sort hire authors, hopefully with appropriate expertise, to write such cram books for high school students. So, writing to complain to the folks at College Board about what appears in those tomes is about as effective and relevant as writing to Apple to complain about the often less than historically accurate stuff that appears—and almost instantly reappears if someone offers a correction—in Wikipedia entries on early Korea. It would probably be most responsible to actually read the texts to see if they are as offensive to your understanding of history as they are represented to be in the brief JBTV before you take the trouble to complain to the publisher of any particular volume.

Stay healthy,


"It's harder to write fiction than nonfiction. Fiction has to make sense." — Tom Clancy

From: Koreanstudies <koreanstudies-bounces at koreanstudies.com> on behalf of Mark Peterson <markpetersonemeritus at gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2020 2:11 AM
To: Korean Studies Discussion List <koreanstudies at koreanstudies.com>
Subject: Re: [KS] Distortions by SAT and AP test prep

And -- I should have mentioned the report on the SAT is at minute post 31:07 -- sorry, I should have helped you find it in the hour+ long news program.

Mark Peterson

On Wed, Oct 14, 2020 at 11:28 PM Mark Peterson <markpetersonemeritus at gmail.com<mailto:markpetersonemeritus at gmail.com>> wrote:
I have had the following news spot from the Korean TV station JBTV forwarded to me.  The report shows the SAT and AP World History prep books have some Chinese-biased distortions in their statements and maps.  The general thrust of the books is to imply greater suzerainty over Korea than was historically true.

Here we go again.  Koreanist excluded from the textbook projects.

There was a textbook a few years ago that referred to Mimana, a Japanese colony in Korea in early historic times.  It seems that when the textbook editors find an "Asian" expert for the Asian sections of the textbooks, the chances of getting Korea's story told from a Japanese or Chinese perspective is the default.


If you would like to add your voice to those who are writing the College Board, the parent organization of the SAT and AP World History test, please click on this link, fill in the form, and let them know that distortions about Korean history should not be included in their test prep books.


As Peter, Paul and Mary used to sing, "When will they ever learn? When will they ever-er learn?"

best to you all -- stay safe,
Mark Peterson

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