Friday, November 18th, 2011

Korea Puts Everything On Hold For Exams


Photo: South Korea

Think exams put your life on hold? The entire nation of Korea pretty much shuts down for one exam every year.

As Korean teenagers scramble and cram to jockey for university spots, close to 700,000 students will sit down to write a day-long standardised college scholastic ability test. While they do so, the rest of the country pretty much cheers them on.

Flights are rescheduled, because they don’t want airplanes to make too much noise. On the ground, rush hour traffic is asked not to honk, again because it makes too much noise. The entire country adopts a library’s “shhhh” policy, so the students can concentrate.

But there’s more! The nation’s stock market’s opening and closing was delayed by an hour. Government buildings and offices opened late, so students will have unencumbered access to roads and highways and they won’t be late for the test. There are also reports of a late student getting a police escort to the testing centre.

This is essentially the scene every year around this time. Students are obsessed with the test’s results, as the right grades are prerequisite for the best universities. Many even view it as the first stepping-stone to a good career and a prestigious marriage.

So just remember all that while you’re studding for your exams. There is not nearly as much stress placed on Canadian students. Mind you, it’s also a lot harder to get a police escort if you miss your bus.

Ryan Leclaire
Author: Ryan Leclaire
Ryan has been writing for 7 years and has been featured in Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Cottage life.
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