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CSAT, the life-changing exam that won't stop for a pandemic

March 16, 2021

Original Article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/world-asia-55155217

On Thursday, nearly 500,000 students in South Korea will sit for the country's marathon university admission examinations.

Already a stressful event, a third wave of the pandemic has left students with even bigger challenges.

The Suneung, an abbreviation for College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) in Korean, is an eight-hour examination which has back-to-back papers in six sections - Korean, maths, English, history, social studies, and a second foreign language.

The exam is considered crucial as it determines not only which university students can go to, but also their career paths. Both students and parents feel that it will directly impact their futures.

So when it begins, the entire country collectively holds its breath.

Planes are grounded so that the noise will not disturb candidates during listening exams, offices start later so that parents can get their children to the examination on time, military training ceases and even stock markets open late.

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