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How long is the school day in Korea?


Korea is a country in East Asia with a highly regarded education system. One of the most notable aspects of this system is the length of the school day. In this article, we will explore how long the school day in Korea is and what factors contribute to this unique educational approach.

The Traditional School Day

In South Korea, the traditional school day runs from around 8 am to 4 pm. This schedule includes a lunch break and several shorter breaks throughout the day. Students typically attend school for five or six days a week, depending on their grade level.

After-School Programs

Many Korean students also participate in after-school programs, which can extend their time at school significantly. These programs can include tutoring, music lessons, and sports teams, among other activities. Some students may not leave school until as late as 10 pm.

The Role of High-Stakes Testing

One reason for the longer school day in Korea is the emphasis on high-stakes testing. Students are required to take exams that determine their future academic and career prospects. As a result, many students and parents feel pressure to spend extra time studying and preparing for these tests.

Cultural Expectations

Another factor that contributes to the long school day in Korea is cultural expectations. Education is highly valued in Korean society, and parents often prioritize their children’s academic success above all else. This can lead to a competitive environment where students feel pressure to excel.

The Impact on Students

While the long school day may provide some benefits in terms of academic achievement, it can also have negative consequences for students’ well-being. Some students report feeling exhausted and burnt out from spending so much time at school and studying outside of class.

Efforts to Reduce Hours

In recent years, there have been efforts to reduce the length of the school day in Korea. Some schools have experimented with shorter schedules or reduced homework loads. However, these changes have been met with resistance from some parents who fear that their children will fall behind academically.

Alternative Education Models

There are also alternative education models in Korea that challenge the traditional approach. For example, some schools focus on experiential learning or emphasize creativity and critical thinking rather than rote memorization. These schools may have shorter school days and different priorities than traditional schools.

International Comparisons

Compared to many other countries, Korea’s school day is relatively long. In the United States, for example, the average school day is around 6.8 hours, with many schools operating on a shorter schedule. However, it’s worth noting that educational approaches can vary widely depending on cultural and historical factors.

The Future of Korean Education

As Korea continues to grapple with the challenges of modern education, it’s likely that the length of the school day will remain a topic of debate. Some advocates argue that longer hours are necessary for academic success, while others believe that students need more time for rest and relaxation. Ultimately, the future of Korean education will depend on a range of factors and ongoing dialogue between educators, policymakers, and parents.


The length of the school day in Korea is a complex issue that reflects broader cultural values and expectations. While some argue that longer hours are necessary for academic success, others point to the negative effects on student well-being. As Korea continues to evolve its educational system, it will be important to consider a range of perspectives and approaches to provide the best possible experience for students.

How long is Korean high school?

In South Korea, high school education lasts for three years and begins at age 15-16 in the first grade, ending at age 17-18 in the third grade. Students typically graduate at the age of 17 or 18 after completing their studies.

What are the hours of school in South Korea?

High school students often start their day by studying before class begins at 8:00 A.M. Each class lasts for 50 minutes with a morning break and a lunch period of the same duration. Afternoon classes begin around 1:00 P.M. and run until approximately 4:00 or 4:30 P.M., after which the classrooms are cleaned.

Do Koreans go to school 7 days a week?

Contrary to popular belief, Korean students don’t have much time for recreation on weekends. In the past, the official school schedule ran from Monday to Saturday, making both students and teachers unhappy. However, since 2010, the school schedule has become more relaxed, with two Saturdays off per month in the Korean public school system.

What country has the longest school day?

Japan has the longest school day compared to any other country globally, with an average of 8:00am to 4:00pm. The duration is notably longer than in other developed nations, such as the United States, where the school day commonly ends at 2:30pm.

How old is 16 in Korean age?

This is a guide on how to express your age in Korean, which was last updated in 2023. The table lists birth years and their corresponding ages in Korean, ranging from 15 to 18 years old.

What grade is a 14 year old in Korea?

The education system in South Korea includes infant school and high school with grades ranging from 9th to 11th. The age range for each grade level is typically 14-15 years old for 9th grade, 15-16 years old for 10th grade, and 16-17 years old for 11th grade.

There are also concerns about the equity of the Korean education system. Students from low-income families may not have access to the same after-school programs and resources as their wealthier peers. This can create a significant disadvantage and perpetuate social inequality.

Additionally, the long school day in Korea can put a strain on families. Parents may have to rearrange their work schedules or sacrifice time with their children to accommodate the demands of the education system. This can lead to stress and burnout for both parents and students.

Despite these challenges, many Korean students continue to excel academically. Korean students consistently rank highly in international assessments such as the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment). This success has led some countries to look to Korea as a model for educational reform.

However, it’s important to note that Korea’s education system is not without its flaws. The focus on rote memorization and high-stakes testing has been criticized for stifling creativity and critical thinking skills. In recent years, there has been a push towards more student-centered approaches that prioritize student well-being and holistic development.

Overall, the length of the school day in Korea is just one aspect of a complex and evolving education system. As Korea continues to adapt to changing societal needs and global pressures, it will be important to consider multiple perspectives and prioritize the needs of students above all else.

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