Testing times in Korea
Education is a serious, super-competitive business in South Korea, and there are regular complaints that the country’s rigid approach to it is stifling innovation. But that obsessive approach to education continues.
Last week, the playing of Gangnam Style was forbidden anywhere near the examination halls as hundreds of thousands sat a key college entrance examination.
For the duration of the test, military training was stopped, and 83 flights were even rescheduled.
Nearly 669,000 students took the day-long standardised College Scholastic Ability Test at 1,191 centres around the country, according to the education ministry.
Examinations are a big deal in Confucian societies such as Korea. In order to help candidates arrive at exam halls on time, government offices and public buildings started work at 10am instead of 9am, extra buses and metro lines were arranged and emergency services were at hand to help anyone running late to make it on time.
The stock market opened an hour late. Meanwhile, the temples are filled with parents praying for their children’s success.