Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, high school seniors in South Korea go about their academic schedules as normal.
On Wednesday, some 48-thousand students sat their final mock test before December’s crucial college entrance exam.
It was held at some two-thousand high schools, as well as at around four-hundred private academies for high school graduates retaking the exam after the government temporarily lifted its restrictions on large cram schools for the day.
Strict virus prevention measures were put in place, like limiting exam room capacity to 50 peopleand keeping a one-meter distance from others.
Students kept their masks on throughout the marathon eight-hour exam session.

“Classes are usually 50 minutes, but tests run for over 80 minutes each,.. so students complained about having headaches. The long test also made it hard to ventilate the air in the room and check student’s health status as frequently. But it’s a lesson for us to prepare better for the actual test.”

The September mock serves as a barometer for students and their progress,and as a reference for test makers before the real exam is finalized.
But over the past few months there were concerns,.. that high school seniors were at a disadvantage compared to those retaking the exam,due to the school semester experiencing several delays.
But that’s not necessarily the case anymore.

“Since Level 2.5 distancing measures forced large academies to close, graduates retaking the test felt extremely lost. They are not used to studying at home, but they also couldn’t go to cafes or study rooms which were also subject to restrictions.”

The results will be released next month, and could be an indicator as to how much COVID-19 has affected the academic progress of students who are preparing for the most important exam of their lives.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.

Reporter : kelee@arirang.com

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