NATIONAL

South Korea enters full ‘suneung mode’

By Bak Se-hwan
  • Published : Nov 13, 2017 - 15:29
  • Updated : Nov 13, 2017 - 17:21
With suneung, or the national college entrance examination, scheduled to take place Thursday, education authorities on Monday began moving exam papers and answer sheets to 85 designated locations across the country. 

Officials move boxes containing exam papers and answer sheets for Thursday's national college entrance exam from a printing company in Sejong on Monday. Yonhap

The sheets will be kept under tight security until early Thursday morning, when they are to be handed over to test administrators at 1,180 schools and other venues where the exam will take place, the Ministry of Education said.

This year, a total of 593,527 will be sitting for suneung, a multi-subject standardized test that is equivalent to the US’ SAT. It will last nine hours starting from 8:40 a.m.

In a country where admission to top-tier universities is often considered a pathway to success in life, the authorities take nation-wide measures to support test takers.

Nearly 15,000 police are to be dispatched on roads near schools to drive exam-takers who are in a last-minute rush to reach test venues, while more public transportation and taxies will be available during rush hour from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Airplane takeoffs and landings at airports near test sites will be halted during the English listening test between 1:10 and 1:35 p.m., and so will all adjacent construction activities.

Public transportation and vehicles are also advised to run slowly and not honk near the test sites during the period to enable test-takers to focus.

Banks, stock markets and government offices will delay opening an hour later, from 10 a.m., to keep traffic off the streets.

By Bak Se-hwan (sh@heraldcorp.com)