It’s an all-day test and one of the most important days in their lives.
This year, the test was held in the rather unsual circumstances of a global pandemic, so some special measures were taken for everyone’s safety.
Arirang’s Han Seong-woo joins us live from a test center in Seoul.
Seong-woo, what’s the latest?
It’s been a long day, Devin.
Not for me, but for half a million high school seniors, graduates and others across the country who sat today’s exam.
Outside Seoul High School, where I’m standing right now, more and more test-takers are exiting via the front gates, having finished their exams which started with Korean Language at 8:40 this morning.
This particular test center was for those who opted not to take a second foreign language or Chinese characters test for fifth period, hence the early finish.
This year, test takers took the exam of their lives under a never-before-seen format.
First of all, the test was postponed by two weeks from its original date of November 19th due to COVID-19.
And to prevent a possible outbreak, people were prohibited from cheering outside to show support for those taking the exam as is usually the case.
Those who were taking the test had their temperatures checked as they went in.
But in terms of the test itself, the level in difficulty was similar to previous years.
(KOREAN -YTN) https://www.ytn.co.kr/_ln/0103_202012030841130780 05:58-06:05
“We avoided making math questions too difficult, even when demanding comprehensive thinking.”
You mentioned the temperature-taking. South Korea is seeing a resurgence of the virus right now, so what else was done to make sure everyone at more than 3-thousand test sites can take the test safely?
Health and education authorities were on particularly high alert this morning after an exam invigilator in Daejeon was found to have contracted COVID-19, leading to nearly 20 colleagues being relieved of their exam-day duties.
But to answer your question: precaution, prevention and protection.
First of all, there weren’t as many people packed into each classroom as would normally be the case.
The reduced capacity meant that there was more space between those sitting the exam.
Masks were worn at all times except when students were having their IDs checked before first period and while eating lunch.
Their desks also had plastic dividers installed in front.
Any test-takers showing symptoms were moved to segregated classrooms to prevent a possible outbreak.
Already infected patients took the exam at designated hospitals and treatment facilities and those in quarantine at separate test sites.
Back to you, Devin.