The Most Crucial Test in Korea

This year’s most crucial test, CSAT, was held on November. 12. CSAT, which is the abbreviation for “College Scholastic Ability Test”, is the national college entrance exam in Korea. Every year, lots of high school students take this test to apply to universities. This year, over 640,000 students took this test. There are college entrance tests in other countries like SAT of America. However, there are no college entrance tests which serve as one of the most important events in their whole nations in other countries. So, I’m going to explain most crucial test of Korea, CSAT, and situation that can be seen on CSAT day.


Source: Moneyweek

CSAT is the college entrance exam, which is administered on the second Thursday of November every year. Students must arrive at exam rooms till 8:10 a.m. The exam starts at 8:40 a.m. and it is over around 5 p.m. CSAT is composed of 5 parts, including Korean, math, English, social studies, and foreign languages or Chinese characters. The test score of CSAT is used as a qualification criterion. If students want to apply for certain university, students should exceed required grades of that university on certain subjects. To get higher scores on the CSAT, students of Korea go through a hard time for at least 3 years. They study over 50 hours a week, longer than the OECD average of 35 hours a week. Students study all day long. They go to school at 7: 50 a.m. and take classes till 4 p.m. After that, they have to do self-regulating study in school till 11:00 p.m. On the weekends, lots of students go to private academies to learn English, math, essay-writing and other subjects more.


Source: NewDaily


Source: NewDaily

When the day of college entrance exam is drawing near, you can see unusual situation across the nation. A Buddhist temple is crowded with parents, from the 100th day before CSAT. Parents do “108 Bae” (108 bows aimed at removing 108 earthly desires), hoping their child do well on the CSAT. Also in church, parents pray for their child. And it is quite usual to give presents to students who will take this test. Popular presents include chocolate, tteok(rice cake). Chocolate gives people energy and makes them feel better when they are tired. Students take CSAT for about 6 hours, so chocolate is a great present for students. And giving tteok is also good, because it means “I hope you receive offers from the university you want to enter.” On the test day, freshmen and sophomore high school students wait their seniors outside of the test venues early in the morning. To cheer their seniors up, juniors of high school sing cheering songs, beat a drum and strike a gong. Cheering songs usually have a simple melody, because addictive songs can be stuck in their head all day and can hurt their concentration. And to help students avoid traffic jams, government offices and enterprises tell employees to come to work one hour late and elementary, middle and high schools are closed on that day. For students who overslept and students who go to the wrong test venue, emergency vehicles like motorcycles and police cars from the police and other agencies are on hand to help them not to be late for the important exam.

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Source: Newsis

Till now, I introduced CSAT and situation that can be seen on CSAT day. I hope this article helps you better understand CSAT!

[Youtube] Songs examinees must not listen before CSAT


Article by Hyunyoung from Korea

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