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Mandatory masks, no meals together: plans unveiled for safe environment for university entrance exam

15:24 October 16, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 16 (Yonhap) -- Students without face masks won't be allowed to enter a testing site for the national university entrance exam slated for December, the education ministry said Friday, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus during the test.

The Ministry of Education unveiled detailed guidelines to safely hold the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT), the country's biggest academic event of the year.

Approximately 480,000 high school seniors and graduates are set to take the exam this year.

For the national event slated for Dec. 3, testing sites, 1,185 in total, will be set up in accordance with quarantine protocols, with a maximum capacity of 24 students per testing room, down from the usual 28, to ensure social distancing. Spaced out desks will be installed with plastic dividers. Face masks will be mandatory, and there will be fever checks.

High school seniors wearing masks attend class in this undated file photo. (Yonhap)

On the Dec. 2 orientation day for the test, students will receive their test identification slip outside their respective testing sites, and unlike any other year, they won't be allowed to enter inside. Those infected or in self-quarantine can have their family members or teachers get the slip on their behalf.

The ministry asked students not to forget mask wearing and to bring a spare one with them, just in case. Students also are not allowed to have meals together during a lunch break. The CSAT runs from 8:40 a.m. to 5:40 p.m.

High school seniors take a mock test at a high school in Gyeongsan, North Gyeongsang Province, on Sept. 2, 2020. (Yonhap)

Students infected with the virus are allowed to take the test in hospitals or other government institutes. Those in self-quarantine should travel by car or ambulance to take the exam at separate testing sites.

There will be separate testing rooms for students who show COVID-19 symptoms on the testing day. Those rooms can house up to four students, but if the room is spacious enough to ensure students can sit two meters apart, more than four can use the same room.

The ministry said the exam papers of COVID-19 patients as well as those in self-isolation or showing symptoms will be disinfected to prevent possible transmission.

From a week before the test, all high schools and other schools to be used as testing sites will switch to online-only teaching for the disinfecting process.

High school seniors take a mock test at a high school in Seoul on June 18, 2020. (Yonhap)
High school seniors leave school after taking a mock test in Seoul on Sept. 16, 2020. (Yonhap)

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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