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World

Testing times: South Korea's exam extravaganza

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Opening sequence

World

Testing times: South Korea's exam extravaganza

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00:00:00
>>
APPLAUSE
>> South Korea brought to a nail biting stands still on Thursday, holding its breath as students across the country take the national college exam, sitting through a grueling eight hours of testing. But as Reuters' Jiang Yung Li explains the results will determine the course of the rest of their lives.
00:00:19
>> Today could be said to be the make or break day for the high schoolers of the country. They're around like 606,000 high schoolers in South Korea. The college entrance exam takes place only once a year, test score is going to determine pretty much what school they're gonna go to and what major they're gonna be taking.
00:00:43
>> It's an event students have sacrificed the better part of three years to prepare for. Leaving class only to attend cram schools until they're forced to go to sleep. The gravity of the test is respected in all areas of life on exam day from parents praying for success to the public infrastructure.
00:01:01
>> So, the top priority for the day is, for the students to get to the tests site, safely and on time. So, the trains and subways, they operate longer, rush hour operations. Government offices, they pushed back their morning commute from 9AM to 10AM. Also, the police cars, they are on standby to pick up any students running late for the test.
00:01:27
>> Even the stock exchange opens an hour later, to ease traffic, so the kids can arrive on time. And airplane takeoffs and landings are suspended for 25 minutes around 1PM so the students don't get distracted for the listening part of their English exam