Life or death for Korean high school students (literally)

Yesterday was a HUGELY important day for all high school students in Korea.  They were taking their national college entrance exam.  This test will decide their futures – i.e. what college they can go to.  Students study for months (inside and outside of regular school hours) to prepare for this test.  It’s so stressful that (sadly) it’s not uncommon to hear of students committing suicide if they do poorly on the test.

As a result of testing day, Micah (and most middle and high school English teachers) got the day off.  Since I teach elementary, I still had to work, but was able to come in an hour late. 

Education is Korea’s #1 priority as a country, and I understand and respect that.  However, students here are incredibly stressed all the time.  Even at the elementary level, students have a significant amount of homework and study for hours everyday.  And it only increases as you get older.  When I ask my 5th or 6th grade students what they do over the weekend – 99% of the time, I hear “I studied” or “I did my homework.”  As you might expect, schooling in Korea is very different than in America (I’ll take that up in a later blog post).

Here’s a good NPR article talking about the entrance exam.

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1 Response to “Life or death for Korean high school students (literally)”


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