[STAND UP] ed: steve
"There were only about 12 hours to go. Everything was prepared at the test-sites including seating arrangements and instruction cards.
But today, the test-sites remain vacant and preparations here will have to begin all over again."
On the eve of the Suneung exam, Korea's Education Ministry announced it was postponing the annual college entrance examination by one week following the earthquakes in Pohang.
The announcement shocked many students and their families as it was the first time in history for the huge national exam to be delayed at such short notice.
"I don't know how I should spend the remaining week because me and my friends threw away our books and study materials yesterday, thinking that everything would be over after the exams. Some of my friends even took birth control pills to delay their menstruation period for the test."
"Especially this week, I didn't have much time to sleep because I really studied hard thinking it's my last chance. I even got cold vaccines ahead of the test date. But now I feel my energy drained."
While some say that the delay has inconvenienced them, others say that it could be a chance for better results.
"I think in a way, this could be an opportunity because we will have more time to study and memorize. But I'm still very worried as I heard that because of the earthquake, some buildings collapsed in the university that I applied to."
But with tremors continuing today, many seem to accept the government's decision as safety is the main priority.
"When the announcement came, I was cooking porridge to help my child's digestion for the test day. Though we have to wait one more week, I think its a good decision considering the students in Pohang. I hope other students won't be disappointed and use the chance to better prepare for next week."
The postponement has brought numerous changes not only for those taking the exam, but also for the rest of society.
Traffic restrictions around test centers have been lifted, and the clock-in time for civil workers that was pushed an hour later to reduce traffic congestion has also reverted back to its original schedule.
Extended subway and flight services have also been brought back to normal.
The Ministry of Education said it is making the utmost effort to reduce the impact on test-takers caused by the new schedule.
Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.