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How S. Korea's nat'l college entrance exam was taken amid COVID-19 pandemic Updated: 2020-12-04 05:25:06 KST

Thursday was the day of South Korea's national college entrance exama day which students have spent the last 12 years preparing for.
To make sure that all 490-thousand students made it to test centers on time, the whole country ground to halt for around an hour on Thursday morning.
Stock markets and banks opened at 10 AM, one hour later than usual and government offices and some companies also began work an hour late.
The government also increased public transport services for test-takers.
In Seoul, subways ran more often from 6 to 10 AM, and there were more buses from 6 to 8:10 AM.
More than 700 vehicles including police cars were placed near subway and bus stations to give free rides to those getting to test centers at the last-minute.
Some cities also allowed students to use public transport for free.
South Korea's chief test maker said that this year's exam itself wasn't too difficult.

"We made the exam based on the current high school education curriculum in all the five parts of the test, and tried not to burden the test takers too much."

During the 25-minute long English listening test from 1:10 to 1:35 PM, silence fell across the country.
The government banned flights from taking off and landing, and restricted military drills. so that the noise did not disturb those taking the tests.
Every year, test takers copy a short phrase printed on the paper to verify their identity through handwriting.
This year, they wrote down a line from a poem: "You, the one in a million" a phrase selected by this year's test makers to offer encouragement.
Bae Eun-ji, Arirang News.
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