Suneung, the CSAT bringing South Korea to a halt


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On Thursday, thousands of thousands of faculty students in South Korea will take a seat for Suneung, an entrance examination that will resolve which college they earn into.

The annual School Scholastic Capability Test (CSAT), one of the most gruelling moments of a pupil’s existence, entails them being examined on Korean, English, maths, social learn and sciences.

Students are graded on the percentage of correct solutions in every area and outcomes are classified in nine courses.

The outcomes own an attain on different facets of a pupil’s existence, at the side of job prospects and marriage.

On the day, locations of work originate gradual to retain the roads certain for college students on their map to the examination, and air visitors is halted all the map through the listening fragment.

Officials work in direction of reducing visitors jams and, in some situations, college students are additionally escorted to the examination centres by cops.

Households offer special prayers at church buildings and temples for the early life.

Nevertheless what is it like for college students to prepare for the examination and take a seat through it?

Al Jazeera spoke to 19-twelve months-extinct Lee Yeon-soo, who took the test two years ago, on what a pupil goes through while making ready for CSAT and sitting through it:

« This single examination will resolve your existence, in general.

« We watch for this examination from the moment we enter grade college. That is 12 years of learning and doing smartly in Suneung being the discontinuance arrangement.

« The day I grew to alter into a senior in high college, I wrote ‘twelve months except D-Day’ on my calendar and started counting down the days.

Households offer prayers for the success of their early life within the college entrance examinations [Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters]

« On the day, you aren’t alleged to delight in the leisure heavy that can affect your efficiency. I judge I ate porridge most productive.

« Incessantly, one of your fogeys will dangle you to varsity. On the gates, the lecturers and younger college students will be looking forward to you, cheering, holding up indicators and giving out chocolate or candy.

« The incontrovertible reality that your fogeys and academics are cheering for you locations you below more stress. You basically feel adore it be indispensable to attain smartly so that you plan no longer disappoint them. »

‘Rough and aggravating’

« You streak into the assigned college room and wait. There would possibly perhaps be so mighty tension in these lecture rooms. As soon as the examination begins, it goes by basically quick and you plan no longer even know what’s going on 1/2 the time.

« You dangle the test for one area and as soon as that is over, you are onto the following area. You’ve gotten lunch and then you straight jump into the following area.

« It was basically tough and aggravating. I correct wanted it to be over.

« On yarn of flights plan no longer dangle off all the map through the listening test, and the work hours are changed so there would possibly perhaps be no visitors on the boulevard after we streak to varsity, it sounds like the total nation is changing its schedule for this examination. That in itself is immense stress.

« Most school students attain worse on the actual examination than the prepare ones because there would possibly perhaps be so mighty stress. Even college students who did smartly on the prepare checks will attain badly on the day on account of the nerves bright.

« The examination determines your future. Must you plan no longer attain smartly on the examination, college students will watch but but any other twelve months to snatch the test again within the following twelve months. Roughly 20 percent will retake it. Some even dangle it three situations.

« There’s even a name for it: Jaesoosaeng is for college students who took it twice and Samsoosaeng for these who sat for it three situations. A minute of disgrace comes with these titles.

Students cheer for his or her seniors in front of a college entrance examination hall [Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters]

« When the examination is accomplished, you’re feeling much like you own gotten got misplaced route. It basically sounds like the discontinuance of a immense chapter for your existence. I basically felt like I had misplaced my map when I was accomplished with the examination.

« Right here was something I had been running in direction of for the final 12 years of my existence, and I was unexpectedly there. What subsequent?

« The evening after you dangle the examination, the solutions are on hand on-line. So that you battle through them and earn a vague idea of how smartly you did.

« Some college students plan no longer with regards to varsity the following day because they know they’ve gotten a horrible rating. There are additionally college students who launch learning for the following twelve months’s examination sexy away. The college feels in every single space in general. You basically feel basically misplaced. »

The ‘busy’ illness

« Korean high college college students are learning the total time. 

« From 8am to noon, now we own the first recount of courses. Then now we own lunch. Then we streak own courses again except 5pm. Then it be time for dinner.

« From 6pm to 10pm, now we own after-college watch courses. We overview what we realized that day and watch for what we’re going to learn the following day.

« On the weekends, some of us own tuition. Some people streak to 5 or six courses. The authorities has made this regulations that the tuition centres ought to restful inside attain 10pm, but some restful break the regulations and lock the doorways after 10pm, but own college prep courses except 2am.

« I basically feel like Koreans own a illness. The ‘busy’ illness. Students are busy learning the total time. They plan no longer own a existence away from learn. Schools own change into a penal advanced. I judge that is a characteristic of being a Korean. Or no longer it is like this for adults who work, too.

« I took this examination two years ago but whenever you happen to instructed me to switch attend and dangle it again, I plan no longer judge I would possibly perhaps. The stress was enormous and I was learning as if I was a machine.

« Now that I’m an grownup, I own freedom. I’m capable of attain what I want to attain with my time. The incontrovertible reality that my time is mine to utilize, that is something recent to me. »

Students are equipped a purchase by volunteer policemen to attain definite that they earn to the examination centres on time [Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters]

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