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When it comes to writing exams, timing is everything, especially when you’ve run out of it.

In South Korea, students are required to write a college admission test called Suneung. It’s an eight-hour marathon with back-to-back exam papers covering multiple subjects.

The Suneung is known to be one of the hardest exams in the world and can make or break a hopeful student’s chances of being admitted to tertiary education. It’s such a big deal that every year on the day that the exam is taken, the country’s airspace is closed and the stock market opens later than usual.

During this year’s exam, a teacher ended the exam 90 seconds earlier than the scheduled time. Now, 39 of the students are suing the government for an amount equal to the cost of a year’s studying to retake the exam.

The lawsuit claims that the bell rang earlier at a test site in Seoul during Korean, the first subject of the exam. Although the mistake was spotted and the extra 90 seconds were awarded during lunch break, they were only allowed to mark blank spaces on their papers and not change anything they’d already completed.

No outcome has been announced by the students’ lawyers or the government.

Image credit: DW

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