Introduction of the Education System

A Concise Introduction to South Korea Education: 

Levels of education:

  • One year of pre-primary (kindergarten) education is provided by the government.
  • Primary education (grades 1-6) is free and compulsory with a 99.9% enrollment rate.
  • Middle School (grades 7-9) is compulsory nationwide since 2002.
  • High School (grades 10-12) requires completion of middle school and all expenses are the students’ responsibilities. There are general high schools, vocational high schools, or others (including arts, foreign language, and science). 
  • Higher education is divided into seven categories: colleges and universities, industrial universities, universities of education, junior colleges, broadcast and correspondence universities, technical colleges, and other miscellaneous institutions.

Testing System:

  • An entrance exam is taken by middle school graduates to continue their education in high school.  
  • Scholastic aptitude test is taken for admission to higher education institutions. 
  • Tested in five areas: Language (Korean), mathematics, foreign language (English), social studies/science/vocational training, and second foreign language/Chinese characters.

Higher Education: 

  •  Three to six years of education depending on the track chosen by the students.
  • Junior college: 2-3 years of education to development technical human resources for rapidly growing industries. This model has gradually become more popular.