The sooneung, or the College Scholastics Ability Test (college entrance exams) is the biggest test a student will ever take in Korea as it determines which university and which career a student will have in the future. It might be over now since it took place last week, but do you know about the superstitions you have to take note of during that day?
Things not to do:
1) Korean traditional seaweed soup – Although Koreans have them on their birthdays, you have to avoid it on your exam day. This is because the slippery nature leads Koreans to believe that knowledge will just slip right out of your brain.
2) Porridge – Cooking porridge in Korean is slang for ‘messing up.’
3) Hair washing – This is because washing hair might in turn wash away all the information and knowledge gained from all the cramming and studying.
4) Cutting of nails – Cut literally means taking your points away in Korean.
Things to do:
1) Fork – This is to help with ‘stabbing’ the correct answers.
2) Toilet Paper – This is good luck as it is called ‘pul-da’ in Korean, which is a homonym for solve or unravel.
3) Rice cakes – It’s believed that eating these sticky rice cakes will help information ‘stick’ to the students’ minds, or help students ‘stick’ to the university they want to attend.
4) Milk bottle – This is so that you will try your hardest, like sucking a milk bottle!
There are of course others like the parents of students going to pray at temples. Meanwhile, Korean mums would also carefully keep away the first outfit that a baby wears after they are born, and it’s said to bring great luck when you take it out on their exam day.