- Title: South Korea holds breath as students sit for annual college entrance exam
- Date: 17th November 2016
- Summary: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (NOVEMBER 17, 2016) (REUTERS) HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER HUGGING HER STUDENT WHILE SCHOOLMATES CHEERING HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER HUGGING ANOTHER STUDENT WHILE SCHOOLMATES CHEERING EXAM TAKERS WALKING TO ENTRANCE OF VENUE FOR COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAM WHILE ONE OF THE EXAM TAKERS' FATHER CHEERING HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS CHEERING WHILE HOLDING BANNERS WITH CHEERING MESSAGES EXAM TAKER WALKING TO HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER CHEERING AND PATTING (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 19 YEAR-OLD EXAM TAKER, LEE SE-LA, SAYING: "I won't get nervous and I will work hard to solve problems in exams as I've been preparing." EXAM TAKERS AND THEIR MOTHERS WALKING TO ENTRANCE MOTHERS OF EXAM TAKERS STANDING AND LOOKING AT THEIR DAUGHTERS GOING INSIDE (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 20 YEAR-OLD EXAM TAKER, PARK IN-KYUNG, SAYING: "I'm taking this exam for the second time. I've been preparing so hard during the year, so I hope to get good scores, especially in the Korean test." EXTERIOR OF EWHA GIRLS FOREIGN LANGUAGE HIGH SCHOOL, THE VENUE FOR COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAM SIGN HANGING NEXT TO DOOR AND ON DOOR, AND EXAM TAKERS SITTING AND WAITING IN EXAM ROOM / SIGN READING (Korean): "THE 16TH EXAM ROOM FOR NUMBER 15191401 TO 15191428" EXAM TAKER SITTING SUPERVISORS STANDING IN FRONT AND OPENING ENVELOPS WHILE EXAM TAKERS SITTING EXAM TAKERS SITTING EXAM TAKERS SITTING IN EXAM ROOM EXTERIOR OF BUDDHIST TEMPLE OF JOGYE INTERIOR OF TEMPLE AND WORSHIPPERS PRAYING VARIOUS OF PARENTS AND RELATIVES OF EXAM TAKERS PRAYING WRITTEN PRAYER WITH STUDENT'S PORTRAIT (LEFT) WOMAN PRAYING PRAYER IN PROGRESS INSIDE TEMPLE PARENTS AND RELATIVES OF EXAM TAKERS PRAYING OUTSIDE TEMPLE CANDLES PARENTS AND RELATIVES OF EXAM TAKERS PRAYING OUTSIDE TEMPLE (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 55 YEAR-OLD FATHER OF EXAM-TAKER, LEE CHANG-HYUN, SAYING: "My mother prayed for me sincerely when I was going for college. So I came here as a parent, just like my mother, to pray to Budda for my son who is going to college so that my child can take the test well." EXTERIOR OF MYEONG-DONG CATHEDRAL CATHOLICS PLACING CANDLES ON DECK MASS IN PROGRESS CONGREGATIONS SAYING PRAYERS WOMAN SAYING PRAYERS CROSS ON WALL INSIDE CHURCH (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 59 YEAR-OLD MOTHER OF EXAM TAKER, KIM YONG WOO, SAYING: "My little boy is taking the exam for the third time. All I can do is pray as his mom and I came out here hoping that he can manage his condition well and get a good score he wants." WOMEN PRAYING FOR THEIR CHILDREN IN FRONT OF STATUE OF VIRGIN MARY STATUE OF VIRGIN MARY WOMEN PRAYING
- Embargoed: 2nd December 2016 04:35
- Keywords: South Korea college entrance exam prayers parents
- Location: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- City: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- Country: South Korea
- Topics: Education,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA00158U0D39
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: In South Korea, anxious parents prayed at churches and temples as their children took part in the annual college entrance exam on Thursday (November 17) that could make or break their careers by determining whether and where they will spend four years in higher education.
The 606,000 students, including those who have dedicated the past year to try again for the college entrance exam, were ravished with well-wishes and gifts of sticky rice cakes said to bring good luck helping them "stick" to the list of highest grades.
At test sites, students arrived with mixed feelings, of concern and the anticipation of liberation when the gruelling eight-hour event is behind them.
"I won't get nervous and I will work hard to solve problems in exams as I've been preparing," said Lee Se-la, 19.
Another exam taker, who is taking the crucial test for the second time, hoped to get better scores this time.
"I'm taking this exam for the second time. I've been preparing so hard during the year, so I hope to get good scores, especially in the Korean test," said 20-year-old Park In-kyung.
The country is on tenterhooks for a day for this annual event which takes place every November. For the 25 minutes when the listening portion of the English test is administered, takeoff and landing of aircrafts are put on hold, and bus drivers travelling near test sites are discouraged from sounding their horns.
Police vehicles and motorcycles are enlisted to escort late-running students to the exam rooms.
Financial markets open one hour late and office workers are advised to be at work later than usual to allow for test takers to get to the exam venue in smoother traffic.
Anxious parents were praying for their children's success while the test was ongoing.
"My mother prayed for me sincerely when I was going for college. So I came here as a parent, just like my mother, to pray to Buddha for my son who is going to college so that my child can take the test well," said 55-year-old father, Lee Chang-hyun, at a Buddhist temple.
"My little boy is taking the exam for the third time. All I can do is pray as his mom and I came out here hoping that he can manage his condition well and get a good score he wants," said 59-year-old mother, Kim Yong-woo at a cathedral.
The eight-hour endeavor includes Korean language, mathematics, English, social or natural sciences and a second foreign language tests.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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