Entrance Exam Fever
On the examination day friends and parents gather at school gates to pray for examinees and cheer them up—all want to pass the exam with a perfect score.
National examination day is quite a stress for the entire country, flights are delayed, traffic is stagnant, office workers come to work later not to hinder the examinees, and police along with taxi drivers offer free rides to schools for those being late—the entire country is united by what is called Suneung exam held annually around mid-November.
South Korea must be the only country where national exams are such a big deal. The examination day is the most stressful day in the life of every 17-year old Korean, as their entire future depends on College Scholastic Ability Test,—all wish to get the highest score to enter National University, but only 1% will. Those who don't, are sometimes so upset that there are even reports of suicide because of it. It's unimaginable, but true.
Every parent in Korea dreams about the day when they will hear the good news that their kid will have received a passing score. Families start preparing for this big event in their life far beforehand. Finally, on the eve of the trial, mothers head to local temples to pray for their children's success.
And then that day finally comes—families and friends swarm at school gates to cheer on the examinees and pray for their success. There's tradition to pass on traditional sticky candy, which is supposed to help students "stick" to the passing score!
The capital city of Seoul presents the greatest chances to witness the entrance exams fever.