Thursday, November 13, 2014

Test day hath arrived

Another short one:

Like I wrote yesterday, the big College Scholastic Ability Test/College entrance test day is today. The Korea Joongang Daily ran this little article about it today. Here's something that caught my eye:
Airplanes will be banned from flying over exam locations for 25 minutes from 1:10 p.m. during the English listening portion of the exam. Cars will be banned from a 200-meter (650-foot) radius from test sites. [NEWS1]
Some thoughts on this:

  1. Never have I ever heard an airplane flying over head when I was in or around Seoul. I can't recall even seeing an airplane flying overhead either.
  2. I'd known about flights getting diverted, but didn't know it happened during the English portion. 
  3. Again, not to harp on it, but I do wish the students well. Their experience is worlds apart from my experience with the ACT ~10 years ago. I (and many other American teens), apart from a couple of ACT-prep workshops, no after-school classes, and no cram sessions. The Korean kids, on the other hand, stand against a whole culture that pushes a high score and considers the CSAT the moment in teenage life. Pressure, indeed.
  4. And on the other side: "Businesses capitalizing on free time after CSAT." Mother-daughter surgeries? What a strange message, though: "Don't worry about the lines on your face from all that stress! We'll straighten your face out now. And you can go with your mom!"
  5. How many students will go to special schools to study and take the test again?

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