The Korea Herald


Students awarded W7m each for Suneung mishap

By Choi Jeong-yoon

Published : April 20, 2023 - 15:19

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(Herald DB) (Herald DB)

The court ruled the government should compensate 7 million won ($5,250) to students who claimed they were unfairly disadvantaged by an early finishing bell during Korea's national university entrance exam, known as "Suneung."

Eight students who took the exam in 2021 had filed a lawsuit against the state and a test monitor at the time for "unexpected disruption" as the finishing bell rang around 2 minutes ahead of schedule.

The Seoul Central District Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the appeal and ordered the state to pay eight examinees 7 million won each. This is an increase of 5 million won from the previous 2 million won awarded in the first trial.

The court did not find the test monitor liable for compensation.

The test monitor, who was in charge of setting the alarm during the exams, had made a mistake and scheduled the bell 2 minutes earlier. After acknowledging the error, students were handed back the test papers to take the test for the remaining time. Not knowing exactly how much time they had left, students reportedly took the test in a chaotic atmosphere.

The state's responsibility for compensation is in accordance with the Supreme Court's precedent that the state is liable for damages for misconduct committed by public officials, and that the administration of the Suneung is a national administrative service.