Military training was suspended, flights rescheduled and emergency calls reserved for latecomers Thursday as hundreds of thousands of South Korean students sat a crucial college entrance examination.
As every year, the focus of the education-obsessed country narrowed for one day to ensure the smooth running of the exam, seen as a defining moment that can hold the key to future career. Police cars and motorbikes in cities across South Korea were put on standby, available for any students needing to make a late dash to take their seats before the exam. More than 668,500 students took the day-long standardised College Scholastic Ability Test at 1,191 centres nationwide, the education ministry said.
Aviation authorities said 83 flights had been rescheduled to avoid noisy landings and take-offs during language listening tests in the morning and afternoon. The stock market's opening and closing was delayed by an hour while many government offices and private companies opened late to ease rush-hour traffic.
The pressure on teenagers to perform well in exams is blamed for dozens of suicides every year that generally peak around the time of the annual entrance exam.AFP