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Superstitions surround Korea's college entrance exams Updated: 2014-11-13 22:04:31 KST

So how far would you go to ace your college entrance exams?

"I won't be washing my hair."

"To do well on the exam, I am eating taffy and chocolates"

Um. Not your typical study habits but the exam is deemed so important that students… will do whatever it takes for that high score-- even taking part in some *superstitions.*
One of the biggest ones, is that students eat the right snacks.
It's either taffy or rice cakes.
Why? Because they're *sticky.*
These come in neat gift sets this time of year as they say eating these snacks will help the study material "stick" in the students' minds And, help them "stick to" their top college choice from their high scores.
While these snacks are okay to eat one superstition says that test-takers should avoid eating seaweed soup.
So much so that some restaurants, specializing in seaweed even close on this day.

"I opened my restaurant on exam day before, but no customers came in. Since then I've closed every year."

There's a belief that the "slippery" seaweed could lead the test-taker to "slip" away from success and "fail."
But for success on test-day, receiving certain items is also common.

"As good luck charms, students either get a fork or a pair of tweezers to help them pick, or 'pluck out' the correct answers on the test."

Since most of the questions on the exam are multiple choice, it is quite important to make the right "picks."
Finally there are some students who avoid washing their hair ahead of the test.

"My friends and I believe that washing your hair can 'wash' away what you studied."

"These superstitious acts show just how much importance the nation places on education. / It's not like most Koreans actually believe in these superstitions, but adhering to them acts as a bit of a stress reliever."

Connie Lee, Arirang News.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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