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Image of Asia: South Koreans take college entrance exams

Associated Press Associated Press 17/11/2016
People pray during a special service to wish for their family members' success in the college entrance exams at the Jogye temple in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. More than 600,000 high school seniors and graduates across the country take the national college entrance exam on Thursday. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man) © The Associated Press People pray during a special service to wish for their family members' success in the college entrance exams at the Jogye temple in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. More than 600,000 high school seniors and graduates across the country take the national college entrance exam on Thursday. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

In this photo by Lee Jin-man, South Koreans pray during a special service for their families' success in college entrance exams.

More than 600,000 high school seniors and graduates across the country took the national college entrance exam on Thursday.

They are often under immense pressure to do well on exam day, when government offices and companies start work an hour late, police use their cars and motorcycles to transport students running late, and parents flock to churches and Buddhist temples to pray.

Government officials also this year banned aircraft from taking off or landing during for a 35-minute period in the afternoon when students underwent the listening part of the language exam.

In ultra-competitive South Korea, entering and graduating from elite universities are seen as critical in career prospects.

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