>> South Korea brought to a nail biting stand still on Thursday, holding its breath as 600,000 students take the national college exam. A test that could make or break the rest of their lives. The test determines whether or not these kids will spend four years in higher education and where.
Laden with gifts of sticky rice cakes for good luck and cheered on outside exam centers. Many arriving with mixed emotions ahead of a grueling eight hours of exams.>> I won't get nervous, I work as hard as possible to answer the questions because I've been preparing.>> That's a bit of an understatement.
These students have likely been preparing for this test for the better part of three years. Leaving class only to attend cram schools until they're forced to go to sleep.>>
> Anxious parents have been praying at churches and temples for days.>> I came here as a parent, just my own mother did to pray to Buddha that my son does well in the test.
The gravity of the test is respected in all areas of life on exam day. Companies public offices, even the stock exchange opening an hour later to ease traffic, so kids can arrive on time. Police will be giving any stragglers lifts the test site. An airplane take off some landings are suspended for 25 minutes around 1 PM.
So the students don't get distracted for the listening part of their English exam.