Asia Minute: South Korea’s National Test Day

Nov 15, 2018

Puhung High School main gate during the South Korea College Scholastic Ability Test.
Credit 고려 / Wikimedia Commons

If you’re having any stress in your life today, you might want to consider 18 year olds in South Korea. For those who want to go to college, this is a tremendously important day — packed with stress. Because some say today’s events can impact the rest of their lives.

Nearly 600,00 South Korean high school students will be glad to see the end of this day. It’s a test day. And not just any test, but the national college exam.

Everyone takes it at the same time — from 8:40 AM until 5:40 PM.

The entire country is not only aware of what’s going on, in a sense, everyone is playing a small role. Banks and government offices open an hour later today – to keep traffic to a minimum. Even the stock market opens late.

In Seoul, the government adds extra buses and subway cars and taxis — and nearly 800 vehicles are positioned near subway and bus stations to rush last minute students to their testing places so they can be in place by 8:10 AM.

As the day goes on, there are other considerations.

The English language listening exam takes place from 1:05 to 1:40 in the afternoon. All takeoffs and landings at airports around the country will be halted during that time. Same with noise at construction sites.

There’s also support after the test.

The exam location (Puhung High School), for The South Korea College Ability Test
Credit 고려 / Wikimedia Commons

The Seoul City government plans to supply an outreach program on Friday — with street-side counseling available in areas near large high schools along with stress measurements tests.

As for stress reduction, the government will also roll out virtual reality consoles and other games.