The Suneung – an eight-hour Korean ability exam
Education system in South Korea is consider to have the most mercilles education system in the world; is described as: „stressful, authoritarian, brutally competitive and meritocratic’’. Not only in Korea, but along with other „Asian Tigers” named: Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapour education is a solid economic foundation of the country and they have became global education centers.
The more successful country is, the more competitive students are.
South Korea is declared to be the best educated country and is consider to have the most educated young people in the entire world. Parents are spending large amount of they income to provide their children the best private tutoring, which is called the education arms race. This country is consider to have the largest private tutoring industry in the world.
It is not just about to admission into best universities in Korea, but to get into best universities in the entire world. That is why today’s korean students are envy of many people worldwide.
Avarage student in Korea spends from 13 hours to 16 hours of studying every single day, believing to get into the top universities and be at the top in the class. They are taking classes after classes, tutor after tutor, paying thousands of dollars to get the best education they can have. Not only students put pressure on themselves but also their parents and family members to get the best position is social hierarchy as they canｘday, believing to get into the top universities and be at the top in the class. They are taking classes after classes, tutor after tutor, paying thousands of dollars to get the best education they can have. Not only students put pressure on themselves but also their parents and family members to get the best position is social hierarchy as they can.
“Everyone judges you based on your degree and where you got in”
Is it even worth it?
For most of the students, high school period is the most stressful, scary and depressing time in their life. In their last year of the high school, they need to face up with the Suneung – an eight-hour ability exam. Extremely rigorous an fateful college entrance test. The life-changing test, which depends on which university you will admission to.
Every graduating high school student, who passed with equivalent academic standards, wants to enroll into university needs to take this back-to-back exam, that is held once a year. Exam is made by six separate parts – Korean, English, Mathematics, History, subordinate subjects – which are social studies, science and vocational studies; second foreign language or classical Chinese.
Korean students believe that this is not only about being in the best college, but also it can affect their job prospects, income, where they will live and even future relationships. That is why every year, for one day Korea become silent, all planes are grounded, military aircraft’s training are hold and traffic near exam centers is stopped to avoid any chances of interaption. Banks, companies, schools are opened on different hours just to allow test takers get into their testing location without any distraction. In a case of being late, forgetting necessity items, students may rely on police escorts that bring them home and take to exam without any traffic issues.
Families and parents are spending an entire day in temples praying for the successfully complete the exam of their children.
But why their doing it?
It all started with the culture believes in hard work and diligence, where is no place for failure. Your status and social hierarchy are built on your academic degree. Spots for companies like Samsung, LG or Hyundai are only open to those who have graduated one of the top three universities in Korea (Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University). What about other people? – low or no chance.
To admission into the top three universities you need to mark full or 1-2 wrongs in total in your Suneung.
Social pressure in successes, fear of failure has created a large amount of social problems among teenagers – suicides, drinking problems, depression and anxiety.
Even if you are not Korean, but attend any school in South Korea, even regular Korean classes, you have to face up with plenty of material to learn in a very short time and then pass the exam to get into level up. What if you fail? – There is no much you can do about it.
Korean people or not, being a student in South Korea is a challenge for everyone. Cultural believes, constant race are not ending after admission into university. It never stops. It is about being at the top all the time. In a top students in the college, having the greatest job among the classmates and other college students. Then best worker among other workers, getting promotion after promotion. That is all matter. It is a constant climb and race that only the smartest and the most ambitious people can handle and achieve