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College brings BTS to entrance exam, sparking debates

K-pop group BTS has appeared as a drawing topic for a college entrance exam in Seoul, touching off a debate about its fairness. 


The 2019 Art and Design drawing test for Seoul Women’s University’s Ceramics & Fiber Arts major was to “draw a craft object based on your image of BTS.” The university provided a side note clarifying that BTS are singers. 

The test details prompted some internet users to take issue with its fairness, especially for those who are not familiar with BTS. In the hyper-competitive Korean education sector, some senior high school students focus exclusively on their studies, even cutting themselves off from the internet and television for the final year to better prepare for the entrance exam. 

Other users defended the university’s decision, saying that exam takers didn’t have to know who BTS was, or even what they looked like since students were instructed to draw an image based on their perception and image of BTS. They claimed the purpose of the exam wasn’t drawing a realistic image of the K-pop act, but expressing creativity with the topic.

After the exam topic was revealed, “Seoul Women’s University” and “Seoul Women’s University exam retake” started trending on Twitter.

It was not the first time that exam takers were given questions about the K-pop sensation. BTS has appeared in many high-stakes exams in recent years, including Seoul National University’s 2018 essay writing and KBS’ open recruitment exam.

By Lee Tae-hee (