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South Korean students sit high-stakes university entrance exam as country steps in to help

SCMP, 19 Nov 2021
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More than 500,000 students across South Korea took the high-pressured university entrance exam on November 18, 2021. For many students, the Suneung exam results will dictate their future lives, affecting not only their options for university and jobs, but also their future relationships. A recent surge in Covid-19 cases has only piled on the pressure for students, since classes were forced online only two weeks before the test. On Suneung exam days, the government tries to help by minimising traffic, suspending flights during critical times and even escorting some students to school. Critics of the exams have linked them to depression and suicides, and there are calls for the system to be reformed.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, or you know someone who is, help is available. For a list of international helplines, see this page:

Related story:
‘It’s destroying education’: dissent over South Korea’s 8-hour college exam

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