NATIONAL

Superstitions and cheering squads on ‘Suneung’ day

By Suk Gee-hyun
  • Published : Nov 12, 2015 - 12:14
  • Updated : Nov 12, 2015 - 17:00
More than 630,000 South Korean 18-year-olds began the “Suneung” college entrance exam at over 1,000 exam sites Thursday morning. 

Korea’s education fever is most evident on exam day, with mothers praying outside school gates and younger students wishing good luck to the seniors in the brutally competitive daylong exam. 

Scroll down to see the typical scenes from this year’s exam day.


1. Police motorbikes

This will the first and last chance that most students will get to ride a police motorbike. Some 8,000 police officers were dispatched near schools to aid any test-takers who were running late. Cars and public transportation headed to test venues have priority on the roads on Suneung day.


(Yonhap)
 
(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

(Yonhap)


2. Love and prayers

Some parents spend the day in temples and churches, or in front of the school gates to give them “psychological support.”


(Yonhap)
 
(Yonhap)
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(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)


3. Cheering squads

Many schools have their younger students prepare cheering songs and placards to root for the test-takers in the morning. Some come to the school as early as 6 a.m. so as not to miss a single student going into the school and to get a good spot. 


(Yonhap)

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4. “Safe”

There are always people who run late for the annual exam. The school gates close at 8:10 a.m. and the test begins at 8:40 a.m. Those who fail to get in on time have to wait another year to take the Suneung exam. 


(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)


By Suk Gee-hyun (monicasuk@heraldcorp.com)