It's the most stressful day in their lives so far... college entrance exams for high school seniors in South Korea. They study for the College Scholastic Aptitude Test for over a year... and their results will determine which college or university they get into. To alleviate stress on the day of the test, younger students cheer them on as they enter the building. For some, the pressure is just too great. For others, the only way to make it on time is with a police escort. The tests carry so much weight in Korean society, the entire city gets in on the action. The stock exchange and government offices open an hour later. Citywide traffic controls and anti-noise measures are put into place... including a ban on airplanes from taking off or landing so students can hear better during the oral portion of the exam. With pressure like this, you need a miracle. Well ahead of test day, shrines and churches are packed with parents praying for their children. This woman says she's been here everyday for nearly two months praying for good luck for her daughter. A silver lining? If students aren't happy with their results, they can retake the test as many times as they like.
Nov. 8 - Fellow students cheer on classmates on college entrance exam day. Julie Noce reports. ( Transcript )
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