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How long are Korean school days?


Korean students are known for their academic excellence, and their long school days are a testament to this reputation. In this article, we will explore the length of Korean school days, what students learn, and the impact of such rigorous schedules on their mental and physical health.

The length of a typical Korean school day

A typical Korean school day lasts from 8 am to 4 pm, but many students stay in school until 9 pm or later. This is because most schools offer after-school programs like tutoring and extracurricular activities. On top of that, students often attend private cram schools, known as hagwons, for several more hours each day.

The subjects taught in Korean schools

Korean schools emphasize the importance of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math). Students also take classes in social studies, language arts, and physical education. English is a mandatory subject starting in elementary school.

The pressure to succeed

The pressure to succeed academically is immense in Korea. The highly competitive nature of the country’s education system means that students must perform well on standardized tests to gain entry into prestigious universities.

The impact on mental health

The stress of the Korean education system has been linked to high rates of suicide among students. Some schools have been criticized for placing too much emphasis on grades at the expense of students’ mental health.

The impact on physical health

Long hours spent sitting in classrooms and studying can take a toll on students’ physical health. Many Korean students suffer from back pain, eye strain, and other health problems related to long hours of studying.

The role of after-school programs

After-school programs play a significant role in Korean education. These programs offer students additional academic support and help them develop skills in areas like music, art, and sports.

The role of hagwons

Hagwons are private cram schools that many Korean students attend after their regular school day. These schools are highly competitive and expensive, but they offer students additional academic support to excel academically.

The impact on family life

The long hours spent in school and at hagwons can make it difficult for Korean students to spend time with their families. Parents often feel pressure to ensure their children succeed academically, which can strain family relationships.

The government’s response

The Korean government has recognized the need to reform the education system to reduce the burden on students. Some measures include reducing the number of hours spent in school and encouraging a more balanced approach to education.

The future of Korean education

While the Korean education system has its challenges, it also produces some of the world’s highest-performing students. The government’s efforts to reform the system may lead to a more balanced approach to education that places less emphasis on grades and more on a well-rounded education.


Korean school days are long and rigorous, but they also produce some of the world’s highest-performing students. While there is room for improvement in the education system, it is clear that Korean education values academic excellence above all else. As Korea continues to evolve, its education system will undoubtedly evolve with it.

Do Koreans go to school 7 days a week?

In Korea, school used to be held on Saturdays in addition to the regular weekdays, which was not well-liked by both students and teachers. However, since 2010, the school schedule has been modified to have two Saturdays off per month in the Korean public school system.

How long do Koreans stay in school?

In South Korea, high school education lasts for three years, starting from the age of 15-16 and ending at the age of 17-18. It is common for students to complete their high school education and graduate at the age of 17 or 18.

What country has the longest school day?

Russian students typically spend only half the amount of time in school as American students do. According to the Pew Research Center, Russian primary school students spend around 470 hours in the classroom each school year, compared to the 990 hours required in 35 American states.

What grade would a 16 year old be in Korea?

In South Korea, the school system follows a pattern where children start in Infant School, and the students reach 9th Grade by the age of 14 or 15. High School starts with 10th Grade and lasts until 12th Grade, with students generally being around 16-17 years old by the time they graduate.

What country has a 6 day school week?

In Israel, children attend school six days a week, making it the only developed country with such a schedule. This was reported on November 12, 2019.

How many hours Korean students sleep?

According to a study conducted on students, those in grades 5-6 reported an average sleep time of 8.15±1.12 hours, while those in grades 7-9 reported 8.17±1.20 hours, and students in grades 10-12 reported 6.87±1.40 hours. This data was collected on January 31, 2011.

One possible area for improvement in the Korean education system is to focus more on creativity and critical thinking. While STEM subjects are important, students also need to learn how to think outside the box and solve problems in innovative ways. Encouraging creativity and curiosity can help students develop into well-rounded individuals who are better equipped to face the challenges of the future.

Another area for improvement is to provide more support for students’ mental health. Schools can offer counseling services and resources to help students cope with stress and anxiety. Parents can also play a role by encouraging their children to pursue hobbies and interests outside of academics, and by prioritizing their mental health over academic achievement.

Finally, it is important to remember that education is not just about academic achievement. Students should also learn values like empathy, respect, and teamwork. By promoting these values, Korean schools can help students develop into compassionate and responsible citizens who contribute positively to society.

In conclusion, the Korean education system is known for its rigor and emphasis on academic excellence. While this system has produced many high-achieving students, there is room for improvement in areas like creativity, mental health support, and character education. By focusing on these areas, Korean schools can provide a more well-rounded education that prepares students for success in all aspects of life.

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